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gmbh benjamin alexander huseby ss18 campaign
GmbH SS18 campaignPhotography Benjamin Alexander Huseby

GmbH casts second-generation immigrants for new campaign

Design duo Benjamin Alexander Huseby and Serhat Isik wanted to pay homage to their backgrounds for the SS18 collection

Since its launch nearly two years ago, fashion label GmbH has been quietly perfecting its aesthetic, often taking inspiration from the clubwear of Berlin where it is based. For the brand’s most recent SS18 collection, founders Benjamin Alexander Huseby and Serhat Isik wanted to create a utopian vision without borders or limits – calling it ‘Europe Endless’. As descendants of immigrants themselves, they paid homage to their fathers who came to Europe from Turkey and Pakistan.

The newly-released campaign continues the idea, with Huseby and Isik wanting to showcase the children of those who moved from elsewhere to help rebuild Germany after the war. “We thought of the expression ‘Gastarbeiter’ commonly used in Germany, meaning guest worker. As visitors, they were expected by their host countries to only stay temporarily, but they never left,” the pair told us. “We, the children, are at once European, but also told we do not truly belong.”

This idea of belonging is something that will be understood by anyone who has grown up separated from their roots. “In Denmark, the parliament recently declared that children of immigrants are not to be considered Danish,” the pair explained. “(This) sentiment (is) not unfamiliar to us. ‘Where are you from? No, but where are you really from?’”

The campaign itself pays homage to classic Versace campaigns shot by Richard Avedon in the 80s and 90s. “We wanted to see brown men and women like ourselves in a campaign like this, something we never saw growing up. But we have no supermodels, or big budget – just our family.” Like the designers, all of the models featured are children of immigrants themselves, with parents from places including Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and India.

Fans of the label won’t have long to wait for its next instalment, with its AW18 show set to take place on January 16 during PFW.