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Mike the Ruler, Telfar
Mike the Ruler with the Telfar sculpture created by Shanzhai Biennial at the New Museum of Contemporary ArtPhotography by Dan Lecca

Mike the Ruler's US designer faves

From Hood by Air to Telfar, to celebrate his takeover day, we asked the young muse for the low-down on the American designers he's got his eye on

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence, we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to take over Dazed for a day. Today, as part of our State of Fashion week, Mike is taking over – with a little help from his friends. Hit up the Mike the Ruler Day page for all the latest, including exclusive playlists and Mike's five defining fashion moments. 

Through his ever-growing social media fanbase (over 10,000 Instagram followers and counting), Mike The Ruler is not only showing off his own sense of style, but also promoting the work of America’s freshest design talent. Much as he loves him some established Rick Owens, Supreme and The North Face, he’s also obsessive about all the names that are big on – and coming out of – New York’s downtown, Harlem and Brooklyn scenes (a notable exception being LA’s 69 Worldwide). Here, Mike The Ruler crowns his top five designers pushing the boundaries in the United States of Independence.

Telfar Clemens has been making futuristic, minimalistic designs with heavy sportswear influences since 2005. His video collaboration with Babak Radboy of Shanzhai Biennial and Future Brown was a symbol of his knack for great branding – using his own killer clothes alongside arresting visuals and a highly relevant soundtrack. Telfar continues to come up with unnerving but fun concepts, like his last K-mart mall style show, whilst his “Get The Look” t-shirts are the downtown cool version of Marc Jacobs’ “Protect The Skin You’re In” tees.

Earlier in the week, Telfar took over Dazed with his very own State of Fashion day, including a head to head with Babak Radboy – check it out here.

Shayne Oliver's attention-grabbing high street/high fashion future label comes out of NYC. It’s innovative, logo-based menswear that has been on the backs of Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and practically anyone who’s been a regular down New York’s GHE20G0TH1K club night. His looks started out as a form of self-expression for the party scene and were a form of power dressing – showing utter confidence in his own identity. HBA has gone from just T-shirts to cut-and-sew too, and from underground streetwear to Barneys rails and LVMH prizes.

Zoe Latta and Mike Eckhaus are a NYC-based label creating luxurious but campy, creative looks that play with proportions and gender. They’re well-known for their use of unusual materials, combining the soft and the hard of Moroccan rugs, elastic mohair, fishing lines and plastic, all lending the clothes a sculptural air. The pale shades of white, cream, silver and pink that they favour recall clean 90s minimalism. 

Former Hood By Air designer Raul Lopez and his label Luar Zepol (his name backwards, so you know) are now creating their very own pioneering menswear with athletic, gothic, and utilitarian styles. Perhaps their highest profile moment so far came when Future wore one of their jackets doing promo for his album Honest on The Wendy Williams Show! (“How you doing!?” as camp-as-tits Wendy would say). You can buy his printed tanks and tees, or beanies and baseball hats online, or head to Opening Ceremony LA or NYC. 

The suggestively named 69 Worldwide is a creative unisex label that has been producing denim pieces out of LA since 2011 (they also do some linen). The main aim is to produce “comfortable shit for everyone” and certainly the overalls, dad pants, shirts, skirts, hats, hoodies and bags look slouchy and well washed-in. Black, beige, white, indigo and stonewash are your main colours here.