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Who is Rhuigi? How a Filipino immigrant took over the fashion industry

Rhuigi Villaseñor went from making fashion faux pas to running RHUDE, his very own fashion house, with many fans clamoring for his next collection.

At age 11, Rhuigi and his family moved from Manila to Los Angeles, where they stayed in a one-bedroom apartment.

Rhuigi was a fish out of water. He had to learn the language and everything else that came with living in America.

On his first day of school, he wore Skechers and a Spalding vest, which earned him a lot of teasing. But he persevered and arrived one day wearing Air Jordans.

“I looked at it like a game. And I play to win. For me to be one of the cool guys, I needed to understand what the style language was.”

– Rhuigi, Forbes Interview (2019)

Rhuigi had to hustle hard

Photo by Wallace Chuck

Rhuigi’s father wanted him to be a doctor, but he was drawn to art and fashion. After graduating high school, he took it upon himself to pursue a career in that industry.

He took pattern-making classes with his mom, who was a tailor, guiding him.

Rhuigi also took an internship with Cal-Brit designer Shaun Samson, taking the bus from The Valley to downtown Los Angeles daily.

Rhuigi relied on his entrepreneurial skills to support himself, reselling signature finds from Goodwill.

Sometimes I’d find Versace or Marc Jacobs, and then I’d sell it. And the $7 that I spent would turn into $200. I couldn’t rely on my parents. I had to go get it.”

– Rhuigi, Forbes Interview (2019)

The T-Shirt That Started It All

Kendrick Lamar wearing Rhude Black Bandana T-shirt. (Image via Getty)

The Manila-born designer founded his brand, RHUDE, in 2013. At first, the label did not see a lot of profit. However, he never doubted himself.

His efforts paid off when one of his designs catapulted him to fashion superstardom. This design was a cotton t-shirt printed with a black and white paisley bandana pattern, a nod to West Coast culture.

Initially, Rhuigi had no intention of selling the t-shirt. “I didn’t want anyone else to have my look,” he said.

But he eventually gave it to Kendrick Lamar, who wore black and red versions of the design to the BET Awards in 2012.

“It was beautiful,” he said. “It changed my life.”

The demand for his designs surged. And at the encouragement of his peers, Rhuigi made the bandana t-shirt available to the public. This move opened many doors for his career in fashion.

The RHUDE Awakening

In 2015, Rhuigi formally established RHUDE.

The name is a tribute to his grandfather who wanted all their names to start with “Rh”. The designer saw his craft as a means of providing for his family.

RHUDE, which has expanded from tees to a full line, is now one of the best men’s labels around.

Big Sean, A$AP Rocky, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Offset, Future, and Bella Hadid are just some of the celebrities who have worn the brand.

Now, it’s also sold at dozens of the best retailers, such as Barneys, SSENSE, Patron of the New, 424, and Union.

“Family’s all set now,” he boasted in a recent interview with GQ. “The brand made $30 million in the last year.”

“Life is about earnership. If you feel that there are supernatural forces guiding life, then you’re not fully in control of yours. Everything is a choice, he says. There’s no fate controlling our destinies on this planet”.

– Rhuigi, GQ Interview (2022)

Ecdysis with Bally

For Rhuigi, hard work is essential.

The young designer further cemented his place in the fashion industry when he was appointed as the new creative director of Swiss luxury fashion house, Bally, in 2022.

Presented during the September 2022 Milan Fashion Week, Rhuigi’s debut collection for the 171-year-old brand, dubbed “Ecdysis,” redefines luxury European dressing through American eyes.

He credits his upbringing with providing a foundation and understanding of how to build each piece and the subsequent stories told with each collection.

In his exploration of the Bally archive, he took inspiration from the brand’s codes around art, graphic design, architecture and nature.

Rhuigi also shared that he’s learning from Bally on how to improve his own brand.

“I’m learning how to create a house that will last for a long time, how to scale up and make sure Rhude can weather the storms.”

– Rhuigi, GQ Interview (2022)

What is Rhuigi up to now?

Currently, he is also the creative strategist of the Meruelo Group, and is designing collections with brands such as Zara, Puma, Starter. 

Rhuigi Villaseñor is showing the world that he’s got a lot more to offer.

With his earnership-mindset and determination, RHUDE is definitely set to become a household name.


New fashion designers and looks that have us THIRSTY AF

Experienced and new fashion designers have their eyes on NYFW Spring and Summer 2023. It is right around the corner.

A week jam-packed with fashion creatives from all over the world. The aspiring come to NYC to see what will be the next fashion trend or ingenious looks and styles.

Stay up to date with fashion events here.

Still, the fashion industry is arguably one of the hardest to break into, with competition and over-saturation, it is difficult for new designers to infiltrate. Nonetheless NYFW Spring 2022.

What new fashion designer could be next up or at the next NYFW, tho?

However, these 10 new NYC and LA-based fashion designers have been able to make their dramatic and well-deserved entrance, slowly rising up the ranks through their unique stories, inspirations, and styles.


Sparklebabygem was created Alice Seju Kim, a Korean-American, New York City (NYC) based young fashion designer.

