Founded in 2018 high-end streetwear label called Area Code hails from Stockholm, Sweden. The brand was born with the aim to facilitate opportunity for people living in developing communities around the globe through selling good quality fashion. The collections are inspired by urban trends, with an inspirational nod to the countries and the communities it is seeking to support via the Area Code Foundation. 15% from the sale of every item in the collection goes to its own charitable foundation. The Area Code mission starts with the building of the school, GOROM 3, in Bambilor, Senegal, progress on which is regularly posted on the brand website and Instagram account.
Each piece is named after a member of the community and comes in limited runs to minimise waste. Due to the limited availability, Area Code has created subscription only access to the website. The ethos behind this is to develop its own community of supporters; followers of the mission behind the brand but also of the unique style of the pieces it creates. After signing up, members are able to view progress on the current project, and to register for updates on new collection drops and news about the Area Code initiatives.
The debut SS21 collection takes its inspiration from the community it is currently supporting. Standout pieces include a multi-stripe kimono, named after 11-year old Moussou Kera Sane from Bambilor, the heavy-cotton piece exudes the spirit of Senegal and comes in various shades of warm orange and earthy browns. A green satin bomber jacket takes its name from 10-year old Gallo Dia, while 12-year old Cheick Niang, who dreams of being a fisherman, is the name behind a heavy-duty cotton gilet, in black, with white and orange reversible African print detail. There is also a selection of socks and canvas accessories.
TheChicGeek says, "It's clever marketing and a way of growing your database by making people sign up before they can even view your website. It's also clever to focus the charitable side on one project, get people continually updated and link it to individual people and name them. It all makes it so much more real. As for the clothes, it's good to reference African prints and fabrics, but not make it look too forced or contrived. The pieces here look contemporary and desirable."
Prices range from £18 for accessories, to £1400 for outerwear.
Left - Area Code - Reversible Waistcoat - £780
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Left - Area Code - Reversible Kimono - £1400
Streetwear is all the rage and it seems as though everyone is trying to create their own clothing line these days. Even so, there are still plenty of streetwear designers that are making some of the most fashionable clothes this side of the catwalk and you'd be amiss not to take advantage of these exciting creators. Here are a few of the brands that you should be paying attention to if you're not already:
It felt as though this British skateboard label came out of nowhere in 2010 to quickly become one of the hottest streetwear brands on the market. Known as much for its irreverent sense of humour as it is for it incredible clothes, Palace has gone from a flash in the pan to a fashion mainstay. Palace will also be doing a new collaboration with Adidas this year, complete with fresh new shoes and a range of other apparel and accessories.
Supreme is one of the most iconic and respected skate brands out there and they continue to kill it today. The legendary box logo is a badge of honor and the company continues to put out incredibly fresh clothes year after year. It was recently revealed that the latest collaboration for Supreme would be with the legendary thrash-metal band Slayer in a collection that will include jackets, sweaters, shirts, and more based around some of the band's classic albums.
Stussy is another classic street brand that has managed to remain hip and relevant throughout the years. The brand was founded back in 1980 and it's hard to believe a 36-year-old label can stay as fashionable and with-the-times as Stussy is today. With a wide range of T-shirts, sweats, jackets, and more the name is one of the most recognised and beloved in street fashion and is a must-have for anyone trying to rock the style.
Mishka has been a hot name in the NYC underground fashion scene for some time now, but their irreverent riffs on pop culture combined with cutting edge street style has made them popular throughout the world as well. The streetwear company and record label was founded in 2003 and continues to be wildly popular in the hip-hop community with its eyeball logo keeping watch over New York's streets.
The 32-year-old Russian designer has taken the fashion world by storm, and if 2015 was when Gosha made a name for himself then 2016 is when he really took off. Rubchinskiy opened the Vetements SS16 show and shot this year's holiday campaign for Topman. His takes on classic American '90s street style is both ironic and original and the designer has established himself as one of the preeminent streewear stylists of today. Even better, Gosha's clothes are remarkably affordable for a label with such a high profile, thanks to his emphasis on being accessible to the youth trying to buy them.