THE FIRST ISSUE
INSANE CULT SICCKM8 YUZHE STUDIO ALVSSA
This is Chain
In Conversation with Junior Choi
Featured Fit Picture
Fashion & Music
Fashion Talks with @alvssa_
Liverpool & Fashion
SHOT BY CEDAR STONE
Firstly, to the team that made this happen
Additional thanks to
Thank you to everybody who bought a
And finally, thank you to @slydeofficial
For bringing together a group of young
creatives that made this happen. Without
you, none of this would have been possible.
Enjoy the magazine.
Photograph: Yuzhe Studios
WRITTEN BY OK
A creative hub expl
An underground un
trends and anti-tren
We pop up as the se
S/S and A/W.
Don’t come looking
We aren’t your aver
Or a fluff piece frill
We are loud, young
and not a lot of tim
So listen up.
Step aside from the
rolled up in your fis
You go wherever we
And we go alone, to
ECHUKWU ATUANYA (@PVPIAS_V)
oring the fast-paced fashion environment we live in.
derdog digging up fresh finds surrounding;
for us though.
age hype beast info go-to.
and are bursting onto the scene with a lot to say
e to say it.
crowd and bounce to your own tune, with a CHAIN magazine
WITH JUNIOR CHOI
Interview: DYLAN O’CONNOR
Choi - Leggo.
Dylan O’Connor - You ready?
DO: Okay cool. I always start the interview like this. For
the people that may not know you, who are you and
what do you do?
Junior Choi, Born and raised London, UK.
DO: Okay, so how did you get into the world of fashion,
who introduced you to this culture?
Probably my city, it was always interesting experiencing
different atmospheres and cultures around the city it
allowed me to mix and match how I’d dress for the day
depending on where I’m headed.
DO: So what made you decide you wanted to be a model?
Choi - I was approached a few times by random people/a
few friends asking if I was or telling me that I should get
into it, I got scouted one day at work a couple years ago
and now we here.
DO: Were you sceptical at first when you were scouted
or did you feel comfortable?
Choi - I done my research and felt comfortable.
DO: Who inspires you to do what you do whether it’s
rapping, modelling etc.?
I don’t really have any inspirations. I just like the idea
of doing whatever I wanna do and appreciate every box
DO: You said that growing up in London city introduced
you to the world of fashion, what did you wear when
you were younger or was dressing something you didn’t
care about back then?
I was slapped in Gap jumpers and dungarees as a kid
hahaha. Been cosy ever since.
DO: So now that we know you were interested in clothes
from a young age, when did you know modelling wasn’t
just a hobby and you could actually have a career in this
Last year I realised it’s more than just shoots and runways.
It’s the experiences in different countries with people
I’ve just met, communication skills and opportunities
everywhere I turn. That’s when it turned into something
I could see myself doing full time.
DO: So this isn’t just to “pass the time” or “have fun for
a while”, you can actually see yourself sticking to this?
It’s what I’m fucking with for the moment. As soon as
I’m bored of it we’re moving onto the next.
DO: How did you feel modelling for Dsquared? That’s
Pretty cool, it’s a brand a lot of my guys wear back at
home so it was a good feeling walking for them. My
look was crazy too. [The twins know how to put on a
DO: So what’s been the highlight in your career then?
Walking for Givenchy and shooting Ports campaign in
Morocco. Both experiences were completely different
but crazy to take in.
DO: What was going through your head during when
you were walking for Givenchy?
Damn, this is an actual show hahaha.
DO: Okay. Rapid fire.
DO: Favourite artist?
DO: Favourite designer and why?
Represent, I’ve been fucking with them for 5 years plus,
they’re brothers to me now and everything they drop
rings cosy in my ears.
DO: Controversial...feelings about hypebeasts?
They’re doing them. It’s cool how it’s kind of a culture
now but if they’re getting their money then props to
DO: Okay, that’s the rapid-fire out the way.
So this question is actually from someone who works
at Slyde. They want to know how you feel about
androgynous fashion since you’ve been seen wearing
Statements, I love the way Rick can express his mind in
his clothing and that to me is a statement. We’ve seen
many different types of races, cultures and body types
thanks to people like Kanye West with his latest YEEZY
SEASON campaign but of course, the whole industry
isn’t like that.
DO: Have you ever faced any racial issues in the modelling industry or have you felt the need to conform to get a
The only racial issue I had with shows was the amount of POC [people of colour] used in shows It was way too
small but it’s increasing and I guess that’s a start. Better to focus on the progression. I never had to conform.
DO: Great to hear, where do you see yourself in the next few years? What do you want to achieve?
Chilling even more than I am already, mum comfortable, my little brother doing what he loves to do and myself
sitting chilling with multiple incomes.
DO: So you just said you have a little brother, what would you say to people his age or double your age who are
going to read this and want to get involved in the culture?
Choi - Stop thinking about doing it and start doing it.
DO: Well, we’ll leave it there but thanks for having a chat with us and the best of luck with all your endeavours.
Choi - Thank you!
Junior Choi for Valentino
Photograph - Melody Funck
IN THIS PHOTO FFA STUDIO GOOD/EVIL T-SHIRT
See more of 087mph’s
work on his Instagram
Interview: DAVIDSON MEDE
Jonny was the winner of our competition to be featured in the magazine. Look out on our Instagram for more
competitions for future magazines!
Davidson: How do would you say you dress, and what
do you think are the most popular trends right now?
Jonny Alonzo: The most popular trends right now are
definitely from like mid 90’s to early 2000’s. Like the
track pants and the bondage bombers and everything
like that, that’s all 90’s. But I definitely think I dress like
Davidson: If there was one thing you could change about
fashion right now in terms of what people are wearing,
what would you change?
JA: Vans Old Skools bro. Ahaha. Seriously, black
and white vans old skools. Like it sucks because It’s such
a classic shoe and like how could it go but basically
people just throw off their whole fit by wearing that
shoe but besides that probably... honestly I’m not too
displeased at the moment about where we are in fashion.
Honestly bro I think the camo trend needs to die. Yeah
probably that. Just camo.