Kim has described her work as a fantastical vision of the dream-like future, inspired by her cultural identity. Kim explores her experience as a Korean-American woman and its relationship with sex and gender.

Additionally, the difficulties and truths of multi-generational interactions of Korean-Americans through her garments. Kim uses color, sparkles, print design, and textiles to recognize specific experiences of the Korean-American diaspora.

new fashion designer doja cat
Doja Cat wears SparkleBabyGem for Superbowl Commercial Spot

Maisie Wilen

The first collection of fashion label Maisie Wilen was launched by designer Maisie Schloss in pre-spring 2020, and now has celebrities like Jorja Smith, Kendall Jenner, and Alexa Demi wearing its pieces.

Schloss is a Chicago native based in Los Angeles (LA) who started off her career as a lead designer for Yeezy by Kanye West.

Schloss says color is one of the most important aspects of her designs, with psychedelic and attention-drawing patterns displayed across her work. Schloss is most proud of her dresses, which showcase her use of fluid lining and dynamic coloring. 

Hopefully, we’ll catch a glimpse of her designs at NYFW Spring 2023.

Marshall Columbia 

Marshall Columbia, based in Brooklyn, NY, is meant to represent self-expression in its most innocent form.

The aspiring fashion designer, Marshall Columbia, uses his childhood as inspiration for his playful and lively designs, referencing his love for arts and crafts, as well as bright colors.

Columbia’s use of bold colors and patterns reflects his nostalgic approach to self-expression and has caught the eyes of celebs like Miley Cyrus and Bad Bunny.


ZHUO is a sustainable clothing and accessories fashion brand based in NYC. The founder of the brand is Zhuolin Liu, a young Chinese, NY-based fashion designer. She hopes to fulfill her hope of bettering the future through her pieces.

Only using environmentally-friendly production methods, Liu creates avant-garde womenswear pieces with holographic material, natural dye and organic shapes, juxtaposing traditional designs and materials.

The name of the brand, ZHUO is a Chinese character meaning polish, refine and think, used to represent the opposite of fast fashion.

House of Aama

House of Aama is a LA-based brand, co-designed and owned by mother-daughter duo, Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka. We caught a glimpse of them the first time at NYFW earlier this year.

House Aama went hard at the IN THE BLK NYFW in Febraury.

The clothing brand was born in 2015, with the purpose of representing the Black experience through raw clothing based on historical research, analysis and storytelling.

House of Aama creates garments with the hopes of inspiring dialogue and commentary on Black history and heritage. 


She’s more than a new fashion designer, she’s Sabrina Aguirre. Sabrina is an Argentinian native who moved to New York to pursue a career in fashion and founded the brand AGUIRRRRE.

Inspired by her Argentinien province’s renowned eclectic and colorful carnival, her first collection centering around a magenta and neon orange color palette, as well as colorful rose decals.

Aguirre paid homage to her home province as a testament to her appreciation and adoration of Argentina. She had to relocate during the coronavirus pandemic, but has since moved back to New York City, where her brand is based.

Saint Sintra 

Parsons educated Sintra Martins is a womenswear designer whose independent NYC-based brand centers on principles of size inclusivity and body positivity.

The new, up-and-coming fashion designer is an LA native who moved to NYC in 2014, Martins’ designs are heavily inspired by era based themes of nostalgia, as is evident by her 1980’s themed freshman collection and her 2000’s inspired sophomore collection.

Saint Sintra’s second collection centered around mohair plaids, english tweeds and oxfords, while the silhouettes are bold and include various embellishments like large bows, frilly tiers and oversized puffy sleeves, all incorporating an orange, tan and periwinkle color palette. 

Taylor Goldenberg 

When it comes to new fashion designers on the rise, Taylor Goldenberg is making some noise. She is a NYC-based designer who creates pieces based on her love and fascination with the human body.

A Rhode Island School of Design ‘17 graduate, Goldenberg’s first and only line (currently) is called Pink Champagne, which has been publicized by celebrities and magazines alike.

Her pastel color palette and victorian-inspired silhouettes with puffer sleeves and skirts has drawn the attention of Amandla Stenberg modeling for Fenty Beauty, Lady Gaga and others in the industry.  


Born and raised in Chicago, Jameel Mohammed founded the brand KHIRY in 2016 as a response to being told luxury brands could only be born in fashion capitals like Milan and Paris.

new fashion designers
Self portrait of Jameel with Jug Drop, 2022

He founded KHIRY to challenge the precepts of luxury, utilizing the industry’s focus on esoteric design, fine craftsmanship, fabrics and alluring narratives to uplift and speak out on the value of black culture and life.

Mohammed makes a point of altering the public’s and the industry’s perception of what luxury fashion is, and does so by broadening his afrofuturist based jewelry to include clothing that represents his brand’s commitments.

Out of the many new fashion designers to hop on the scene. Jameel pairs his demi-fine jewelry with light pink denims and pearl accents, along with graphic tee shirts and ribboned tank tops. 

Honarable mention: Whensmokeclears @ NYFW Fall Winter


Honarable Mention: The New Blue Collar

Shop TNBC here.

Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh dishes advice: Why we had to save all the ‘Free Game’

Legendary innovator Virgil Abloh dropped some free advice that went live after his untimely death.

After incurring several problems with access to the site we decided to preserve all the “Free Game” and information about the Post-Modern Scholarship Fund the black designer left entrepreneurs.

The sudden passing of Virgil Abloh has left social media and the world of fashion in a state of devastation and personal reflection.

Designers, models, artists, musicians, and many influencers have mourned the loss of the inspiring creative genius, bringing together an overview of the positive impact Virgil Abloh has had on the industry.

How Virgil Abloh became the designer every brand wants to collab with

As a black entrepreneur that has partnered with some of the biggest names in entertainment and style, Virgil’s legacy has become a trademark to the tools that help and grow black entrepreneurship.

There is no denying that Virgil Abloh’s success was major and informative. The designer and visionary himself served as a role model and icon for modern-day creatives and entrepreneurs who have perceived his accomplishments and fame as guidance to becoming the most successful and productive beings. 

Part of Abloh’s aim was not only to execute the ideas and projects he created but to also teach those who tend to follow in his footsteps. ‘Free Game’ was created to master and conquer plans and put them into action.

Virgil constructed a series of contexts displaying the earliest phases of developing a brand and all the keys needed to develop the skillsets and be open to opportunities. The platform itself was introduced as an accessible support template for black creatives under a tuition support fund called the Post-Modern Scholarship Fund. 

Outside of the Free Game program, Virgil Abloh raised $1 million with the support of hundreds of students within the black community to manage an academic promise for fashion-oriented education and development in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF).

The mission of the scholarship provides a form of mentorship services and step-by-step topics made as a helping hand guide based on Abloh’s past experiences in learning about the keys of having a business and being a marketer.

Some of these tips are used as a direction to enlighten the start of creating your own imprint on the world. He outlined all the Free Game in 12 steps.

Step 1 – Virgil gives advice on how to name your brand

designer virgil abloh advice

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

For me, the brand or entity name has been the most important part of my logic. Your brand name should be an endless reference point to why your brand exists.

Also, editors note; don’t be afraid to stop and start a new brand name out of nowhere. As they also say, if it’s broke, fix it. New ideas come all the time; I often see people too precious with old ideas.

Your brand’s name is the most powerful asset that you can have. How does one come to the final choice for their brand name? Using this video, see the multiple steps that you, as a founder, can do to assess and create a brand name that will stand out.

Step 2 – Virgil recommends obtaining a trademark

virgil abloh advice

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

From creating a brand to producing content for the brand, an essential factor that is often overlooked is to protect your intellectual property. Obtaining a trademark can sound confusing, but with this overview, you can initiate the process to start protecting your brand.

Step 3 – Master Adobe Creative Suite

free game virgil

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

In creating artwork, there are several programs you can use to accomplish this task. Adobe Creative Suite brings all these programs together: Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, etc.

Step 4 – Virgil dishes advice on how to create a screen Print

fashion off white

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

Many brands start off with Screen Printed Garments as their foundation to expand on. But to start, you need to understand what goes into screen printing and what machinery, materials, and techniques are needed.

The tools and supply list to make your own screen print is in the video description.

Step 5 – Find the right blank canvas for your design

blanks virgil abloh

Advice via Virgil Abloh

For screen printing, you will need to spend time sourcing blanks. Using this video, you will come to understand the different characteristics from blank to blank and why you choose the blank that you want to use for your product.

Step 6 – Challenge accepted… Shoot a lookbook

look book virgil

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

Once all product has been created, the marketing material showcasing the items will need to be produced. This is where a lookbook will come into play.

Using this tutorial, you will come to understand the steps necessary to execute a strong lookbook.

The Off White founder was able to not only give us one video but three! Check them out below.

Step 7 – Make a website

virgil website advice

Advice via Virgil Abloh

When a lookbook is created, it will need to be distributed publically – To do this, a website is needed. Follow this video to create a website for your brand and your products.

Step 8 – Budget it out and add Shopify

virgil abloh shopify

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

Once your website is created and functional, you will need to link it to a system that will help consumers purchase products.

Shopify will help you do this and also help you organize in the backend shipping and logistics. Use this video to obtain knowledge of how Shopify works and how you can best utilize it for your brand.

Step 9 – More inspo from Virgil Abloh as he provides his must-see overarching lectures

lectures virgil abloh

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

Here is a historical archive of my lectures that can help you align with my thinking process and the building of my personal brand.

Step 10 – Cop the Figures of Speech Catalogue

figures of speech virgil abloh

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

My Figures of Speech catalog is a book filled with all my work from the beginning of my career. Follow the pages in the book to understand the trajectory of my career and my thinking process throughout the years.

More info about the book: The Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” is a published book based on my personal experiences while developing my design career. To be used as an open-source guide for others to pattern their multi-disciplinary career.

This book features figuratively “10,000” hours of work and the rationale behind my personal art practice. This book was in tandem with the “Figures of Speech” exhibition curated by Michael Darling for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Click here to cop.

