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.
As part of Tiosk’s inaugural drop, we’ve tapped London-based brand GEOGRAPHICS to investigate what it means to be European in 2019. As the name suggests, when GEO founder and chief creative officer Geo Owens launched GEOGRAPHICS in 2018, it was as a more graphics-focused sister brand to his main line.
Owens’ discerning eye for strong visuals, bolstered by his past experience working with Kanye West’s YEEZY and DONDA, makes GEOGRAPHICS an exciting collaborator to help kick off our Tiosk series.
Shop the GEOGRAPHICS design now
Here, we speak to Owens about how Brexit is affecting business in the UK and the concept of “The European Dream.”
How did growing up in Europe affect who you are and what you do today?
I was raised in London, and having the option to quickly escape to other destinations within the EU hassle-free was a big benefit. It expanded my life experiences and opportunities. These experiences shape my design taste and language. Not only my brand, but me as well — my self-expression and my lifestyle.
Can you explain a bit about the graphic used on your T-shirt design? What does it represent to you?
The UK joined the EU in 1969, creating the freedom of movement for British nationals, myself included. Since the UK’s [decision to leave], other countries have reconsidered their position in the EU, further fracturing the freedom of movement. In this design, a section of metal wire fencing that has been pierced through by florals depicts the beauty of the EU and its blooming future despite its current turmoil.
As a London-based brand, how has Brexit affected your business?
The current effects of Brexit have been most eminent in our product imports, such as textiles and fabrics. We won’t know the full impact until all the details are figured out and the UK has successfully branched off from the EU, but that is all still being decided on.
What comes to mind when you read the words “The European Dream”? What made you want to include this in your design?
To add context to the visual. We’ve heard of “The American Dream,” but what is “The European Dream”? There are pros and cons to remaining in the EU. The pros outweigh the cons. The European Dream is a united front with security, trade, jobs, consumer goods, and choices.
What does Europe mean to you?
Europe means unity.