DM: If I gave you 10,000 dollars to buy from one designer,
what brand are you buying from and why?
JA: My f***ing brand...Prada. Prada till I die dude. But
realistically if I wasn’t representing the company, um,
who have I been obsessed with these days? Honestly, I
f***ing love Issey Miyake or Martin Rose but yeah if I
had 10,000 dollars I’d probably buy 10 sweatshirts from
DM: And the reason is...?
JA: I don’t know. They just have a f***ing beautiful cut
and I don’t know if you’ve ever felt one but the silk blend
that they use in that s**t is just so soft that you can wear
any season. So, yeah I’d probably buy a bunch of s**t
from like Haider because I love the tones that they’re
still using. They create some of the most beautiful
colours I’ve ever seen.
DM: What brand do you have the most of in your closet
JA: The brand you’ll mostly find in my closet is Prada
because I work for them and I love the s**t that they
make. With me and my co-workers, it’s literally just like
who f***ing picks up the cosiest shit whenever we get
shipments in hahaha. You know every week like we all
stand together when we open boxes and like literally it’s
like first come, first serve and like my co-workers have
found some dope s**t. I’ve found some dope s**t. I’ve
really gotten some steals and stuff because a crazy a**
item will come discounted and we’re just shook but yeah. Um, definitely Prada is what you’ll find the most in my
DM: So, you said you work at Prada. How did you end up getting that job and how did that end up influencing your
JA: Um, honestly I went into the store at the right time. I took in an application and they never got back to me. A
couple of months later and I walked in and the manager was stood at the front desk, who was never at the front
desk. I introduced myself and I don’t know what it was, he saw something in me and he set us up for coffee the
next day and we did an interview. After that, he set me up for four more interviews. I had five interviews in total
technically, it took me about 2 months to get hired.
DM: Jheeze. It was probably worth it when you did get hired though.
JA: I mean, they heard that someone from Gucci was trying to recruit me. As a company, I love just everything that
Prada reflects upon dude. The lockup procedures felt truly like their best values in my opinion.
DM: Has working there changed your sense of fashion?
JA: So, definitely it’s made me a little more conservative with my fashion because I love high-end streetwear, like
when people mix streetwear/skatewear with high fashion. I think it’s the best of both worlds, I feel like everything
I buy from the store, no matter how classic it looks, I can always add like something from the streetwear end. It’s
definitely made me more conservative, though.
DM: What aspirations do you have
in fashion? Where do you want to go
JA: So, for the time being, I wanna
keep working at Prada as a company.
As it goes personally, I wanna have
my own boutique, my own business.
A lifestyle store, actually.
DM: What would be available at
your boutique that would differ to
JA: I would love to combine a threestory
building. The first floor would
be a bar/restaurant, the second floor
a lifestyle store where you could
shop around and s**t. The third
floor would be like home s**t, like
interior decorations. I just think
that the world needs something
like that, your own f***ing mall in
one little building. I wanna have it
so that everyone can shop there, no
matter what the budget.
DM: What is different about your
kind of fashion and your outlook on
it that might give you an advantage
over others that are trying to come
up into the same thing as you?
JA: (laughs) I don’t judge people. I
look at everybody the same and I
think companies focus on certain
groups. I hate how in fashion some
people can look down on others.
DM: I look down on hypebeasts,
so… anyways, another question,
pretty basic. How did you get into
JA: Truly, I was an only child and I
grew up in a really small town. I
wore colours and s**t, and in
middle school, I wore like a full
purple outfit. I liked standing out.
Everybody looked the same and
wore the same s**t. Everyone was
getting hyped about Nike socks
and shit whilst I was getting hyped
about the next Supreme drop (when
Supreme was cool)! I dunno, it was
like my own little world. I knew
nobody else in my town dressed the
same, and now I’m meeting other
people in my own little world, like
you. Instagram helps a lot.
DM: Yeah dude. Where I’m from I’m
the only f***ing dude doing what I’m
doing. In my town, I mean, not New
York as a whole obviously.
JA: That’s what I mean, that’s why
I love living out here. I’m meeting
people with the same interests as
DM: Alright, just one more question,
do you see yourself doing something
extravagant as a result of the
magazine? In terms of career, in any
type of way?
JA: Yeah, I definitely think I could
use this to my advantage because
like whenever I look at the magazine
I’m honestly impressed. I know it’s
in the right hands and will go the
right way. I mean, if it does that’d
really f***ing cool to be in the first
DM: For sure. Okay that’s all. It’s
been a pleasure speaking to you!
JA: Nice speaking to you too. Thank
you, bro. Peace.
Best Outfit -
HA MY NGUYEN
Follow her on Instagram @hamywho
MOM’S SWEATER COLLECTION
BRINGING YOUR HOME
Interview: DAVIDSON MEDE
Photograph: JOSH SOBEL
DAVIDSON MEDE: Where did your sense of style come
BLUE HAMEL: My sense of style has definitely changed
and evolved over the years but it all started with my
parents. My parents both work in the fashion and hair
industry so at a young age I was always exposed to
going fashion shows, events and editorial shoots. So I
was always been around fashion which has definitely
impacted my style for sure. Having this background
has allowed me to get aware of fashion allowing me to
develop my sense of style.
DM: How did you get into fashion?
BH: Firstly, it was from my parents as I mentioned above
but after getting introduced to fashion I started to more
heavily involve myself with buying more and more.
Then being interested in styling and photography, this
made me become more and more into fashion.
DM: What kind of art besides fashion resonates with
you the most?
BH: Mostly Film, Photography, Digital Art and Design.
Firstly I love film because this is where I think fashion
really is heavily influenced by. Also, films captivate the
audience and set an environment/world where you feel
the link between the story being
told and something in your life. Digital forms are
something that I love too, its visual effect and the link
between video techniques with fashion is something
I’m really trying to push right now. As well as this,
with being a photographer, I find that fashion and
photography go hand-in-hand. Especially with some
of my favourite designers such as Raf Simons.
DM: What time period would you say your fashion
comes from the most?
BH: To me, I think fashion is a never-ending cycle.