Step 11 – Find you some personal mentors

fashion mentor

Advice via Virgil Abloh:

The videos illustrate the videos I watched as I was building my Brand. Use these to help the buildout of your brand. My personal mentor: Peter Saville – this video taught me millions of things.

Step 12 – Keep digging further for inspiration

See more of Virgil’s inspo here.

From daily inspo to 10,000 hours of work mapped out in his Figures of Speech book, the “Free Game” program overall highlights Virgil’s most important steps in obtaining stability and efficiency for anyone wanting to pursue an artistic-driven profession.

As a flourished designer and entrepreneur, Virgil’s long-standing initiative was to assist young black creatives such as himself to discover this widespread platform, influencing ideas and brand ownership.

Open to all who are willing to learn and obtain the knowledge of strengthening personal growth, the operation of the Virgil Abloh fund was used as a map in understanding the needs of building business.

The art of expressing skill and imagination as well as inspiring millions of individuals to accomplish their goals across the globe was one of the biggest callings to Virgil Abloh’s career.

The recent passing of the generation’s most innovative and influential figure in fashion history has led the media to shed light on what Abloh stood for and the lead he took in opening doors for the black community to come across a more positive and instructive path in the industry.

The Meat Packing District during NYFW: A beautiful photographic story

Flooded with beautiful models, the Meat Packing District streets turned into a runway this year during NYFW.

meat packing district models
Left to Right: Joe Floww | Itscherokeejack | Tony Tran
| Photo cred: @mos-neammanee

As luxury designers get ready to showcase the next seasons’ collection, the streets of New York were filled with more models than usual. For photographers who couldn’t make it to the runway, this was the perfect opportunity to capture high-end fashion worn by professional models.

fashion week dj
Maison Kitsune Host their all-day pop-up festival in front of the AfterPay Quarters|Photo cred: @mos-neammanee

The beautiful Meat Packing District of Manhattan became more glamourous as luxury brands hosted pop-ups including Maison Kitsune’s all-day festival and Dior’s Miss Dior flower-themed popup.

The already photogenic cobblestone streets turned into a runway walk as professional models dressed in high-end clothes strutted down by the Starbucks Reserves.

Hit the Meat Packing District for the vibes

As a street photographer, the environment is significant when creating art and the historic architecture is a timeless beauty that can be used as an amazing backdrop for portraits.

From the cobblestone streets to the old brick walls, the aesthetic completes the wonders of fashion week.

Breath-taking models walking around the meatpacking district were generous, allowing me to photograph them and their outfits.

The process of taking fashion photographs becomes seamless because professional models knew their poses and angles. The experience of quickly shooting then moving on to the next model was exhilarating. Each model was incredibly charismatic and kept me motivated.

The outfits these models wore this year in the Meat Packing District were vibrant and creative. These models expressed themselves through the fabric and color they wore. They were moving, breathing visual art.

By their postures and pose they looked absolutely fantastic, to say the least. As fashion week came to a close these models reminded me that New York is where fashion breaths.

Japanese fashion vs. American imitation: Spot the difference

One of the first things you notice when you enter a new land is the local fashion. When I arrived in Tokyo, this was undoubtedly the case. And I learned a hard lesson: don’t mistake Japanese fashion imitation for the real thing.

Having spent around four months in the city, I gained a sense of true Japanese street fashion. One part of this is realizing some of the shirts I had there weren’t as popular as I had hoped…

Writing on shirts

The fasted way I learned my shirt wasn’t true Japanese fashion was that it was in Chinese.

Written Japanese is divided into three alphabets. Kanji, (which used in Chinese as well) represent symbols and makes up most written Japanese. Hiragana is used for individual sounds. Katakana is the same but used exclusively for foreign words.

One of my teachers told me the front and back of my shirt were in Chinese but my sleeves had katakana. Ironically, it had been marketed as a Japanese text shirt.

This goes for the reverse as well. You will often see people there with shirts that have random English phrases or words on them. It’s probably the same phenomenon of people getting tattoos in languages they don’t speak and getting “take-out” written on themselves.

Taste for high end

While most other aspects of Japan are affordable compared to America, the clothes are not. Most people like to dress as nicely as they can, and like to shop at designer stores.


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Outside of exercise, you will seldom see anyone in shorts. Jeans, as well, are quite uncommon to see on the streets. Khakis and button-ups are the norm.

Even thrift stores are usually not so cheap there. You will find Gucci and Jordans in these stores as well but priced at the Internet standard rate.

Skate fashion

The Japanese fashion we adopted for America comes from Japanese skate culture. Skate culture is strong in Japan, yet skating is illegal on the streets. This is where the baggy t-shirts and long sleeves with text on the sleeves come in. Joggers are their skater pants.

When it comes to shoes, you will see brands not widely available in America, yet are affordable. At least some are affordable.

In Japan, this style of dress is seen as trendy, but troublesome. Skating has a rebellious reputation, to begin with, and in Japan the troublemaker connotation is two-fold.

Harajuku is the hub for all things fashion in Japan. You will find street fashion and high-end supply there, often together.

