Jul 20, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
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Self-proclaimed “No-gender, No-demographic” denim label 69 worldwide is taking androgynous clothing to a new level this season.
We’ve been long time followers of Los Angeles-based label 69 since the brand launched a few years back with their collection of ultra-baggy unisex denim goods. Self-declared a “No-gender, no-demographic” community, the label is straightforward and unapologetic with its collection that goes against any convention or orthodoxy regarding gender and sociology.
Anybody who has seen the brands lookbooks and campaigns will be familiar with their cartoonishly oversized silhouettes on atypical models that aren’t bound by age, race or gender. Even the labels head designer, likes to her (or his) true identity under wraps to ensure that the clothes are gender-neutral, fluid and open to interpretation. Many of 69’s designs reimagine classic silhouettes – jumpers, hoodies, t-shirts – but in denim form, mostly stonewashed or barely there blues that conjure American nostalgia. Opening Ceremony have been backing the brand since they first launched and have the full S/S 15 collection online now. Its also worth heading over to Dazed to check out there A/W 15 presentation where they collaborated with DIS magazine where models wore Walmart-style name tags, with #Heelconcept enthusiast Misty Pollen, Dazed contributor Patrik Sandberg and VFiles’ star intern Sabrina amongst the congregation.
Below is an excerpt from OC’s interview with the designer:
OC: Can you tell me how you started 69?
69: Well, it started as an idea. [Laughs] An idea to have an all-denim line for boys and girls, and it sort of remained that way until I added kids stuff and dog stuff. But, basically it’s meant to be for everyone. It started as unisex, but I like to think it’s non-demographic.
Since you mentioned denim, what made you interested in working with that material?
Just because it’s this material that is completely comfortable and utilitarian and completely practical for everyone and it never goes out of style. However, at the time, I felt as though there weren’t enough silhouettes represented in the material. And I just thought that was missing somehow.
Denim isn’t known for being a super comfortable fabric – but your clothes look like you could either sleep in them or go hiking in them. How do you achieve that with the fabric?
It’s stonewashed. I wanted each piece to feel unique and the stonewashing does that in fact. No two pieces are exactly alike. And, I wanted it to feel worn-in. I feel like a lot of denim is very stiff and you’re sort of left to make it as soft as you want it over time. But I want it to feel as if that’s already done for you.
So why do you keep your identity secret?
Because I’m not interested in any personal notoriety. I want the brand to feel like it’s everyone’s because it’s made for everyone and I don’t want people to get fixated on who made it. I let people think whatever they want to think. Essentially, I think it’s important at the very least for people not to know who I am or what gender I am.
Do you feel like knowing the gender of a designer influences the people who wear those clothes?
I really think it does. I feel as though everyone has a prejudice. Not even that it would influence anyone’s idea negatively, it just puts a label on somebody. It’s irrelevant to me. And it should be irrelevant to everyone. It should just be about the work. The name of the line isn’t my name, which a lot of designers do. I chose a symbol because it’s more broad and people can interpret what they want it to be.
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