… the ones who go against the grain, who refuse to be boxed, who beat to their own rhythm… Who ooze cool yet don’t really care who’s licking it off the ground. This is for you.
At Relay Jeans HQ, these were the kinds of guys we had in mind when putting together this collection, which draws on subtle influences of the punk-scene of the 70s to the hip hop and grunge scenes of the 90s. It’s the thread of rebellion that runs through these, which is the definitive element of the key pieces: the distressed skinnies, the statement tee and the plaid, checked shirt.
So let’s take a look at how each of these key pieces have influenced street-style over the years and why they’re so good at misfitting.
The Skinny on Skinnies
Ah, the Skinny Jean. Skinnies were introduced in the 50s but it wasn’t until the 70s when the alternative rock and punk scenes started to explode that they hit the fashion world with a bang. Many believe the rebellion that skinnies represented was that they were the first true unisex pair of jeans.
The Statement Tee
Round about the same time as skinnies became associated with the punk and rock scenes, so too did the statement tee. It was thanks to the socio-political climate of the time that fashion became a form of protest. It was also the era that advertising and commercial art gripped the human psyche and was when branded tees and apparel made an appearance for the first time and pop culture lapped it up (think Run DMC and adidas).
The Plaid Shirt
With its roots in the Scottish Highlands, the fabric of the plaid shirt is also referred to as tartan and was used to make men’s kilts. It became a symbol of rebellion for the Scots against the British Empire way back in the 1700s and later found its way to America, interpreted as the two-tone Buffalo Shirt (red and black checks) in the pre-Civil War era. The grunge scene of the 90s is when it really exploded on the global pop culture scene and when the fashion world realised there’s nothing plain about plaid.
As one half of this year’s Sun Met’s best dressed couple, Anesu Chogugudza’s style game is always on point. We chat to the model and influencer about what makes his inner fashionista tick. He also takes us through some of his favourite looks of the moment, which he styled himself, obviously.
- Who or what inspires your fashion choices?
I’m inspired by the season which we’re in and also the current trends but with special attention to remaining true to my distinct style. I would be lying to if I said that only a few people inspire me when it comes to fashion because everyone inspires me, I pay special attention to the creativity of everyone in their respective styles and I learn from them.
- When you get ready in the mornings what’s the first thing you think when you open your wardrobe?
I definitely think about what look I’ll be pulling off today. I style my daily looks based on how I feel on the day and most of the days I feel like the fresh prince. I’m also very passionate about a touch of vintage, which I try and incorporate into my daily looks.
- Favourite trends of the moment?
At the moment I’m loving how everyone is dressing in a really laid back and minimalistic way because it’s summer. I also love playing around with prints, which is my favorite trend right now.
Here’s how Anesu is wearing Relay Jeans denim right now:
This look is what I’d wear when I can’t decide whether to dress formal/causal so a hint of everything is in the look. The finishing touch is navy suede ankle boots, which are really stylish all year round.
Denim on denim with rough textures is a classic look, like my Rip ‘n Repair jeans from Relay Jeans. It’s great for a day out running errands in town and it’s definitely timeless.
This is my favorite look; “Fresh Prince” 90’s-inspired styling that showcases hints of vintage with the patched-jeans, which I love so much.
This is another laid back denim-on-denim look broken with a white t-shirt. It’s perfect for a night out with the guys.
Follow Anesu: @aneyx_ on Instagram and @aneyx_anesu on Twitter.
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