Japanese fashion imitation – Careful what you wear

If you go to Japan and you’re tempted to wear something with Japanese on it, try to find out what it says first. Just like there are odd phrases in English on shirts there, you can easily wear something reprehensible.

For example, I have a shirt parodying the Nintendo 64 logo, saying instead Hentai 69. Hentai is a term for anime and manga porn and was too funny not to buy. However, it literally translates in Japanese to “pervert.”

I only found this out when wearing it to school got some people to laugh and others to look at me weird. It was then when my friend Teru told me the meaning.

Though not many speak fluent English, most can read it. Be careful with what you wear, friends.

The hoodie and why it’s the only piece of clothing that really matters

Now and then we are compelled to wear our favorite hooded sweatshirt, or hoodie because it makes us feel comfortable. On the other hand, hoodies tend to make people – society – uncomfortable with its image.

Writer and curator Lou Stoppard, has put the hoodie and the ideas around it into question with an exhibit called “The Hoodie” at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Netherlands, currently open to the public.

With over 60 hoodies on display, that are diverse in their symbolism, and mixed media, including film, photography, magazine covers, and music that will tell the story of the hoodie for attendees of the gallery.

Devan Shimoyama. February II, 2019

Lou Stoppard, who started at renowned image-maker Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio as an intern, then moving into an editor position where she would be inclined to critique fashion and question those involved about their thoughts and decisions.

She has been involved in curation before, working on the North Exhibit at Open Eye Gallery with co-curator Adam Murray. Their exhibit was an adulation of the North displaying a majority of documentary photography and fashion editorials that highlighted the northern area of England.

Photo credit: John Akehurst. Lucy + Jorge Orta – Refuge Wear Intervention, London East End 1998

The Life of a Hoodie

The Hoodie, 2019. Photo Johannes Schwartz

Hoodies are a much broader subject matter that all of us can relate to oddly. Whether you’ve been a scholar or athlete, the hoodie has been apart of your life. The hood goes as far back as medieval times, mostly worn by religious figures.

Moving to the 1930s, Champion made it specific for warehouse workers in upstate New York and then adopted by the Military as garments for training exercises and physical education classes.

Fast Fashion

Exactitudes 168. by Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek – EUnify hoodie by Souvenir Official

Fast forward and the hoodie has come into its own from the NYC streets and early hip-hop culture in the ‘70s to the ‘90s where hip-hop flourished and skate culture cemented.

Notorious B.I.G. mentioned a liking to “[black Tims and] black Hoodies” on his “Suicidal Thoughts” record off his first album. Now we can spot our tech gurus wearing them all over Silicon Valley; Mark Zuckerberg has been keen on this.

Prem Sahib, Umbra, 2019. Photo: Plastiques. Courtesy the artist and Jhaveri Contemporary.

Sketch of the Unabomber, 1995.

If fashion is your thing, you can recognize the familiar look of the hoodie and associate it with many things we don’t necessarily see as an infringement on societal norms. Contrasting thoughts from a more conservative crowd suggest an unnecessary evil stems from wearing hoods, projecting onto all those who can see said ‘hoodie’.

This was most present when the Unabomber, a white man, was terrorizing America’s postal system and a sketch of the percieved bomber wore a hood with dark sunglasses.

High Fashion

Photo credit: Gio Staiano. Vetements Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2016.

Designers have used the hoodie as a bread and butter retail product, as merchandise, as a sublime message to the world; particularly when Vetements’ designer Demna Gvasalia chose to add text to some hooded garments, saying things, like, “May the bridges we burn light the way,” expressive of the youth culture and its innate resilience.

Or how about this past Men’s SS 2020 season when streetwear brand BsTroy shook America with when it debuted bullethole riddled hoodies to raise awareness to gun violence in schools. The hoodies displayed the names of just a few schools involved in mass shootings in recent years.

BsTroy Men’s SS 20202 Runway Show, 2019.

Athletes wear a hood as a sign of determination (Melo) or in defeat. Reflecting on Cam Newton’s hoodie moment, being called a “thug” on social media after a Super Bowl 50 post-game interview during the playoffs. Subjecting all hoodie wearers to the same scrutiny is what is to be explored at “The Hoodie” exhibit.

Fashion has taken note of this bias and has always been pioneers of breaking stereotypes. Even Nike noticed, implementing hoods onto the traditional NBA warm-up uniforms back in 2017 in reaction to the climate, making a bold fashion statement for a mostly Black league.

The Hoodie, 2019. Photo Johannes Schwartz

Haters Gonna Hate

Figures like George Zimmerman have stereotypically demonized the hoodie, especially when worn by young Black males. In 2012, Zimmerman infamously describing Trayvon Martin’s hoodie as a reason for his suspicion. This cost Trayvon his life.

Zimmerman lawyers then coin their “hoodie defense” as a legal argument that Martin is at fault for wearing a hoodie. This spawned the Black Lives Matter movement and protesters adopted the hoodie as an emblem of the cause.

The Hoodie, 2019. Photo Johannes Schwartz.

