We all have our expectations of how male urban streetwear should be and how men are to present themselves in the world. I.SIMONS wants to play with elements from these restrictive concepts, by both looking at how men dress as they are and how all men are different in their own particular ways.
This tension between convention and invention is most visible in the combination of urban and high-end fashion, which poses both opportunities and challenges to my brand.
Being a menswear designer interested in black fashion, I am particularly eager to give back to the black community through bringing the legacy and influence of modern black fashion to our attention. That is, through inspiration rather than appropriation.
We might have forgotten how streetwear originated from the surf culture in Los Angeles, and the Hip Hop culture in New York City in the 70s – but by rediscovering these clothes through luxurious textiles and methods, we can bring them back to the forefront whilst acknowledging their creative roots.
This indeed allows me to find a beauty standard that deviates from the mainstream, but it is exactly this acknowledgment of the different forms of beauty that feeds my creative passion.
What is more, this endeavour aims to express how much the black community is to be appreciated, respected, and honoured in its own right and for its particular cultural artefacts.
This means, in a concrete sense, that I meld this historic thread, the contemporary streetwear of the black community, and the elegance of high-culture luxurious designs into an exciting new shape.
In other words, my vision allows me to create visibility for what was not always obvious before. Make apparent, what seemed to be lost in time and space. Bring black fashion back to where it belongs and combine it with my passion for creativity and discovery.