Streetwear’s history has chronicled numerous names who have benefitted from the use of obscurity and anonymity. A prime example includes BAPE and C.E. designer Sk8thing, while Martin Margiela has notoriously refused to show his face in public, or take a bow following seasonal runway shows. In Margiela’s first few seasons, stitched labels even appeared starkly nameless, without signifiers indicating the season or make.
More often than not, the less you tell people, the more they crave to know, just ask James Jebbia. Certainly amongst the Highsnobiety staff, our interests have been peaked of late by obscure streetwear brand Cactus Plant Flea Market (CPFM). Without any sort of backstory, the label has received support from Cara Delevingne, Travis Scott, Big Sean, Frank Ocean and other music industry luminaries, and the deeper we dug, the more and more ties between CPFM and Pharrell Williams became evident.
Here’s what we found out.
For starters, Cactus seems to be a nom de plume used by Pharrell’s personal assistant Cynthia Lu, and since it was established circa January 2015 (at least that’s when Cactus’ Twitter launched), Cactus Plant Flea Market has collaborated with the likes of HUMAN MADE, and Anti Social Social Club. As with many millennial streetwear brands that seem to exist only on Instagram, you’d be hard-pressed to find an actual e-commerce site stocking CPFM’s goods, aside from random, scarce product drops on the brand’s Big Cartel, while the label’s official homepage is populated solely by seizure-inducing GIFs.
Further resolving our conclusions, Skateboard P even called out Cynthia during his CDFA acceptance speech, stating “And to my assistant Cactus, listen to your instincts and the people who see the quality in your differences; you might just make a difference.”
The label’s verdant design language and offbeat use of asymmetrical typography certainly constitute a unique procedure as far as what one might expect from a typical streetwear start-up, and the eccentric aesthetic certainly hits on something that we can see Pharrell supporting. Williams has been steady rocking a few of the brand’s products, including what seems to be a CPFM baseball cap with “PLANT” scribed in skewed letters.
As of right now, you can head to the Cactus Plant Flea Market site to browse through select accessories, including a comb, headband and bracelet, while Dover Street Market New York appears to have been stocking select pieces as of three weeks ago.
Stay posted for more announcements as they arrive, and for now, head to What Drops Now to stay up to date on the hottest new releases.
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