Geraldo Rivera then suggests that [young] Black people to stop wearing hoodies. And in 2015, three years after Trayvon, Don Barrington, Oklahoma 31st district senator at the time, suggested and pushed for a bill to criminalize the wearing of a “robe, mask or other disguise[s]” in public.

That this would “intentionally conceal the wearer’s identity”, in any case, the hoodie would-be victim to this bill.

The Hoodie, 2019. Photo Johannes Schwartz.

Hoodie Threads

The hoodie is a subject tearing society apart from the seams. What is to come from an exhibit that highlights that, is how we can come to terms with how effective fashion can be to our cultures. Stoppard is exploring the nuances that move people to emotion when wearing a hoodie.

Through nostalgia of industry, we relate to the garment; many brands if not all have designed hoodies with specific or non-specific intent. The exhibit is expected to be a tense but enlightening journey through the connotations of the ever-expressive hoodie; a “storyteller”.

John Edmonds, Untitled (Hood 13), 2018

The hoodie is a provocative piece of clothing, stirring up socio-political fears and aggression toward its existence while creating a sartorial place of comfort for the wearer. “The Hoodie” exhibit explores those ideas and the many expressions of hoodie culture.

Whether its Trayvon Martin’s style of dress, Vetements choice words to complement the rebelliousness of the hoodie, the hood is a two-way mirror of our entitled safety and our percieved insecurities.

The Hoodie, 2019. Photo Johannes Schwartz.

If you’re in Rotterdam or planning to visit the Netherlands this season go check out “The Hoodie” by Lou Stoppard.

Look for this article on PAGE magazine.

Young fashion brands

New age drip: Peep these 7 young clothing brands shifting fashion

We live in an age of social media and hyper-attention spans that leaves quality and creative businesses in the wayside in favor of the next new trendy thing. Perhaps this is nowhere as prevalent as in the fashion industry.

The term “hype beast” is thrown out a lot to describe people who follow trends in streetwear and possibly don’t think for themselves. Hype beasts want what’s hot; the brands that everyone is wearing or wants. Think of Supreme now. Or Thrasher tees.

Yeah, these companies are fire and wildly successful, but at what cost?

Fuck that hype beast shit. Instead, I am looking at brands on the come-up. Ones that people aren’t necessarily talking about. These seven brands could be huge in the future, and for now, it is cool to look at their creative designs with no social or corny impediments.


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Olivier is a fashion company founded by Olivier Rogers. This is a high-quality, luxury brand that makes tees, shorts, jeans, hoodies, and more. Rappers Lil Durk, Future, and Gunna have been seen wearing this up-and-coming brand, along with NBA players Brandon Ingram, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Zion Williamson.

With a sweet-sounding French name and a mystique behind the brand due to the website and Instagram page’s minimalistic nature, this brand is right where it needs to be now. If you have some of the hottest celebrities in the game on your side, you’re set OG.

Cop here, fam.

LIV Streetwear

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LIV streetwear is another fly low key brand. Designed by Olivia Anthony, LIV uses a unique style, merging attitudes of the industry today with the vibes of the ’90s. Anthony pushes styles with colorful, tight-fitting garments that look like they’re out of a dance/hip hop studio.

A collection of baggy, oversized tees and jackets bring us back to a time where this was how our icons dressed. Not to mention patterns we can’t keep our eyes off. Olivia Anthony is just getting started, and we can’t wait to see what she has in-store, next.

Stop drooling bruh. We got you!

No Access New York

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No Access is a brand created by Thomas Keys, with a mission statement reading, “Through our clothing, we focus on heritage and community, while also standing at the junction of high fashion and streetwear sensibility.”

Keys was born in Nairobi, Kenya to a Malawian mother and American father. As the mission statement continues, “His equal love for Malawi and New York City drives his vision and desire to bring different cultures together through fashion.”

Keys has opened up production centers in Malawi, creating jobs for the locals and a distribution flow into New York City, where Keys operates. No Access is a brand that prides itself on community and connections.

As his relationships in Malawi have taught Keys, “a project done in celebration of something bigger than yourself will always find the support of something greater.”

Tryna drip the Malawi way? Cop here.


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C2H4 is a brand focused on the concept of chemistry. With a futuristic look that is separate from other luxury brands oozing with mad-max vibes, the brand that spells out the compound of Ethylene mixes different styles to create something explosive, just like in chemistry.

C2H4’s products look like what you’d find in an engineer’s dream. With different, exciting fabrics, and patchwork and add-ons that have never been seen before, C2H4 is about as unique as a company can get.

In a mix of being big, and also low key, C2H4 looks like a company that could soon pop.

Make sure you catch the wave, here.


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MILFDAD is a brand stationed in NYC that ships worldwide. This brand focuses more on cozy, informal clothing like tracksuits, gym shorts, lingerie, and accessories like hats and headbands.

Stars such as Billie Eilish, Smokepurpp, Famous Dex, and Bella Thorne have all rocked this fly line. MILFDAD is a brand emblematic of 2019 youth: unapologetic, unwavering, and unafraid to take that next step into the wild side of fashion.

want that foxy grandpa drip? Bless yourself.