What I mean by this is that things come and go in
fashion but the styles are always recycling from the
past. The only thing changing is the techniques and
how technology is impacting fashion.
But personally, my style isn’t just linked to a specific
time period but I definitely have elements in my style
that resonate with time periods. Time periods that I
love and have always been part of are the 50s, 60s and
90s/ early 2000.
DM: What kind of work do you do?
BH: Firstly, I work as a Junior Art Director here in New
York working for a creative agency called Annex 88.
I moved out here from New Zealand about 3 Months
ago to work for Annex. At Annex88, I work with clients
such as Adidas Originals and Y3. This has
This has definitely been a life-changing experience
so far. Being in art direction is something that really
ignites the creative edge, as it is the unifying of the
overall vision that truly creates something special.
Also, I do creative direction for my personal work as
‘Halfofnothing’. @Halfofnothing is directed towards
fashion/hype streetwear where I create, write, produce,
edit, film, photograph, and style my own content. Here
I have been very fortunate to have been able to work
with some incredible brands and companies from all
over the world. My two main clients are Adidas and
Art Direction and Styling is another element within
my personal work. I work on projects like music videos
and styles shoots/editorials as well.
Lastly, my main project I’ve been working on is a
product that I have that should be releasing later this
year. This is something that I’m really excited to put
to the market and see what people think. More info
coming soon on my Instagram.
DM: Does your work affect the way you dress?
BH: At work, it’s definitely a chilled workspace and we
are allowed to wear what we want but everyone still
definitely flexes a lot for sure. Also definitely working
with clients like Adidas allows you to always be
around the streetwear culture.
DM: If you couldn’t work in the field of fashion what
kind of work would you do?
BH: I actually studied at Business School majoring
in Advertising & Marketing, so before working here
in New York I was working for an Advertising firm
called Ogilvy & Mather back in New Zealand. So there
our clients were more mainstream like every large Ad
firm but I still enjoy working in this environment. But
being able to work for a creative advertising firm now
and working with some of my favourite brands and
companies is the best thing in the world. It makes work
not feel like work anymore. Combining advertising and
fashion together, it’s just perfect, having two things I
love come together.
DM: Be honest, do other people influence the way you
BH: Not necessarily, but I definitely think people can
take elements and can get inspiration. But for me,
I don’t think you can just follow exactly what other
people wear or then you just become one a copy of that
person. Fashion is all about interpretation and freedom,
having your own sense of style is very important.
Personally, I think peoples style really represents
DM: Does having a lot of followers on Instagram effect the way you interact with people? Example: Treating your
time more preciously?
BH: No definitely not at all. My Instagram is just something I enjoy doing, but people mean a lot more to me at
the end of the day. Interactions with people are worth way more than social media. I love connecting with everyone
and learning about their lives. It’s insane here in New York, the amount of amazing and insane people you
meet every day just walking around… its insane. I love collaboration as well, so I always love to connect with
more and more people that I could work with. That’s really all I use Instagram for nowadays, to connect and
So if you ever see me or ever want to connect, just hit me up!
DM: What’s a big goal of yours to accomplish?
BH: The biggest goal of mine is, as being Creative Director, I would like to impact every country that’s on my
list to work in. Then with my company, I would to just like have a positive impact on people and also change the
world and the world of advertising. I don’t just want to have an impact on my city, I want to have an impact on
the world. Also, I’ve always had a goal/working on something to start new Social Network because the industry
definitely needs a changeup. Also, Mr Zuckerberg needs a competitor, haha!
a photography showcase
I’m Ken Trijo, a 16-year-old photographer based in Perth, Western
I began photography in early 2017 after buying my first camera
out of pure fascination, sparking a long journey. In the beginning,
I didn’t really think much of what I was shooting. I’d just carry
my camera around wherever I went, capturing anything that
caught my attention. It could be the pattern of the frames in the
skylight or the way the golden hour changed the way the sky
looked. That changed when I became interested in fashion. My
interest in photography and fashion slowly merged. I became
drawn and inspired by editorials from magazines like Vogue or
Harper’s Bazaar which I only recently started becoming influenced
by. Instagram also helps me stay inspired since the platform hosts
so many of other photographer’s work such as Petra Collins and
Rosie Matheson. My work and style are still developing and in its
early exploration stages, however, I do hope to find a career with
See more of Ken’s work on his Instagram @kentrijo
Written by DAVIDSON MEDE
When people talk about fashion in music, they often reference it very sparingly and only for highlight
moments or people. In reality, fashion plays a big part in how you perceive the music artist in
addition to their hairstyle and overall look.
Who remembers when Lil Wayne was wearing tons
of Bape head to toe? It was cool! For that community
to see a superstar wear something that they liked gave
them a familiarity to the celebrity, and people enjoy
that the same goes for today. Not even so much to see
how well they dress but if you see your favourite rapper
in a brand you like wearing, I think it’s fair to say that
you’d enjoy seeing that little insight into their character.
Let’s escape from just the “Wear Gucci and flex” fashion
in music and talk about those who can actually dress
well and even create their own brands; take the likes of
Kanye West, Tyler, the Creator and Pharrell Williams
for instance. This crossover from one art form to
another keeps their stardom at peak levels because now,
not only do the fashion and music
communities look at their art, but they also look at it
Imagine this. You are going to a live show and you’re
ready to see your favourite artist. They come out dressed
like a cowboy, in big heavy boots, a giant belt buckle
and a cowboy hat. You would at least take a step back
to at least question the oddity of it, wouldn’t you? They
establish their “look”, and this defines them as an artist
and makes them more recognisable. An example of this
was the late XXXTentacion. He was widely recognised
for his hair; two different colours that were easily related
to him. The way he was recognised for this is the same
as how other musical artists are for their individual
What have we been listening
Octavian, Mura Masa - Move Me
PERCS | PERCZ - Denzel Curry
Tyler The Creator, A$AP Rocky - Potato Salad
we came frxm the DIRT - Scarlxrd
Drake - Sandra’s Rose
WHOHASIT - Nessly, Ski Mask
The Slump God
Tennis - In The Morning I’ll Be Better
Old Money - Playboi Carti
Jessie Reyez - Apple Juice
Wasted - Juice WRLD, Lil Uzi Vert
6ix9ine, Nicki Minaj - FEFE
There You Go - Dana Williams
Interview DYLAN O’CONNOR
shiny black sports jacket, short sleeve red tartan shirt,black printed tee
Shiny Red Sports Jacket, black printed
tee and twisted jeans with hand painting
YUZHE STUDIOS was created by Alex Lee and Yuzhe Sun. Alex controls the business aspect of the independent
fashion brand while Yuzhe designs the garments that are created.
