In 1999 the Marxist academic collective Krisis Group published an essay entitled “Against Labor, Against Capital”. In it the authors argued that due to increasing automation a society based on labor was quickly becoming obsolete. Instead of looking to free workers from their oppression, as traditional Marxism espoused, the goal should be to end the labor society entirely. The only reason the world had not yet realized this was because of the economic and political elite, who have pacified the masses with “Silly fancy goods, designed to create the illusion of a full life”.
Eighteen years later, this phrase has appeared as a recurring motif in T-shirts, jackets, and hats in the Spring/Summer 2017 season of the streetwear brand Cav Empt. At first glance, it seems to be nothing more than another example of capitalism’s ruthless drive to commodify even the thoughts and actions of its opponents- just a more advanced version of a Sex Pistols shirt at H&M, in other words. Yet a closer look at Cav Empt’s history reveals that while garnering praise for their alluring graphics and uniquely cut and sewn garments, designers Sk8thing and Toby Feltwell have embedded a radical critique of consumer society into their clothing from the beginning. Cav Empt’s Spring/Summer 2017 season is the apex of a project that has been inherent in their clothing since its inception; an attempt to challenge the wearer into thinking seriously about the act of fashion fandom, desire and consumption under late capitalism.
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The first look at the Spring/Summer C.E. season came from the video the Japanese label released a few months back. As items from the collection continue to roll out, this lookbook shows off some of the cases in more detail. Particular noteworthy items include the printed button-downs , cargo vest, corduroy jacket and the an all-over print overcoat.
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CAVEMPT Spring/Summer 2017 pieces have started to release online but if you’re looking for a retailer in North America, Revive has you covered. They picked up a couple key pieces including the corduroy Utility Vest and a couple color ways of the Overdye Hoodie. Make your way over to Revive to check out the selection and check out the official video for the season HERE.
C.E. has been known to release a video previewing each season and spring/summer 2017 is no exception in that regard. This time the film taps directly into club culture with a rave scene playing out with models rocking outfits from the collection. The music comes by way of Trilogy Tapes (the track feature EMG “Mother Funk”. I always thought C.E was a streetwear label that paired perfectly with nightlife and this video confirms that fact. Look for items to drop on the C.E. website as well as stockists including END CLOTHING and Well Gosh.
C.E releases a subtle jacket design from it’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection. A take on the classic British Harrington jacket, the jacket is adorned with branded embroidery and the standard rubber C.E stamp on the arm. A nice little beige addition for chilly nights and windy days. Scoop it over at Goodhood.
C.E brings new light to it’s spring/summer 2016 collection with an eye-catching video shot using 4k drone footage. The clip is voyeuristic in nature and pieces together aerial shots and surveillance type camera work. The soundtrack sounds like it’s straight out of a black mirror episode and the fast paced editing is a good accompaniment to the layered collage graphics often employed by the brand.
One of the most prominent marketplaces for men’s clothing Grailed has been making big moves of late. They launched an app earlier this month and today they launched a the Grailed 100. The Grailed 100 is a curated selection of diverse clothing, shoes and accessories from some of the most sought after labels today. Everything from Rick Owens, to Saint Laurent to older tees from streetwear stalwarts like C.E, Supreme and Palace. Some items have already sold out but there’s still plenty of items at various price points. Check it out over at the Grailed 100.
Bryan Lee (@originalprogram)
Great brands are able to build more than just a following , they inspire whole communities of supporters. Acronym is one brand that has made a mark not just within the techwear sphere but on a dedicated community of collectors and enthusiasts around the world. While it’s price point and exclusivity keep Acronym from really being on the radar in mainstream men’s fashion, fans of the brand can find imagery of gear, fits and even choose to trade, buy and sell the brand through forums , marketplaces like grailed or on private social media groups.
One outlet that has taken off in terms of showcasing the brand through the eyes and lenses of it’s biggest fans is the Acronymjutsu Instagram account. The instagram account curates images from users around the world that use or wear Acronym. The account serves as both a home base for fans of the brand to keep in touch and communicate but also as a source of inspiration for those looking to buy or style the label in their own way. I spoke with Bryan Lee (@originalprogram) who started the Acronymjutsu account on how it came to be and his long history as a collector of all things Acronym.
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Acronymjutsu Instagram account
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Toby Feltwell is no stranger to the streetwear industry. He’s been in Nigo’s inner circle helping guide A Bathing Ape’s international expansion during it’s heydey. He was also a key player in helping Pharrell launch BBC/Ice Cream and prior to that was an influential A&R at XL Recordings. He is currently in the braintrust at C.E. Amuse caught up with Toby to gain insight into his career’s past and also speak about his experiences working with Cav Empt.
What exactly is your role within Cav Empt – is it similar to how you were working with BBC?
Well, here and Sk8thing are sort of the co-owners and co-bosses of the company. Hishi and I are the design team, and it sort of splits down quite conveniently in that Sk8thing does 100 percent of the graphics. Hishi’s background is in production, and I’ve got no concrete skills whatsoever – so I’m just a concept person. We all sort of overlap in a lot of different areas but we also have our specifically sort of reserved area, that only each of us can do. So that works very nicely.
You can the entire interview HERE.