Advisory Board Crystals

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Advisory Board Crystals, created by Remington Guest, is a brand that uses colors and emblems to create beautiful clothing. ABC is relatively expensive and holds the right to be.

The company’s attention to detail is unmatched, and the combination of colors on garments further isolates ABC as its own unique brand. With actual crystals on some of its pieces, ABC has some of the hottest unseen articles of clothing out. The crystals on the garments look different depending on the angle in the light.

Look out for this brand, for real. Heads up you’re gonna need a password to access the drip.

Foreign Exchange

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Foreign Exchange, designed by Nadir Jackson, is a company that fuses fashion and environmental stability. Jackson noticed how material and textile waste affected the environment and wanted to make a change.

So, he often reuses and repurposes old textiles and clothing, in a manner of recycling that the whole world should be getting into in order to cut down on the volatile materials we produce every year.

Jackson has traveled all throughout Europe and used his experiences as inspirations for his designs. As a talented artist in many fields, Jackson created Foreign Exchange with specific goals in mind, and we can’t wait to see him reach them.

These seven brands are all only getting started. If they ever become a part of the mainstream fashion culture, we won’t be surprised. But for now, I for one like where they are.

Having an appreciation for something not in the spotlight is greater than any big trend of our time. These brands may not be low key forever, but for right now, we’re happy they are and just hope their creative visions stick with them if they ever hit it extremely big.


Poverty as Fashion: Are expensive brands obsessed with the bummy look?

If you thought Gucci would watch their backs for a while since their last scandal you’re buggin’. The designer brand made another dumb decision with their latest release.

The high-end designer featured a pair of old-looking sneakers that retail at $870. The new shoes are referred to as “vintage” and look worn in and old.

Complete with dirty detailing, the “screener leather sneaker” has taken the fun out of dirtying your beloved converse and vans, and provided you with an expensive pre-prepared bummy look.

Gucci is not the first brand to push the look. Since Yeezy decided to create his own clothing line of ripped sweaters and t-shirts, the rest of the elite fashion industry followed. Find affordable sweaters on this website.

What is it about rich people that make them want to look poor?

Is it an attempt at feeling more authentic? Do the wealthy see value in a sort of anti-materialism sense? But why put on the costume of being poor? Does this count as appropriation?

Nothing will ever top the Homeless Inspired Fashion Collection by Japanese brand N. Hollywood. Designer Daisuke Obana created an entire line based on the homeless he saw on his trip to the U.S.

That’s extreme, but what Gucci is doing is still disrespectful. They expect to sell USED looking sneakers for over $800. The glorification of poverty is not classy and the bum aesthetic is getting old.

Gucci claims the sneakers are inspired by the 70s but they look more like they were worn by a dude in the 70s.

Of course, people took to Twitter to express their disbelief and flame the designer.

This isn’t the first time a pair of dusty shoes caught criticism. Golden Goose came out with “duct tape sneaker” a while back and people weren’t cool with it then either.

Broke life isn’t something you can appropriate. You’re either in it or you’re not.

Nadir Jackson is the designer fusing fashion and environmental sustainability

With consumers becoming more conscious in their pursuits of purchasing products from companies that make conscious beneficial decisions toward social, political, and environmental issues, comes a wave of young entrepreneurs looking to combine their love for the arts, and their concern for the world.

Nadir Jackson, who is based out of South Orange, New Jersey, is one of the brilliant minds who identified an issue in the fashion industry and chose to target it through his craft. Amongst other issues, material and textile waste are a huge threat to the environment.

Nadir saw this issue and to promote a waste-less fashion industry, he combined his new found passion for creating jackets with his love for maintaining an ecological balance. His adoration for travel and embarking new cultures has pushed the theme of sustainability within his brand.

Nadir’s creation turned into Foreign Exchange Global


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I had the chance to speak with Nadir who explained how he fell into the fashion industry amongst his many talents, how traveling has groomed his designing, and his desire to promote sustainability in the cut-throat industry.

Queens-native and Jersey groomed, Nadir mostly focused on sports and music during his high school years. His love for music landed him many jobs producing whole albums for close friends and local artists.


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In the midst of completing a few projects, a friend mentioned an opportunity during Paris Fashion Week. Nadir’s eyes lit up like Charlie’s when he got his golden ticket. Without any formal training or even prior attempts, Nadir began plotting on a collection under his own brand. He said,

“I love rolling the dice and taking risks, so I was like ‘yeah, f*ck it. I’ll drop a line, I’ll drop a collection.”

He started off hand stitching his jacket designs and took control of his creativity. After his friend donated a sewing machine to him, he was able to accelerate his production line in time to have his very first collection ready for Paris Fashion Week.

Traveling between Paris, Spain, and other European countries, Nadir has accumulated quite a few stamps in his passport.

His wanderlust has become a driving influence in his clothing brand. The name of the brand — Foreign Exchange Global — alone, embodies the theme of internationality and travel.

Many of his most notable jackets are named after locations he has visited, like the Matador jacket, based on the famous running of the bulls in Spain, and the spectacular sights of tulip gardens in France are embodied in the Les Tuileries jacket.