DYLAN O’CONNOR: What is Yuzhe Studios for the people that don’t know?
ALEX LEE: We are a young independent studio based between London and Shanghai. The studio emerged from
the concept of creating genderless streetwear collection with high quality and we like to incorporate handmade
details, such as hand stitching or hand painting, giving every garment a unique finish.
YUZHE SUN: Also we produce the collection in Shanghai, China - this is important to us because we want to part
of the movement to show that ‘made in China’ can be of high quality.
DO: How did you come up with the name ‘Yuzhe Studios‘?
YS: Yuzhe is my first name. We wanted “studios” in the name as we are a working studio that works with individuals
and brands in a creative manner, but they may not necessarily be in the fashion industry. For example, we have
designed and created embroideries for artists for their exhibitions.
AL: We also love seeing the different ways people pronounce, “Yuzhe”!
DO: Who was your biggest fashion inspiration growing up?
AL: Growing up fashion inspiration came from music; music played and still plays an important part in my life.
The music I listen to would range from Arctic Monkeys to The Smiths to Electric Light Orchestra.
DO: Do you think that where you grew up affected your choice of clothing?
AL: I grew up in a small town in the UK. It definitely affects the way I see clothes because growing up in a suburban
area, so far away from fashion in the normal sense, it made me see fashion in a different light to people growing
up in big cities and traditional fashion area.
YS: I grew up in Qingdao and Shanghai, in China. It was the 90s, so it was when China was just opening up to the
world. This unqiue generation of seeing the old China changing into the new China, this has huge influence on
how I see clothes and it’s meaning.
DO: What can we expect to see in the coming year for Yuzhe Studios?
AL: We are planning to find more buyers that would be suitable for our brand.
YS: We are also hoping to work with more artists and influencers to allow more people to know about us.
DO: What is the story and meaning behind the “TEST” Bomber Jackets?
AL: The word ‘TEST’ comes from our unofficial logo - the Surveillance Resolution Focus Charts (you can find this
image at the bottom of our homepage). We like to deconstruct and incorporate this chart as an underlying theme
that connects all our collections.
DO: What do you think Yuzhe Studios brings to the world of fashion?
AL: We hope our studio can bring high quality and handcraft techniques to the streetwear fashion scene.
YS: Also what we mentioned above about improving the image of ‘Made in China’.
We just had a strong
idea of what we wanted
to create and thought
DO: Do you think the industry is diluted
with too many brands?
shiny black sports jacket, short sleeve red tartan shirt,
black printed tee, twisted jeans with hand painting
YS: No, I do not think so. As long as the
brand as their unique view and story then
I think it’s ok.
DO: If you could collaborate with one
designer, who would it be and what would
you create together?
AL: Not a designer as such, but Muji is
a brand we would love to work with. I
think combining their minimalism and
functionality with our unique prints
and embroidery patterns should be very
interesting. We would love to create
stationery and furniture with Muji.
DO: What do you hope to achieve with this
YS: We do not have a grand plan, simply,
we hope to find and connect with people
that like our style and appreciate the ideas
we stand for.
DO: Would you ever design anything other than clothing and accessories?
DO: What made you want to go into the
world of fashion?
YS: It was always my aim to go into the
fashion or art world.AL: I use to study
economics and business, but during
an exchange year I took some fashion
management courses in Hong Kong. I
enjoyed it and decided to study further.
AL: Maybe. We would like to do stationary and furniture, as discussed the collaboration with Muji.
DO: What made you realise fashion wasn’t just a hobby and it could be a job?
YS: Not sure really, I have been studying and working in arts and fashion all my life; it just seems normal that
fashion would be part of working life.
DO: What made you want to start a clothing brand?
YS: We just had a strong idea of what we wanted to create and thought “why not?”
DO: Why is it so important that you promote gender fluidity within your brand?
YS: I think this is the way we both dress, so it seems natural the gender fluid should be a key part of our collection.
AL: We also think the future, people will think and act according to their personality, experiences and culture;
rather than by their gender.
DO: Why do you think people see the label ‘made in China’ as a bad thing and why are you trying to change
people’s mindset about the stigma around it?
AL: I think it is partly due to the media’s portrayal and partly because China produces so many products for the
West - so inevitably there will be low-quality products. However, there should be more understanding that China
has actually got a highly skilled workforce, and not just in fashion.
This interview took place back in March.
We reached out again to ask a few more questions and see if any of their ideas for the brand were coming
true. Here’s what they had to say.
DO: Have you got anything new coming up?
AL & YS: We are actually in Paris now for Paris Men’s Fashion Week, we use to go to the Women’s week only, but
we thought we would expand and put more emphasis on the Men’s market as we had very favourable reactions
DO: What’s been a struggle and what’s been a blessing of not being based in Europe since that’s seen as the
fashion capital of the world?
AL & YS: Well, we are a hybrid between Shanghai and London depending on the time of the year (the design
process takes place in London and the production takes place in Shanghai). But one of the struggles is attending the
fashion shows, being in Shanghai is convenient for Tokyo and Shanghai fashion week, but a hassle when attending
Paris. A blessing and one of the reasons for being partially based in Shanghai is the number of skilled seamstresses,
amount of fabric on offer, being directly being able to find and discuss with the factories for production.
DO: Has it been easy to stick to your roots or have you found the brand conforming into modern day hype? How
have you stayed true to yourself?
AL & YS: We think it has not been easy at all, because the demand of the market is to conform to all the other
brands which we find boring. But we cannot ignore the market and buyer demands too. So we would like to think
we have found a happy medium. An important part of our brand since the beginning is to keep the quality of the
products to a high ready to wear level, and this is one point we will not be changing ever.
