Different nationalities and cultures coming together under the same roof to seek new opportunities are the story of Lower East Side, or abbreviated as LES. Newcomers from all over the world arrived during the 19th century and has throughout the history lived in the area and entrenched the way of living.
Traditionally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, that developed into an area of creative freedom and great open-mindedness. The area holds an inspirational and memorable history of a magnificent art scene and different cultures coming into one, which you can feel when exploring the streets, architecture and people living in the LES.
In the early 1940’s the residents of LES gained from the newly expansion of the subway system in NYC. Multiple train companies gathered and made the subway largely what it is today, for a greater mobility for the New Yorkers. During the forties NYC became a culturally international city, especially LES with the brain drain of intellectual, musical and artistic European refugees that started arriving in the late thirties. In the subway of NYC, at the time, a good mix of comfort and glamour appeared in style of clothing. Bright and colorful suits, ties and hats were commonplace in public. Even though a more warlike look dominated, there was still room for sleeker, thinly cutted and more expensive suits at the office. Definitely a honest freedom from the fantastic tradition of Paris, a less cautious and less tricky style of clothing. Simply a great simplicity characterizing wartime fabric shortages, wartime work and demands.
Until the 1960’s, the Lower East Side and East Village were one and the same neighborhood, but when the hippies, musicians and artists moved into the East Village, the demographic difference became so large that they were very quickly considered separate neighborhoods. This caused a huge cultural diffusion in the world's largest city. 1960’s fashion was a contrast to the fifties, which was more conservative and restrained in a more classic style. A new beginning was established in the sixties within fashion offering more alternative and imposing styles. A blend of bright, swirling colors.
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But in the 1980’s the Lower East Side began to attract students, musicians and artists who transformed lower Manhattan into an area of experimental art. The Lower East Side had entered a period of new energy, creativity and an opportunity to express themselves through art and music. The style of clothing was also of great creativity, because of unconventional designs with subdued colors and blocky shapes. Eighties fashion was a blend of multiple different styles, either styles borrowed or abandoned from history or some futuristic designs. But mainly a snug and comfortable fitting made out of soft fabrics, where clothes were tight compared to today, not as skin tight like the seventies. In this period of time more technical materials are also put into the fashion scene which opens up whole new world of design possibilities.
In the 90’s the LES experienced a significantly transformations, because of gentrification establishing taller buildings, subways, parks and highways. It began when New York University started to buy properties and artists took a liking to the new, improved area. The return of the minimalistic fashion widely defined the 90’s fashion enclosed with a looser relaxed-fit, tapered pants and a simple combination of colors. A grungy and hip-hop urban look was ruling the streets of NYC in the early 90’s, however in the late 90’s a more classy and glamorous look ruled as a result of rave culture trending. Interestingly enough, late 90’s clothing styles are not too drastically different than they are today. One of the significantly trends in the 90’s was the ill-fitting, people wearing wrong sizes or shapes for the person wearing it, and especially the ill-fitting vertical block stripe shirt was trending. They were usually in bold colors and kind of cool, and would be acceptable today if they were a bit more tailored. Almost every brand had an own personal edition of the striped shirt, which substantiate and authenticate the great trending success of the shirt.
In this collection we have picked some of the described LES trends from the 40’s, 60’s, 80’s and ended up in the 90’s where the main inspiration comes from. This has made it possible for us to create an unique collection where we have used the creative way of working which is characteristic for this are of New York.
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