Streetwear Radar

Streetwear Radar

It’s been a bit of a quiet one here on FatKidOnFire this week – in part thanks to a hectic work schedule and in part thanks to the servers still playing silly buggers. Luckily, I’m off to Sweden tomorrow (in about seven hours; more on that in a following post) so hopefully the server switch will go ahead as planned and things will start working!

Thanks to Chris (you can read his first contribution to FKOF here) the week won’t end with complete silence; with a quick recap on recent drops from some of the brands we’ve been following. But I’ll let Chris explain…

For this post, I just wanted to take a look around at what’s going on in independent streetwear at the moment. There have been a lot of releases recently with the dawn of the Spring/ Summer 2012 collections – I wanted to give a brief round-up where I highlight and briefly discuss the drops that I’m particularly excited by.

THE HUNDREDS

Now, I know FatKidOnFire is all about bigging up the little guy, giving exposure to the awesome indie brands coming out of the UK scene. But sometimes you have to look to the top and acknowledge what the big boys are doing. After all, there wouldn’t be the great smaller brands without these guys!

The Hundreds, I’m not ashamed to say, rank up there as one of my biggest inspirations. I know a lot of people say this, but that’s for good reason – they work hard to keep things fresh and original whilst staying true to their roots – and this Euro Cup themed release really shows that off. This release is a variety of tees, all themed on the various countries and their respective kit colours and designs, but with a typical Hundreds twist.

It’s great see a big US brand looking to Europe, using events from this part of the world to influence their work. It’s also great to see a brand taking inspiration from something that you perhaps wouldn’t associate them with and making it their own. That, for me, is the key to keeping a brand fresh.

Our friends over at Urban Industry are going in for the full range, as well as the football, so no excuse for not getting properly into the Euros in streetwear style.

ANYFORTY

Next up, normal service is now resumed… AnyForty are a brand who’ve graced the pages of FKOF before. Back then, they were Bristol-based, working hard on their ‘Versus’ range, collaborating with some great illustrators. I had the pleasure of meeting Al at the end of last year, after the brand had moved to London and were involved in an event in Shoreditch alongside the likes of Stüssy, ALIFE and so on; clearly signalling the brand’s serious intentions and just how much they’d managed to move on in a year.

Well, they’ve moved on a massive amount yet again – and this time they’ve gone global. AnyForty recently dropped their ‘Australian Invasion‘ collaboration with Australian tee magazine ‘T-World’, which saw some awesome Australian artists cooking up some incredible artwork exclusively for the release, and an exclusive launch part in New York (yeah, a UK brand in America)! They’ve also got some top talent involved to make a promo video, and it’s clear their going for it big style.

Their whole game has been stepped up – and this release has gotten them some big global coverage and recognition. Each tee comes with a mini-magazine featuring the artist who’s work you’ve bought. AnyForty are a brand who you should definitely keep an eye on – hard working, determined and with some big ambitions. I’m proud that they’re a UK brand and are one brand that I can pretty much guarantee will step it up every single time. AnyFory are helping to push the UK scene to where it really should(/and needs) to be at!

FAT GOLD

Another brand who’ve featured here on FKOF before are Malta-based Fat Gold. Jon Sterlino, the main man behind the brand, is a really sound guy and a talented designer. Based around Jon’s hand-drawn type talents, I love the vibe of the brand; who are no doubt influenced in part by their surroundings.

With this latest drop, FG once again put Jon’s hand-drawn type at the forefront. I’m a fan of the way that gives the brand a really intimate, unique feel. They’ve stepped their game up by bringing out a new website and dropping a cool key ring, tote bag and more choice of designs/colours than the last drop. The brand that put Malta on my ‘to visit’ list!

SWALLOWS&DAGGERS

Finally, a brand that are a new find for me! I’m sure you guys have probably heard of them before, but they escaped my notice until recently. Swallows&Daggers have just dropped some new stuff – so they definitely deserve a mention.

A brand heavily influenced by tattoo art etc., I think the quality of their designs is a cut above – the quality of the illustrations is really high and they present themselves well through a slick website and social media presence (something often overlooked by many new brands).

And so a theme appears to be occurring – brands that FKOF have featured before still being around and going from strength to strength. We’re behind you guys all the way! We’re also keen to carry on discovering and supporting new brands – so if you have a brand (or are starting one) then if you’re willing to work hard and give it your all, then we’re here to support you, and hope others will be too. We have a lot of potential on these shores, in our own backyard – and we hope that they get the backing and support that they deserve.

Finally, a quick shout-out to a few brands who I feel are worth a mention, and brands worth watching in the near future.

Benny Gold has nailed it with his native American themed ‘Valencia‘ collection, Enclave have got a new website with a really interesting blog and an SS12 drop that’s shaping up to be properly good, and UK/ Canadian brand Herschel have stepped it up by teaming with US icon Stüssy. Last (but definitely not least) DBD have apparently got a big release lined up for the next few weeks, so keep an eye out! We’ll hopefully be able to bring you more from some of those brands in another round-up soon.

If you’ve got any thoughts you’d like to share about Chris’ ‘Streetwear Radar’ post on FatKidOnFire; shout in the comments below – or find Chris on Twitter. If you enjoyed his recent streetwear recap, be sure to watch out for his next one in a month or so!

Peace, love and respect.

FKOF