Brand: The Culture Ltd.
Key Pieces: The fishtail parka, reconstructed pair of Converse and Vans sneakers, replica Samurai sword to poke fun of Supreme's accessories line, the series of graphics tees poking fun of band tees and labels like Fear of God, as well as the hoodie with an interpretation of Anti Social Social Club's logo.
Editor's Notes: Burgeoning underground clothing label The Culture Ltd. is all about anarchy and subversion of fashion/streetwear culture, and it's helmed by Misaki Van Kampen, the first anime character fashion designer.
The label essentially puts the spotlight on notable brands/figures in the industry like Supreme, Virgil Abloh, Jerry Lorenzo, Demna Gvasalia, and more, as Misaki Van Kampen pokes fun at their designs with her own interpretation rendered across tees, outerwear, pants, sneakers and accessories.
In an interview with the StyleZeitgeist, Misaki Van Kampen delves into how The Culture Ltd. came to fruition and its aesthetic. Read a few takeaways from the conversation below.
On starting The Culture Ltd...
"I’ve been into clothes for a while but not as long as I’ve been into music. Heavy Metal and Punk Rock helped shape how I view the world. Much later I got into fashion. Martin Margiela, Sruli Recht, Jun Takahashi, and Rick Owens really opened my eyes. Until then I didn’t realize fashion could be subversive and transformative in the same way as music. I didn’t think I’d ever have a chance to make clothes until I met my former mentor Mr. Culture. He was the one that opened my eyes to fashion’s untapped potential. I’m making clothes because he believed in me."
On her designs criticizing the hypebeast culture...
"Streetwear is just what’s popular right now, so it gets the majority of my criticism against fashion in general. It’s really just one facet of what I like to comment on though. It’s also something I genuinely like when it hasn’t been twisted into a hobby for increasingly wealthy children. Streetwear was originally a vehicle for social criticism and a refuge for fashions outsiders, I’m just bringing it back to its roots."
On if The Culture Ltd. is the solution or part of the problem in fashion, and how it can avoid cheap irony that is prevalent across the industry...
"Every day is a battle to not give into cheap irony and cynicism. I don’t really care when someone like Demna Gvasalia falls into that pit and starts mocking the underclass. The bigger issue is when fashion gives him a pass, the idea that he’s getting paid, so everything he does is cool and alright when it’s just nihilistic and stupid. I hope people can see I’m sincere in what I do. The Culture Ltd is an entire creative universe. Fashion is in desperate need of criticism right now and that’s all I’m trying to offer."
On her views on Virgil Abloh...
"He took every opportunity, advantage, and connection he had and utilized it fully. I’m sure he will be a case study in business schools for many years to come. With that said he’s one of my favourite targets of derision. Almost every idea he has is pirated from somewhere else. For someone who unabashedly steals everything he intellectualizes it an insane amount, which is just really funny. He’s like fashions Quentin Tarantino but Tarantino is very honest with his homage work. He doesn’t try to dress it up, he’ll tell it to you straight, he liked a scene from an old wuxia film so much he wanted to re-create it 1:1. Virgil will do the fashion equivalent and then give a 1-hour talk at Harvard about it."
Head on over to the StyleZeitgeist for the full interview, and if you like The Culture Ltd.'s offerings, shop the collection at the brand's online store now.
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