DO: What would you say to the young people out there that are going to read this? Young people that have an
interest in fashion?
AL & YS: I would say if you want to get in fashion then you have to be prepared to work very hard and expect a lot
of disappointments, but the rewards and satisfaction at the end are well worth it.
Look out for Yuzhe Studio’s SS19 collection, coming soon
laminated tartan coat, long
sleeve red tartan shirt, blue
printed tee, laminated red
tartan mixed shorts
WDID2 WHATS DONE IS DONE.
Written by DAVIDSON MEDE
The Escaping Normality podcast
is a show where you can explore
fashion and its endless ability to be a
powerful art form. Fashion as an art
form is bigger than just ‘look at how
well he dresses’ or ‘she knows how
to put an outfit together’ but how it
applies itself in different art forms
and even how perceiving different
fashion trends reflect on society.
Let’s give an example, you’re at a
music event for heavy metal and the
lead singer or guitarist is wearing
clothes typically worn by a country
star you know: flannel, cowboy
boots, big cowboy hat and giant belt
buckle. It would be a little jarring to
see that, to say the least, not to say
music needs to have a specific look
but it would be an oddity. Now, in
episode 4 of Escaping Normality I
talk about an article I read entitled
“Are Cowboys the Ultimate Style
Gods?” this article talks about
a certain shift in fashion where
now dressing in wide-cut jeans,
double denim and fringed jackets,
displayed in Raf Simons’ Calvin
Klein collection, is okay now even
though generally in fashion did
not dress in such a way. These two
examples take fashion in different
avenues that generally are not
explored. My show explores fashion
with a cultural influence and it’s
application to those not only in it
but trying to get into it as opposed
to just an art form.
You can find the latest episode of the ‘Escaping Normality’ Podcast on YouTube.
Davidson wearing: Coveralls Supreme x Akira - $228, Bag Supreme - $68, T-shirt Iron Man - $20, Shoes Adidas Yung 1 - $130
Davidson wearing: Jumper MaybeTodayNYC - $60, Bag Thrifed, Pants Forever21 - $40, Shoes Jordan 1 - $160
Interview DYLAN O’CONNOR
Edited OLLIE BIELBY-SMITH
T-shirt Gosha Rubchinskiy £60
or the people who may not know you, who are you
and what do you do?
Hey, I am sicckm8, I am a fashion and thrift
YouTuber. I’ve been making videos on streetwear
fashion since 2015.
DYLAN O’CONNOR: What made you want to start
SICCKM8: I always need a project on the go and
I’ve done a few similar projects before, I’ve been in front of a camera for
as long as I can remember so YouTube was a natural progression for me.
DO: What made you want to work with Slyde and CHAIN?
I’ve heard good things about Slyde and it seems like there is a really cool
team behind it and it has a strong community within it.
DO: Do you think that you can separate the music industry for the fashion
industry or do you think they will always overlap?
I think that there has always been some sort of overlap when it comes to
music and fashion but right now it is more prevalent than ever. Streetwear
cultures most recognisable influencers are Rappers like A$AP Rocky,
Tyler the Creator, Kanye etc. the list goes on. I think in general, fashion
often finds its inspiration from current cultures/sub-cultures whatever
you want to call them but current music is definitely the fashion industry’s
DO: What got you into fashion and how old were you?
S: From a young age, I have always been interested in fashion to some
extent. However, it wasn’t until I was in my Twenties that I fully appreciated
the full scope of Streetwear Culture.
I just finished University and wanted to get some work experience in
something relevant so I managed to get an internship at a Fashion PR
company, by this point I didn’t know much about the culture, I had no
idea what Supreme or Palace was (which was funny cos Blondey used to
come into the showroom and I had no idea who he was, I look back and
think how mad that is) Champion brand was still dormant, Ellesse was
the top brand and Vans were considered alternative. Here I learnt a lot, I
saw a lot of people and my interest in streetwear flourished. It wasn’t until
I went to Crepe City 2015 that I actually took it all in for the first time.
I was already interested in Sneakers but this was something else. Just in
the queues, I saw people dripped in Supreme, Palace, Bape and Basement
Merch. It was all newly familiar by this point but seeing it first hand, the
jawnz, the flex, the whole “if you know you know” exclusivity made me
want to be a part of it even more so I started from there.
DO: How were you introduced to vintage items?
S: To be honest, I didn’t enter a Charity shop til much later, we’re talking
like 2015. My sister came come one day with this sick Puma sweater and
I wanted to know where she got it from. The answer changed everything
“Charity Shop in Hertfordshire, £2.50” imagine, living your entire life
buying £15 Topman T-Shirts and thinking spending
£200 on clothes that the second you walk out the store
become inherently un-resellable was optional. From
then I scouted every charity shop I came across and
it also doubled as a way to keep my wardrobe fresh
without breaking the bank.
DO: Did you care about how you dressed when you
were younger or did you just wear what was picked out
S: I always dressed myself as a child, it was a disaster, I
always tried to dress differently as I had (probably still
have) an affinity to want to stand out.
DO: Do you see yourself owning a fashion brand later on
down the line? Maybe a vintage store?
S: I would love to do both, it’s in my life plan for sure.
DO: What do you think is the best way for someone to
get into the fashion culture?
S: The best way I would say is to follow fashion
Instagram pages like @liljupiterr, @fashionfuckery etc.
also to have a few fashion news outlets to check up on
like HYPEBEAST and HighSnobiet. If you really want
dive into the culture, join Facebook Groups like The
Basement and Wavey Garms and just go from there
really. I find its a natural progression.
DO: If you could give three adjectives to describe your
style, what would they be?
S: Eccentric, nostalgic, megalomaniac.
DO: What inspires your personal style? (Is influenced by
your surroundings, music, etc.)
S: My personal style kind of takes on a life of its own,
I find myself tweaking my style every 3-6 weeks, for
example, if you see my early videos its all streetwear,
then it was vintage sportswear, then 1990s and now
its more 2000s inspired. I get my inspiration from a
number of places; Instagram pages, out on the streets
and music, but mostly its just that I have an aesthetic
stuck in my head.
