Whoever told you that the streetwear industry was dying sold you a lie from hell. The Hypebeast-reading style corner was rocked only six months ago, when news surfaced that Trapstar was to become the first apparel line on Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Now, chances of the west London-based brand breaking into the global fashion industry are higher than they ever were before. Which begs the obvious question: whose garms will be next to dominate out here in these streets? Every day this week Noisey's Joseph "JP" Patterson will introduce us to one more player in the British streetwear game.
Start date: 2007
Owners: Mr. Benjart and design team
Mr. Benjart on the design aesthetic: I’ll deal with all the core concepts and ideas, then the design team, who are based all over the UK, will illustrate the conceptual pieces which we then send to out manufacturers to get ready for the printing process. We also have our pattern designers and manufacturers overseas, who we visit to oversee the production of our cut and sew pieces.
Who or what has been the biggest inspiration for your work?
The biggest inspiration for us, as a brand, is the type of London that we live. Whilst we came up from the underground, we always had a certain level of class not associated with the part of London we came up in. This mixture of the gritty streets of London and luxurious living has enabled us to showcase a lifestyle to both types of audiences, thus allowing us to push our ideology of ‘streets to paradise’ forward.
How does your label compare to other British streetwear labels?
Our brand started with just a mere £100, and we’ve grown like a snowball ever since. We haven’t had any investment and are 100% independent. So, I’d say the organic growth of us is what separates us.
Who have been some of your biggest supporters?
We decided to shy away from the marketing route of celebrity endorsements, but we have organically come across a few which have got their hands on some of our pieces: Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown, Travis from Gym Class Heroes, Emeli Sandé, Manchester United player Wilfried Zaha, and endless amounts of other soccer players in the UK.
Soccer player Wilfried Zaha (is that spaghetti he's holding?) and British rapper K Koke.
What’s the future of Benjart?
We just completed a pop-up store at Harvey Nichols in Manchester, England, and are currently in talks regarding distribution throughout the UK. Following our great run at The W Hotel, we plan to put on another one of our highly anticipated collabs with yet another luxurious hotel in London. More details on that soon! And last but not least, we’re now setting up a Dubai subsidiary of our company, after successful meetings over there last year.
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