His acquired traveler’s miles don’t serve as the lone influence within the brand; Nadir is a common advocate for sustainability.

Textile waste is a growing issue as fast fashion becomes more prominent. Nadir identifies that textile waste — amongst other wastes produced by the multi-billion dollar fashion industry — calls for an ill-fitted environment.

As a twenty-something-year-old growing up in Trump’s America and a chaotic world, Foreign Exchange Global feels that its duty is to promote sustainability through their clothing.

Nadir often reuses and repurposes old textiles and clothing, focusing on patchwork and reviving old pieces.


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His distinct design style manifests his claim that innovation plays a huge part in not only his design but his life. In talking about how his designs came to light, Jackson said,

“Innovation is really key for me, too. No matter what I’m doing, anything I put out- innovation is definitely a key component.”

The decision to design clothing, aside from a huge environmental crisis standpoint, also derives from Nadir’s disdain for the current fashion industry’s use of denim. Nadir said,

“I felt like nobody was doing it right. I was really underwhelmed and unimpressed by a lot of designer denim, so I figured ‘let me play with it, let me experiment.”

His unique and unconventional designs have left an everlasting impression on his peers and [flee] clients alike.

Through this young creative’s fusion of visions of design and sustainability, we gain a unique and stylistic melange of reused textiles and a loophole within the environmental crisis that the fashion industry participates in.

Toronto-based fashion house Volaré is making more than just clothes

Volaré is a Toronto-based fashion company that is paving its own lane. From day one, the fashion house has been different from most brands in the game because they aren’t just making clothes…

They are using their platform to connect with like-minded creatives in the “6.” Slowly, they’ve been forging a community that’s not only helping Volaré be at the forefront of an emerging fashion scene but many of the up and coming fashion brands in Toronto too.

While Toronto is not recognized for their contributions to style just yet, it’s up to brands like Volaré to help push that culture forward. But that all starts with a vision and dream.

After interviewing Volaré founder Mark Breiva, speaking on behalf of himself and his team, he explained their reasons for creating the brand. He told me,

“We are looking for every opportunity… We are here to create and that’s all it is. Volaré is a platform to create with no boundaries.”

Looking at the landscape in his city, Breiva and company saw a void that they could fill. Volaré’s main focus became creating artistic freedom for all people.

Designing for the company back in 2013, Breiva and his team finally put their “ideas into reality” and came out with their first Meek Mill hoodie in 2016. Little did they know this hoodie would open up a world for them to build their platform.

We all know how important influencer marketing is when it comes to building successful streetwear brands, but it still needs to be authentic. It has to fit that artist’s vibe as Breiva explained,

“[Relationships] are good for exposure… Just curating the artists we want to surround ourselves with and attach ourselves with.”

That is exactly what they did. With one Instagram DM and a few calls, Breiva and his team were able to get in touch with Tory Lanez and send him over one of their first Meek Mill hoodies, based on Meek’s DC4 album.

“A couple days later my messages were blowing up because he [Tory Lanez] wore it on stage and one of his team members got a hold of our page and was like Hey, Tory loves your shit we want to meet you guys.”

From that point, Volaré knew they would be able to grow and get their name out on social media for all to see. Unlike most companies, Volaré’s objective was not to just sell every DC4 hoodie they can but to keep making them for artists and get their style out there.

Building a strong foundation with reputable users would eventually help provide the success all clothing lines yearn for. Even if the piece that helped them gain that attention was hotboy considering it featured Meek Mill’s image on it, that didn’t stop them from creating it and putting it out there. Breiva explained,

“I wanted to make that hoodie. I’m gonna keep making, we’re not gonna be selling, if we get it to the artist, we get it to the artist, if we don’t it is for art.”

Breiva later went on to mention that building his career did not only start with online designing and selling. He had the idea of building a community that comes through interacting with other people that share the same ideas and styles.

His ideal way of doing this was by starting up an event that brought the fashion community together — enter THE NIGHTMARKET. With no major tradeshows like Agenda or Hypefest ever popping up in Toronto, Breiva took it upon himself to push the envelope in hopes of one day bringing that same major exposure to the city.

THE NIGHTMARKET is not essentially just for Volaré, but for other smaller artists all over to come together to:

“Evolve as fast and as consistent as possible to be ready for the bigger thing. We want to act as the person that we needed when we were struggling in the beginning, so we can hopefully help that someone else.”

This market invites new vendors every week for an opportunity to show off and sell their products getting 100% of the sales. This gives artists the chance to make an actual profit from their work while building personal relationships that can help them down the road.

This resembles the original vision of Mark Breiva and the Volaré team had since day one. The fashion house has motivated many to do more and has allowed others to realize that they don’t need a store to sell their clothing.

When asked about any advice he had for up and coming creatives looking in from the outside, Breiva had this solid piece to take away:

“Do what you want to do. Think about all the options and go for the best one. Really just think about the negative side of everything too and how you can make it better before you even start it.”

You don’t need anyone but yourself to do what you want to do. Word to Mark Breiva and Volaré!