#GramGen is a series profiling the most radical characters in youth culture, who continue to shape trend behavior and spark controversy through their avant fashion sense and candid social media personalities.
Meet Hannah Alkindi, aka @hannah.jp. Born in London, the half Persian, half Bosnian 18-year-old moved to Croatia at age six before ultimately returning to the British capital eight years later. A full-time student and avid streetwear aficionado, Hannah's broad traveling background, fierce ambition and sharp wit make her an undefeated force against internet trolls who are quick to dismiss her as just another Instagram-savvy thirst trapper.
We caught up with Hannah to find out more about her love of streetwear, what the differences are between London and Croatia's respective streetwear scenes, how she handles the fuccbois and more.
How old are you?
Just turned 18 less than a month ago.
Where are you from and where do you live currently?
I’m half Persian, half Bosnian, but born in London. I moved to Croatia with my mum at the age of six but made the decision to move back to London alone at the age of 14 because of the opportunities available here.
What is your occupation?
I’m currently in full-time education. Last year of sixth form studying politics, history and German. That’s what I am focusing on right now.
How long have you been collecting streetwear?
It’s been about two or three years properly now. When I moved back to London I used to observe the scene for a few years until I personally started getting involved.
How would you compare Croatian streetwear culture to London's?
I used to live in a town called Rovinj with a population of 13k, so it was quite small. Streetwear was pretty much non-existent in my town. However, I still visit Croatia three times a year and now I see people picking up on it, especially in the capital Zagreb. I see YEEZY raffles happening there now and new streetwear stores popping up, which isn’t bad at all for a country with only four million people.
When I go back there people always ask me questions about streetwear and my Instagram which shows they are genuinely interested, just takes some time to pick up in smaller towns.
What are your favorite brands at the moment?
By my Instagram, many would conclude Supreme and BAPE, which is true and they’re up there, but the list is long. Carhartt, Stone Island and Champion are only a few of them along with some collaborations such as the Fenty PUMA apparel range.
How would you describe your style?
I like being cosy. I mostly wear tracksuits and baggy trousers, which are quite "boyish," but that’s what I like. It switches sometimes depending on the occasion. I wear skirts and dresses with the brands I’ve named above but that’s a rarity; most the time I’m in baggy clothes because my school days are long so I don’t really pay attention to whether or not I look good.
Your IG feed certainly suggests otherwise, you always look pretty together and your outfits/poses are always "on fleek," as they say. Have you ever been accused of thirst trapping?
Haha, thank you. And yes, on occasion. A lot of girls do get accused and I personally think it’s because there are some girls who genuinely "thirst trap," but we all get put into the same bubble when some of us are genuinely interested and want to be part of the community, not just because it’s a male-dominated community.
How much do you spend on clothes a month?
It varies and depends on what brands are dropping what and when. It ranges from £50-£1k, normally. If I’ve spent a lot the last month I wouldn’t spend a lot the next. I manage my money well as I think there are more important things to spend money on than clothes, like experience.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a piece of clothing?
£400 on the Supreme x Playboy set. I rarely buy clothes for resell value – if I can get my hands on it I’m happy, if not, I’m not that desperate to have everything and anything.
How do you afford everything you buy?
When I was 16 I got a job at Vans for a few months because I wanted to be independent and not rely on my parents for money. I saved up and invested. Instagram as a social media platform also gives me opportunities, but I don’t have a steady income so I have to manage my money well to afford the clothes I wear.
Do you prefer quality over quantity or quantity over quality?
Depends. But generally quality over quantity.
Do you get a lot of private messages on your social media platforms? How do you respond to the haters and weirdos?
Yeah, anyone that has some kind of reach gets messages. I personally ignore them, I’ve grown as a person to know the opinions of others don’t matter so long as you’re happy. If it’s not constructive criticism I don’t register it, same with weirdos.
But when it comes to DMs where people are looking for some help whether it’s personal or clothing-related, I try my best to reply and help.
Do you think that people in the streetwear community treat you differently because you are a girl?
They used to, but not anymore. The odd 14-year-old that appears and says "you don’t even skate" or some irrelevant sentence like that, but as I said it doesn’t affect me. Once you’re confident and happy with yourself and what you do, as cliché as it is, you’re untouchable.
I’m personally lucky to have people in the community that are supportive of me, opening doors for me while taking into consideration that I have an education to complete.
Do other young girls in the streetwear community support each other? Is there ever any kind of competition or spite towards the other's success or popularity?
I see spite and jealousy everywhere, but that’s not just female exclusive. I think it’s just human nature to have spite towards someone doing better than you. When I see someone doing better than me, it motivates me rather than forming some kind of jealousy.
I try to support girls that are genuinely interested in streetwear – anyone who needs advice, I’m here. As an admin of a girl's streetwear forum, we try and support the girls in everything they do, be it photography, fashion, blogging…whatever it may be we all start from somewhere.
But unfortunately, I personally receive more support from males over females; I still sense some tension between girls in the community which isn’t the way it should be. We should support each other especially in a male-dominated community rather than putting each other down.
Are there any women in the industry who you look up to?
I don’t normally look up to any celebrity because their lives are simply on a different spectrum in comparison to normal people’s lives. I prefer and tend to look up to people who have a story behind what they’re doing and there are many ordinary women that I see and am in contact with on a daily basis that I get inspired by and look up to. As I’m still relatively young, these women show me what it is like to build a business, have a set career and grow as a person in the community and scene.
What do you see yourself doing in a few years? What career ambitions do you have?
Honestly, I have no clue. I am going to university as I have an interest in politics and current affairs, so I think having a degree will only benefit me in the long run. But for the time being I want to see what I can do as a young person to combine the community and the power of our generation to change what we are unsatisfied with. I feel like many people in the community are woke and open minded, not apathetic and careless.
What do you love and hate the most about fashion right now?
What I love is that it’s growing, both the industry the community. We're always seeing new faces, styles and combinations. I see high-end brands recently turning to streetwear, and even though I don’t personally like most of the LV x Supreme collection, I think it’s remarkable that the collaboration is happening.
What I hate is criticism of everyone. As Rocky says, you can’t hate on someone for trying. You don’t have to like what they do, but let them be, especially if they’re trying something new.
For more Gram-savvy youngsters, check out the 15-year-old who owns over 200,000 pairs of sneakers.