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Cav Empt SS17 Dazed
Cav Empt SS17Photography Jason Evans, creative direction Ben Drury

Cav Empt’s new collection blends the familiar and obscure

Exclusive: the brand’s Toby Feltwell sheds some light on the SS17 lookbook

Ask Japan-based label Cav Empt for some text to sum up their new collection, and don’t be surprised if what you get back is a quote from the Krisis Group – no, not a krautrock band, but a German gang of Marxist intellectuals who published “with the aim of raising awareness about the crazy and destructive logic of the commodity-producing system”. For a brand that’s trojan-horsed ideas of simulacra, simulation, and cybernetic art onto the backs of the trend-conscious and printed quotes from Situationists onto sweatshirts, it’s safe to say that a press release isn’t really their style.

Pictured in a new lookbook shot by Jason Evans alongside Ben Drury leading creative direction, Cav Empt’s SS17 collection simultaneously includes references 90s web graphics and raver-wide workman’s trousers, the obscure and the familiar. They’ve appropriated that CE lettering you’ve seen a million times, stamped onto goods as a symbol of shared standards in the free market of the EU (literally meaning Conformité Européenne, or European Conformity). Pretty topical, when you think about it.

Toby Feltwell, who’s one third of the trio behind C.E (along with graphic designer Sk8thing and Hishi, with all three sharing a background at labels like A Bathing Ape and Billionaire Boys Club) doesn’t give too much away. “We do try to make appropriate clothes for now – so that means the collection references a lot of things that helped us capture what we consider now to be,” he says. “We wouldn’t want to say too much, because there isn't a complete theme or whatever that ties eveything neatly together. It’s a bit of an aimless wander, really, where you suddenly start to recognise where you’re going.”