Our first volume of 2019 is a celebration of doing things differently. We salute those who think outside the box, we encourage individuality and we enjoy the work of creatives who rip up the rule book. It takes a certain way of thinking to not conform. To not go along with the predictable, the mediocre, the acceptable. It is a fantastic quality and deserves recognition.
However, fashion brands thrive off exclusivity and (perceived) scarcity, especially in the every-so-trending streetwear community. Kindness and a brand’s “cool” factor, never seem to truly align. Until now. Both first-generation Americans, Daniel Buezo and Weleh Dennis founded their LA-based clothing line Kids of Immigrants to bring inclusivity into the fashion industry.
The founders’ mission is to show us that we are all connected and that, to believe in ourselves, we have to believe in others (and vice versa). Kids of Immigrants’ clothes strive to spark joy and positivity in those who wear them. With their designs, Buezo and Dennis do not aim to influence their followers to conform to a uniform aesthetic. Rather, they want us to appreciate our idiosyncrasies – that individual flair – and encourage us to find our unique personal styles. The founders say:
“With clothes, we try to connect people with themselves and take pride in who they are, where they’re from and the struggles that have, and how they can make [these struggles into] a more of a positive learning [experience], noticing the negative, and then really appreciate the positive, knowing that [you’re] doing the best you can with what you have.”
Focusing on creativity allows us to explore who we really are and to find our authentic selves. Instead of lusting over what others have and what we believe that we lack, Buezo and Dennis use their platform to enable us to find peace within ourselves and be proud of our unique journies.
Raised in Sacramento, California, Dennis explains how growing up as a basketball player has shaped his world view. He says: “being able to go in and out of different cultures – staying in the area where I grew up and then traveling to a more suburban area and then going to a higher-end area – all of those different things allowed me to connect with people. I saw what connects and relates us all, but I didn’t understand what separates us all.” Dennis continues:
”I was trying to find a string that us all, and for me, I think that that’s clothing.”
It takes a certain way of thinking not to conform. The individuals who are able to break the mould are the ones who can choose to tune in and act on their inner beliefs. This life we choose.
Armani White is no stranger to performing. His recent stint with Vince Staples on 'Smile You're on Camera' tour was his first official time touring as a billed artist. Here the Philadelphia native describes his memories from those ten days and reflects on the lessons he'll carry with him.
The London-based streetwear label Nicce has just launched its exclusive White Label series, a limited-run collection designed in homage to the singularity of “white label records”, and elegantly reshaping the brand’s prevailing aesthetic towards a more distinct, trendy and fashion-led portrayal.
I meet with Ali, late afternoon in a pub on Walworth Road. We stop for a pint with some mutual friends before jumping in a cab to go meet the rest of the Spangs. We pull up at a pub in New Cross, where I’m told the other band members await us. Ali does a good job darting around the packed pub, finding the remaining Spangs and assembling them all in the smoking area outside. We’re down a member, I’m told, but other than that we’re all here.
Briana Martinez, aka Brika, is an alternative singer-songwriter born and raised in Miami to Cuban-American parents. Her music is vibrant and melancholic, running the gamut of human emotions.
Buddy’s far from flawless perspective of the world, fluid cadence and cerebral storytelling indicated this was an artist to keep an eye on from very early on. Signed to Pharrell Williams’s I am OTHER label all the way in 2009, Buddy has been slowly and steadily building a solid blueprint for himself.
For those of you unfamiliar we, as LGBT+ people, have long been accustomed to adopting a certain level of secrecy when it comes to dating, especially during adolescent years. Websites and apps, have become the nation's’ new bandanas, each with their own secret hidden codes and meanings.