Opinions on hypebeasts?
Hypebeasts are always going to be a thing. If you boil
it down, hypebeasts exist in all subcultures anyway its
just another word for following popular trends in my
opinion. I always say that everyone should be able to
dress how they want.
DO: You once said you were more into the hypebeast
movement when you first started YouTube, did you
necessarily go down that path because you thought it
was the way to success on YouTube or did you genuinely
like the hypebeast clothing?
S: I started off in the hypebeast movement because it
was all I knew, my very first exposure to fashion was
hypebeasts. Crepe City it was all about Supreme, Palace
and Bape. I genuinely got caught up in the hype, I really
wanted to wear Supreme just for the logo but that didn’t
last long. All my videos were/are genuine in a sense
that I 100% believe in what I am saying. Saying that
though, I think all YouTubers pander a little to current
popular trends but there’s nothing wrong with that as
long as you’re honest with yourself and your audience.
When I learned more about the scope of fashion as a
whole I still appreciated the hypebeast movement but
eventually accepted that I would never be truly apart of
it. I found myself being more drawn to other areas of
fashion such as vintage and high fashion and learning
about designers and the actual messages and meanings
brands put out there.
DO: Did the area you grew up in effect the way you
S: It did to start off with, I think all small town areas
have some kind of fashion scene. Here it’s about Nike
TNs, North Face Jackets, Nike Huaraches and man bags.
DO: Thoughts on Virgil’s first ever show at Louis Vuitton
as the Men’s artistic director? Do you think he will
influence other high-end fashion brands to conform to
S: This is a bigger deal than people realise in my opinion.
Virgil is essentially implementing and normalising
streetwear fashion into the main vein of the fashion
industry and even now we are seeing big brands
interpreting streetwear, for example, Burberry x Gosha
and Louis Vuitton x Supreme. More will come, too.
DO: For the young people who can’t get a full-time job,
in your opinion, what is the best way to make money in
the fashion world?
S: Thrift, trust me there’s more than enough to go
around, its the easiest ‘business’ to set up and you don’t
need much to get started, just a few items and a Depop
T-shirt Thrifted, Jewellery His Own
DO: What would you say to the people reading this now who want to get into the fashion world?
S: It’s a whole different world man, like for real its mad how this whole culture exists right under your nose.
DO: What can people expect to see from you next?
I am going on a mad one trust me,
I’ve got big plans for 2018.
Visit sicckm8’s YouTube channel youtube.com/user/adamhackerhart
Follow him on Instagram - @sicckm8
T-Shirt Off-Whtie x Champion, Jeans Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes Nike Air Max 96
Interview ALISHA FRANCIS
Photography KEN TRIJO
ALISHA FRANCIS: Who are you and where are you based?
ALYSSA LEE: My name is Alyssa. I’m based in Perth,
Western Australia, which no one really thinks about!
AF: What do you do?
AL: Hmm. I’d say ––– I still don’t know what to call
myself, like Instagram Influencer? Style influencer? I just
post pictures of outfits that I wear and some people like
it I guess, and I think it inspires people. I don’t know, but
I want to further it into a career and work in fashion, but
we’ll get there.
AF: How would you describe your style?
AL: It can change literally on what mood I’m in. So one
day I’ll be like a 12-year-old boy, and the next day I could
be in a full grandpa outfit [laughter]. It really depends
on how I’m feeling, but I love oversized fits, and colours.
AF: Who influenced your style?
AL: In the beginning, way before I started Instagram, it
was always celebrities.
Celebrities like Rihanna (obviously), I love what Bella
Hadid wears as well and Alexa Chung. So before I would
just look through magazines and be influenced by their
styles, but then when social media became a thing, I
began looking at Instagram for style tips.
AF: Have you always been interested in fashion? Did it
peak over time?
AL: I’ve always been interested in it, but when you’re in
school it’s really hard to go and wear what you want since
you’re always in uniform. So when I got out of school, I
definitely got more interested in fashion because I was
able to choose what I wore every day. So yeah that’s where
my interest peaked.
AF: What are your favourite brands?
AL: Well, I really like high-end brands. I just wish I could afford it. But I love Raf Simons and like how he does
oversized fits and Gucci... Gucci is so sick! Like their latest editorial with Harry Styles? Wow. I just wish I could
AF: What do you think of the pros and cons of living in Australia when it comes to fashion?
AL: I don’t think Australia, in general, isn’t bad, but Perth? It’s just so behind! Just ‘cos like I think people are too
afraid to wear what they want and people here are so judgemental! I’ll go out into the street and have everyone
look at me being like “What are you wearing?”. It can break down your confidence just a bit, but if you go over east,
no one looks at you since everyone does it. So I think Australia as a whole isn’t bad, but it’s just Perth...probably
Adelaide as well (laughter) but I’ve never been there, I’m just guessing.
AF: Why did you turn to Instagram as a platform to express yourself?
AL: I think it’s just really easy. As for any creative. You can just post what you want and others who like similar stuff
will find you. I think it’s just easy and the community is so nice!
AF: How has your style evolved over the past few years? And would you want to try new styles in the future or
AL: I think I’ve just become more confident in what I want to wear. Because before I used to be so scared to wear
what I wanted, but recently, I’ve been more confident and a lot better with that. And–––I don’t know if I’d change
it. Probably not. I think I’ve finally found my personal style. In the future, though I hope I can just start to afford
nicer, higher quality things. Like a lot of the things I have now are nice, but they just break down quicker since it’s
cheaper. Hopefully, I can just start to afford more luxury things in the future, so we’ll see.
AF: What advice would you give to aspiring influencers?
AL: It’s really hard. I just want to say like “Wear what you want!” but I know it’s not that easy because it wasn’t that
easy for me. But that’s all there is to it! You just have to do it, and not care what anyone thinks. Then, in the end,
you will feel better because finally, you can wear what you want to wear.
Follow Alyssa on Instagram - @alvssa_
LIVERPOOL AND FASHION
Written by JOE ROONEY, OLLIE BIELBY
Photograhy: KIMS MIHAILOVS, OLLIE BIELBY
Liverpool, a working-class city with
a less than admirable reputation.
