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Nasir Mazhar for Topman
Nasir Mazhar for TopmanPhotography Meinke Klein, fashion Nasir Mazhar, art direction Curtly Thomas

Exclusive first look: Nasir Mazhar collaborates with Topman

The London designer discusses his collection for the high street giant – see it here first

Topman has a fair few designer collaborations to its name – in the past it’s partnered with Agi & Sam, Astrid Andersen and J.W.Anderson. Its latest pairing looks set to be the biggest yet, however: the high street giant is teaming up with Nasir Mazhar.

Throughout the course of the last five years, Mazhar has been credited with bringing the life, soul and infectious energy of the UK’s garage, grime and dancehall scenes to London Fashion Week and London Collections: Men. Famed for his elaborate tracksuits and Bully caps, his shows have seen Skepta take to the runway, Novelist sit on the front row and the likes of Faze Miyake and Darq E Freaker create the music. Now, through his collaboration with Topman, the designer is bringing his vision to a wider audience.

Launching on September 6th, the line sees several reworkings of some of Mazhar’s classic designs. His tracksuits made from towelling which featured in his SS14 collection, for example, make a reappearance in powder blue and baby pink – with the addition of some embroidery. There’s also a tracksuit made from nylon, a muscle fit tee and a simple white vest embroidered with his ‘NASIR MAZHAR’ logo.

While the collection shares the spirit of his usual designs, it comes at a much lower cost – prices range from £25-£80. For Mazhar, who voiced his frustrations with his inability to sell his clothes at a more affordable price in a recent interview with Dazed, this was part of the appeal of collaborating with a high street retailer like Topman. “My vision for the brand has always been that everyone should be able to have my pieces in their wardrobe,” he explains. “Working with Topman has made it possible for me to bring my aesthetic to customers in an exciting and more accessible way.”

Here, Mazhar tells us more.

How would you describe the Nasir Mazhar vibe to someone who isn’t familiar with your designs?

Nasir Mazhar: I think we give a variety of vibes. Sometimes we’re giving you that dark militant ready for action vibe and then sometimes we’re giving you that sexualised clubwear.

Who is the Nasir Mazhar boy?

Nasir Mazhar: I think it can be anyone. It’s more about you choosing whatever you like from us to help create your own individual look and style rather than wanting to look like a Nasir Mazhar boy. We try to include all types of guys when casting. It’s about being inclusive. 

Can you talk through this collection? What have you designed?

Nasir Mazhar: I wanted to work on my idea of a suit. Like matching two-piece suits, it’s broken down into five looks. We worked on our first all-over printed tracksuit and this is maybe my favourite piece from the collection. I wanted to go for that flashy retro shell suit vibe, it’s fresh. Then there is a pink cotton towelling two-piece embroidered suit. There’s a casual zip bomber and a two-layer shorts. There’s a blue cotton towelling two-piece suit made up of embroidered jogging bottoms and a crew neck sweater.

I’m always thinking about proper summer holiday clothes. Going from the beach to the open air discotheque. I was thinking about clothing for that Bashment night so I designed these logo cut out and frayed jeans with pink topstitching and this muscle fit motion blur print top. The last look is a really relaxed fit poly tricot pull over and matching short set. Very comfy and sports ready. I was thinking about different looks for different needs. 

How is this collection different to your usual collections, and how is it the same?

Nasir Mazhar: I think it’s the same because it’s me designing it and I wanted to give the collection elements of our history. It’s different because we’ve worked on new styles like the all over print tracksuit and the logo cut out frayed jeans. These are techniques we haven’t explored before. 

“I want my clothes to be a part of the culture I’m into. For them to have a real history I think they need to have an affordable price...” – Nasir Mazhar

What was it like to collaborate with Topman?

Nasir Mazhar: I was really happy to be asked. Topman has been sponsoring me through the initiative MAN and NewGen Men for quite some time so we already had that relationship which made it all feel really natural. The best thing about the collaboration is being able to reach a wider audience. I think that’s really important. Working with such a big company also meant their infrastructure is tight and ready to take on any requests. My team is much smaller, so it would take us much more time to source materials and find specialist factories. All these things take a lot of time but with Topman it’s much quicker. I think that makes the process much more enjoyable. 

You recently said how you wanted to make your brand affordable and for young people to be able to buy into it. Was that a factor in your decision to collaborate with them?

Nasir Mazhar: Yes that was definitely a factor. Being able to offer a product at such a good price means you can reach a much wider audience. I understand why clothing can be so expensive but it’s a really cool thing to be able to offer something a bit more affordable once in a while. I want my clothes to be a part of the culture I’m into. For them to have a real history I think they need to have an affordable price and it needs to be a part of individual’s personal history. The majority of people are not wealthy and for some, it is never a possibility to be able to afford a designer piece of clothing. That’s sad. Being able to collaborate with a brand like Topman means that you can get something from that designer and something close to the original designer’s collections. Everyone’s happy.

And what about the campaign – who did you cast in it and why?

Nasir Mazhar: A couple of the boys have walked for our shows before so it was really nice to get them involved in something like this and some of the boys were scouted fresh. It’s about giving some history of the brand at the same time of giving space for something new to develop. I work with casting director Eddy Martin on all of our shows and this project. I think the casting is sexy, but it has a sense of reality to it and it’s boisterous.

Nasir Mazhar for Topman is available online at topman.com on 6th September and selected stores from the 8th.

@nasirmazhar | @topman