Say hello to Tiosk — combining the words T-shirt and kiosk, the small newspaper stands in Europe that sell daily goods. Tiosk is Highsnobiety’s new T-shirt shop, selling a series of tees designed exclusively for us. The first edition will feature T-shirts by Souvenir Official, GEOGRAPHICS, BEINGHUNTED., and Carne Bollente, as well as one of our own design. Tiosk edition one drops on August 7.
For our very first Tiosk T-shirt drop, we’ve tapped Berlin-based brand BEINGHUNTED. to design an exclusive tee. BEINGHUNTED. is one of the modern streetwear universe’s OGs. Starting out as a blog back in 2001, it grew quickly into a full-fledged brand and creative agency that has worked with GORE-TEX, Palace, and Off-White™.
For Tiosk edition one, we asked each brand to explore the idea of Europe. BEINGHUNTED. founder Jörg Haas decided to delve into European history for inspiration, designing a tee inspired by a 1349 bust of Emperor Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire, who ruled in the early 9th century and is often referred to as the “Father of Europe.”
Shop the BEINGHUNTED. design now
We caught up with Haas to find out more about his Tiosk design and to get his thoughts on Europe and the European Union today.
What does Europe mean to you?
I’m assuming that most of your readers or customers don’t remember Europe as just a name for a continent with dozens of different currencies, borders, custom offices, etc. I do. The current Europe is an ideal constellation. In general, I feel that we are growing closer together, so it only makes sense to have a somewhat centralized government, too. [Although] the regulations that go along with it are sometimes a bit tiresome.
In the era of Brexit, how has the idea of Europe and being European changed?
I don’t think the idea of Europe has changed. Brexit started as a joke, and because a lot of people who should have known better didn’t make their voices heard — aka didn’t go vote — they ended up with this huge mess. They’ll have to go through with it now, but I’m 100 percent positive that the UK will return in a couple of years’ time.
Nothing has changed for me personally. I’m just a bit disappointed by my English friends and also by some other countries who have lost sight of what Europe is to the younger generations.
Tell us about your Tiosk T-shirt. What’s the meaning behind the design?
The core concept for many designs is to unearth objects or visuals that are somewhat hidden and unknown to most people. The bust of Charlemagne, on display at the cathedral in Aachen [in Germany], has been on my list for an upcoming graphic, so the timing was perfect. Charlemagne has been called the “Father of Europe,” as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the classical era of the Roman Empire and united parts of Europe that had never been under Frankish or Roman rule 1,200 years ago.
Do you see your Tiosk tee as political? Is there any relationship between streetwear and politics?
No, it’s an artifact that represents an idea that’s more than a thousand years old. I don’t think there is any relationship between streetwear and politics at the moment. There might be aesthetic or design influences from times when people used their clothing to make political statements — punks, hippies, etc. — but the meanings have been watered down so much. Or people aren’t interested in those references anymore, so the political aspects have become irrelevant.
BEINGHUNTED. is a Berlin brand. How does being based in Europe affect your work?
I can’t point out any particular influence or aspect of our work that’s connected to our office being here or working from Europe, but traveling in Europe, learning different languages, dealing with slightly different cultures all the time definitely has an effect: education, upbringing, friends who are spread all over Europe, etc. Even though at first sight there aren’t really that many obvious differences, the subtleties play an important role.