STRANGERS, MADE SOMEONE.
THE COLLECTION FOR EVERYONE
In September last year the team got together to think about one topic: humanity. After a significantly difficult year with so many ups and downs, the one thing that really stood out was the strength, beauty and resilience of humanity. With so much admiration for our kind and how we stood up to the toughest year many individuals had ever known, we knew we wanted to create a collection that was dedicated to us - humanity.
We started to think about the things that unite us, the things that make us unique, and the things that remind us that although we are all so beautifully and intricately different, we are all human.
The more we thought about what makes humanity special, the more we found ourselves circling around the word ‘someone’. We realised that this is a word that is completely unique to us as humans, and that it is a word that, whether intentionally or unintentionally, gives us an incredible sense of value. With the benefits of ‘someone’ in mind, we started to think about what the lack of this word could do, and so, we landed on the word ‘stranger’, and in doing so we asked ourselves; if the meaning of ‘someone’ depicts infinite worth, what does the meaning of ‘stranger’ depict...? You see, unlike ‘someone’, the word ‘stranger’ represents a complete lack of value. It comes with a whole lot of negative baggage that many of us don’t even realise is there. Stop for a moment and think about what you know of this word. From ‘stranger danger!’ to ‘beware of strangers’, each of us is groomed from a very young age to see this as something you neither want to be nor want to be near.
The more time we spent thinking about these contradictory meanings, the more fascinated we became by the contrasted connotations between these two words until eventually we found ourselves asking the question, what if we could make the stranger someone? Surely, if we did this, we could remind each other of the beauty of humanity - how it knits us together while celebrating our differences, how it fills us with worth and allows us to place value on others, and how, against even the toughest odds, it continues to rise. By taking hold of the concept of ‘someone’ and reminding those who feel a bit like strangers on the outside that they too are so worthy and entitled to this word, we believe that we can both honour the humanity around us, as well as redeem the humanity lost between us.
As we explored this we found ourselves at our final decision for the name and purpose of this collection all about humanity:
STRANGERS, MADE SOMEONE. : The collection for everyone.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
As a clothing brand with a cause and a dedication to helping others, we wanted this name to represent the people we fight for every single day - those experiencing homelessness. As the ones who society very quickly calls strangers, we knew that we wanted this collection to reassure them that no matter what their situation looks like or how they may be treated and judged by the world around them, to us they are someone. And to us, they mean something.
We also wanted this name to remind anyone that wears an item from the collection about the beauty of their humanity and that they too are so deserving of the title ‘someone’. And in turn, as they wear that message loud and proud, we hope that others will take notice and likewise feel the same sense of ‘someone’ from just that one glance.
We want you to carry this message with you wherever you go so that one by one, human by human, we can revel in the humanity that we all share and free the ‘someone’ within us all.
STEP BY DETAILED STEP: THE PROCESS
Christabel, our Head of Fashion, and I spent many an hour on brainstorming designs, looking at different colour palettes, fonts, fabrics and more, and refining each detail we wanted to be included in each product within the collection.
From the get-go, we knew we wanted the meaning of the collection to speak louder than the clothing itself, and so, we focused on text-heavy designs rather than any graphics. We also decided to keep a very neutral colour palette so that each word would stand out even more. As you discover the many details in each piece, you’ll notice that every single thread is filled with intention! And every piece of text, whether on the garment or the tag, represents the meaning of the collection.
We spent a lot of time writing these words to make sure that they truly shared the beauty of humanity we so hoped to capture. You can be the final judge, but we think (and hope!) we did a pretty good job.
Here are some behind-the-scenes sneak peeks into the design process!
TALKING PRODUCTS WITH CHRISTABEL
Discussions for this launch started all the way back in January last year! We knew instantly that we wanted a campaign that had a giving-focused collection, and a campaign that highlighted the meaning and the expression of what it means to be human. The collection itself was to be a platform for this concept and a tool for communication that would deliver the message, the meaning, and the words that embodied our humanity.
Following this direction, we kept a clean, neutral palette so as to not distract from the meaning behind the concept. The design follows suit, minimal typography with a variation from bold to subtle impact. To make this a reality you need not only the right direction and creativity, but the right skills to make it something truly beautiful.
It is always a mission of mine to include local designers and artists, and for this special campaign we got to work with the incredible talent of Gaynor Gordon. She took our jumbled mood boards, many notes and too many ideas, and turned them into the clean, sharp streetwear range you see now. Gaynor made it very easy to take our initial thoughts and transform them into the finished products. And as we all now know, working remotely during a creative process is never ideal! But alas, with the right team of Gaynor and Alexia, it did not slow us down!
While we had the concept and design, another main goal for our fashion team for this collection (and with every new launch) was to take the quality and detail of each product to the next level. For example, we played with new placements, exterior labels, ambitious embroidery and invested more time than ever before into each product.
We opted for screen-printed features on all products, with embroidered details in low contrast colourways. We even added a specially-designed woven exterior label detail as well as a contents label which acts as an equaliser for every person who wears a product.
We also have some beautiful embroidered detail features on every product, especially the STRANGER. Black Hoodie. For this particular item we have taken an element from every part of the collection such as, Not Just Another Stranger., Strangers, Made Someone. and Something To Someone., and embroidered it on the hood, arm and chest of the hoodie. These smaller details not only add value, but they also act as a reminder to yourself and the people around you, that they are someone too.
CHECK OUT THE FULL RANGE ONLINE!
So much work has been put into this collection and into making sure each and every piece within it is filled with meaning and intention. We have poured the very best of us into every part of the production and we hope that as you discover and wear these items, that you will find encouragement, inspiration and a belief that you are someone.
Have a look at the full collection here and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Speak soon, Oi Fam.