We select four rising stars who may just make it big in the streetwear stakesMastered: Streetwear
The charm of streetwear is that it doesn’t take much to start up your own brand – all you need is an idea and some t-shirts to print on. Literally anyone can do it, from Gosha Rubchinskiy to James Jebbia to some kid sat in front of a computer in a small, nondescript English town. Translating your ideas on to cotton is of course, is only the beginning and for many would-be brands also the end – but for those looking to building something a little bigger, Streetwear: Mastered has brought together a host of industry influencers, from Virgil Abloh to Nike’s Fraser Cooke in order to impart some wisdom on the swathes of young streetwear designers spanning from Tokyo to Torquay. Through the programme, each participant has learned about the intricacies of the industry; how to refine their brand, what buyers look for in a collection, what editors seek out in a new label, all of the helpful information that, once upon a time, could only have been gleaned from unpaid internships or working for minimum wage at your local streetwear store.
Armed with their newfound skills and insight, here are four Streetwear: Mastered brands that look set to go on to bigger and better things...
Pastel pinks and blues, dad caps and old-school video game references: STAYCOOL NYC absolutely nails the current zeitgeist within streetwear, one that has seen a bolder, less traditionally masculine colour palette being embraced in recent seasons. Describing their clothes as “retro-inspired chillwear”, the label champions a laidback, sun-tinged look, complete with lookbooks and content that will have you pining for just a few more days of British summertime.
For new labels with limited funds, it’s often tempting to produce garments as cheaply as possible, with more regard for your bank balance than workers’ conditions or the environment. Entropy Threads, however, prides itself on its use of reworked vintage clothes, recycled swing-tags and US-made t-shirts. Describing itself as an “independent streetwear brand that exists as a protest of mass-manufacture and capitalism”, the brand’s aesthetic carries a certain dystopian feel, ranging from lo-fi gif content to nihilistic printed tees and provocative printed matter.
There’s a lot to be said for doing a few simple items really well, over a large collection that lacks coherency or consistency, and that is exactly what CMARTYMAR do. The brand specialises in embroidered caps, crafted from premium wool and featuring leather strap detailing, with each one carrying their Japanese-inspired logo. CMARTYMAR has also recently begun to branch out into tees and some truly excellent rebranded Champion shorts.
For all of streetwear’s good traits, it can often be undermined by the rampant testosterone of some of its uber-white, straight-bro proponents. Against this backdrop, Nivero provides a refreshing take on the sartorial subgenre, presenting an androgynous, queer-friendly vision that is notable for both its provocative, candid campaign images but also a unique approach to cut-and-sew garments. From diamante chokers to suede henleys with attached safety straps, Nivero is streetwear that radically differs from the norm.
Mastered offer online courses to help emerging fashion professionals develop their skills, network and attitude – and they work with some of the most respected names in the industry to do it. Their 2017 programs are enrolling now. mastered.com