It was neglected in the 1980s,
deemed unsuitable for substantial
funding and left in the shadows
while it’s metropolitan counterparts
Manchester and London were
regenerated instead. Relying on
two football teams and a band from
nearly 60 years ago to pull through,
Liverpool has often been seen as a
city to shy away from, and for a fair
reason. Always a step behind every
other major British city, Liverpool
was left in the past. But nowadays
it’s catching up fast, the north-west
is no longer a place to stray away
from. And I think it’s something
everyone from Liverpool has come
In the past 10 years, there has been
a substantial change with funding
being pumped into the city, mainly
thanks to Liverpool’s win of the
bid to become Europe’s ‘Capital
of Culture’ in 2008. It had proven
to be a profitable and sustainable
investment with a successful increase
in tourism and a greater attraction
to the city. Bold Street is a melting
pot for a concoction of different
cultures, and has always been a place
of interest in Liverpool, as well as a
place for the youth to hang out. The
Baltic Triangle is rising up the ranks
as one of Liverpool’s top places to
visit. The development of areas such
as the Albert Dock and Liverpool 1
also deserve honourable mentions.
But Liverpool 1 being dominated by
large names and corporations meant
that foundations could be built for
other areas across the city.
The main areas for Liverpool’s
growing alternative scene have to be
the aforementioned Baltic Triangle
Bold Street. The Baltic Triangle,
once considered a dump, has now
been monopolised and turned into
valuable land that independent
businesses have snapped up. It
captured an audience of all ages with
a new wave of mentality, affecting
the fashion scene heavily.
Influence from these alternative
areas encouraged people to dress
‘differently’ and be themselves.
Acceptance of these new styles
allowed the city to become a
centre for change and diversity, a
proud achievement that has to be
recognised. Once known for permed
hair and an accent that would make
Geordies flinch, Liverpool has now
embraced new trends and styles,
overall becoming a much ‘trendier’
city. For the more style-savvy
people in Liverpool, stores such as
Resurrection, The Outsiders Store,
Soho’s and size? have become more
and more popular for experimental
Above a bar in the more alternative
part of Liverpool resides Lost Art,
an interesting store. Created by a
group of skaters, they have released
their own clothing collections as
well as collaborations with Nike SB
and New Balance. To get into Lost
Art, you must buzz in at a door next
to the DJ booth.
The focus for style in Liverpool
primarily lies on Bold Street, where
most of the stores reside. Bold Street
seems to have embraced this new
wave more than anywhere else in
Liverpool, although it is a relatively
small street. It perfectly captures
the ongoing development and
diversity within the city, having the
confidence and financial backing to
make a breakthrough. Liverpool has
become something more than
than a trend in itself.
For such a long time it was acceptable
to wear the latest and most expensive
shoes paired with a pair of jeans and
a branded t-shirt. A lot of people
would even wear a mountaineering
jacket or an Arctic exploration
coat along with these outfits, even
if it’s the middle of July! This was
considered fashionable (and still is,
to some people). The focal point of
fashion is beginning to change, with
so many people experimenting with
different styles that differ from the
Liverpool ‘scally’ norm. Brands such
as Vans and Converse are making a
massive comeback by producing
relatively cheap, but well-designed
shoes that have been a massive hit in
Liverpool. A few years ago wearing
shoes like these would have you
‘different’ or an ‘outsider’, whereas
now they are becoming ‘cool’ and
relatively mainstream again. On
the streets of Liverpool nowadays,
you will notice that a lot more
concentration and effort go into
outfits. Original and well thoughtout
outfits are more prevalent now
in Liverpool than ever before.
Liverpool is redeveloping its own
identity. The ‘scally’ era is dying out.
Brands such as Mountain Equipment
and Berghaus are being replaced by
the likes of Champion and Dickies.
The fashion in Liverpool has become
a lot less price orientated.
Liverpool’s acceptance of vintage
and going to second-hand stores
shows a taste for wanting to be
different. For so long, vintage was
just a nice word for saying something
something is old, and basically, s**t. Instead vintage has
a new meaning. Stores that sell second-hand items are
practically crawling with students and youth at the weekend,
all searching through shelves and boxes for original pieces
they know nobody else will have. The store ‘Cow’ is the
spearhead for this movement and has made vintage more
widely acceptable. With the distressed, beaten and repaired
look becoming popular in both men’s and women’s fashion
Where men’s fashion is concerned, the ‘hypebeast’ style isn’t
seen so much. You will see the odd hypebeast sporting your
typical hyped brands such as Supreme, Palace and Bape
along with a pair of Yeezy Boost 350s (the less said about
that the better). Skinny jeans are seeming to become a thing
of the past, being knocked off their perch and replaced with
baggier, stonewashed jeans. Workwear brands are clearly
another focus due to their quality, durability and formal
style. It’s a smart look with brands such as Carhartt, Stan
Ray, Dickies amd Manastash leading the way. This leaves a
question: Why are brands that create clothes with the intent
for hard-working jobs being worn by a movement that is
typically associated with the other end of the working
spectrum? While this obviously isn’t
exclusive to Liverpool, workwear has made its way into men
and women’s modern fashion, being sold in a lot of shops.
Workwear brands are becoming more and more popular.
Overall, the style of Liverpool’s youth has changed a lot
recently. The fear of being seen as different no longer being
as much of a problem. While the older generation looks
on in horror, the younger continues to grow. The youth
are taking the city of Liverpool in a new direction, with a
reputation for all the right reasons.
Interview DYLAN O’CONNOR
Photography DANAIT DESTA
Shirt Dior, Pants Calvin Klein, Chest Rig ALYX - $630, Tactical Leg Bag INSANE CULT - $165
I’m from Washington DC, this like a smaller NYC style
pops up in everyday life. I’m a fan of Jimi Hendrix,
Eddie Murphy, Nigo, Ye, Pharrell, Robert Morris,
Micheal Jackson and the list goes on. I’m inspired daily
for style, shoot concepts, & design. Pain inspires me,
love inspires me, death inspires me and life inspires
me. My little brothers play a huge role in inspiring me.
I grind for them, I want them to see that they can do
anything and I want to buy them the world. But I must
admit I owe a lot of my style inspiration to my Dad. He
the’ flyest man I know. When I was little I was fascinated
by his closet. He had like 90’s North Faces, Pelle Pelles
and Polos. At least 70 pairs of shoes and 100’s of suits.
He still does. I never told him that though. We’re always
in competition for the best style in the family. I strive
to have a closet like that as I grow. Just different pieces.
I owe it to my grandma also. She had the meanest hat
collection. I’m talking rooms full. At least 1500 hats.
They weren’t no $30 hats either. We talking $500 and
$800 hats. She a real boss. My style and interests comes
from all them.
I started off co-designing, styling for brands, celebrities
and doing editorial styling. That’s how I met Osiris
actually, he saw some of the work I had done for
Vogue and has supported me ever since. He believed
in me before anyone with their foot in the door did.
So from the connections and people I met from doing
those jobs, I branched off and did my own thing and
started INSANE CULT. INSANE CULT is a concept I
had years ago. The meaning of being INSANE, is being
in a state of mind that prevents normal perception,
behavior, or social interaction. The meaning of CULT,
is to have excessive admiration for a particular person
or thing. So the concept idea for the INSANE CULT
brand is that everyone is in a cult of their own. Whether
that is going to college and studying medicine for 10
years or practicing a sport since you were a child to play
professional. Everyone connects the word cult with
something negative when really it is just strict focus on
what you want to do in life. In this case not religion, but
arts. I’m a strong believer of chasing your dreams and
that anything is possible. Ask anyone who knows me.
I’m that “Well who says that you can’t” type of person. I
put my all into fashion just like football players put their
all into their games and just how cult leaders put their
all into what they believe in. It’s about belief in yourself
anything is possible.
Running a streetwear brand is actually fun. It gives
me no limits. Honestly, I can do and make anything I
want. The main difficulties for me were solidifying the
business side of the brand. The lawyer stuff. I am a king
marketer, I can create products such as the [Tactical Leg
Bag] and [Thigh Bag] that breaks the internet. Humbly
speaking, you have never seen that before. I’ve done my
research, you haven’t seen that from no brand. To say I
brought that into fashion, as an 18-year-old streetwear
designer is like mind-blowing to me. God out the
right tools and people in my path to make it though.
He gave me the dream and hasn’t stopped pushing me
to get there. INSANE CULT is different off the jump
because we are what they call a “culture brand.” I talk
to the customers daily, whether it be on IG, via text or
phone calls. I do what’s called “Cult Calls” where I drop
a burner phone number and I just let the people call and
speak to me. I want them to know this is family; if you
support me, you purchase from me, you’re family now
and I’m here to help with life problems and just here to
talk. We all people, we all love, we all hurt, I am here to
feel that with you. I play iPhone games with customers
from my iPod as if they my brothers and sisters and we
just having fun. I have always been into tactical gear, I
was wearing tactical boosts and vest years ago. In fact,
for my first meeting with Vogue when I was 16 I wore a
button up dress shirt with a tactical vest over it and tux
pants. That’s just always been me. My grandfather was
in the navy, and my other grams’ would always watch
military movies with me when I was young. We used to
always watch Black Hawk Down together, little does she
know that movie changed my life. It taught me loyalty
and grit. It also inspired me to be into tactical gear. Plus,
it’s timeless. Tactical gear has been used for years and
will be used for years in the future. A good friend of
mine told me he loves my leg bags because it can be
seen on mailmen, doctors, police, soldiers, and fashion
kids. Anyone can wear it and I love that. The [WWM
365 RUNNERS] is my first shoe ever. My cousin Kris
along with my brother and I always collected shoes. We
had hundreds of sneakers. You mentioned brands not
taking the risk of releasing a shoe, well that’s why I did
it. I’m a risk taker. I had the resources to make a shoe,
why wait? If I wait someone else will do it and instead
of being ahead I am now behind. I can’t let that happen.
T-shirt Hanes - $15, Chest Rig ALYX - $630, Jewellery his own
Crewneck Rag & Bone - $325, Pants INSANE CULT (UNRELEASED), Shoes INSANE CULT - $185
Shorts INSANE CULT - $65, Jewellery his own
Crewneck Raf Simons - $260, Pants Calvin Klein 205W39NYC - $620, Chest Rig ALYX - $630, Jewellery his own
I have always wanted to make a shoe. I use to sketch shoes in middle school during media class. I’m living proof
that you don’t need to hoop to have your own shoe by 18. Chase that dream. I do things because people say I can’t.
Plus, I got bored with other brands of shoes. So I made my own. Collaborating with other brands is important in
my eyes. It helps expand the brand’s consumer. You gain the customers of the brand you collaborated with and
they gain your customers. It’s a win-win. I actually met the owner of Prix through my friend Dylan. He [Dylan]
helps creative direct and style for them. Him & I where just choppin’ it up and I think at the exact same time as
he was showing me the brand he worked for, I was sending him a screenshot of their page saying I want to collab
with them. Off the back, we knew it was going down. He got me plugged with the owner/designer Esther and the
rest is history. When it comes to Alex that’s my hommie. I first met him in NYC with my friend Romy. We ran the
streets, ate, did some shopping and then were cool ever since. A couple weeks after that he moved to LA and I was
travelling there for work and we just linked up out there and we did some shoots and just bounced ideas off each
other and said ‘lets collab and make it happen’. INSANE CULT X H.8.M.N is now a thing. It’s beautiful. I live for
the networks. I live for connecting and building relationships. I love Alex like a brother. He’s super funny, super
creative and super smart. The future of INSANE CULT is in the people’s hands. Of course, I have full control but
without the customer, the brand doesn’t run. In this case, they’re family and you can’t unmake someone family
So we forever, that’s the greatness in it.
Visit the INSANE CULT website https://www.insanecult.com/shop/
Follow the INSANE CULT Instagram - @insane_cult_
“I live for the networks. I live
for connecting and building