69

2. Future Stars 08

Gender, race, age, and size are insignificant to the creator of 69. These traits are meaningless when it comes to fashion, according to the fashion label, so meaningless that the designer hasn’t even released his or her own identity. While this may come across as shocking or peculiar to some, it also raises the question of why these factors are so important to us when it comes to pieces of clothing that we wear. Problems can arise when people are more invested in who is designing their clothes than the quality or craftsmanship of the garments—a point that this designer made clear in an interview with VICE magazine last year. “For example, if I didn’t know anything about a band that I was in love with, I wouldn’t give a shit. They make music I like, so what else matters?” What people find attractive and like has been smothered by cultural norms and expectations, a perspective 69 is trying to demolish.

With nothing to lose and unable to find a job in Los Angeles, the anonymous creator behind 69 started a brand that would be an influential start in changing the outdated fashion industry with witch we are so familiar. It wasn’t a ridiculous epiphany, or triggering experience that sparked the flame for 69, but rather the frivolous, outdated rules that fashion still expects. The models chosen, the stark contrast between what is viewed as feminine and masculine, and the entitlement that many designers feel they possess, is only the beginning of what 69’s inventor finds to be obsolete. This brutal, yet truthful analysis might be the only thing that can reinvent the way society thinks about clothes. Because of the ego and stereotypes surrounding the fashion industry, 69 created its own path avoiding usual rules and cutting out any form of gender related designs. Even the ads and campaign videos stray from typical fashion ones. 69 strives for comfort and fun, their advertisements offer abstract forms of this with quirky models and intangible storylines. The clothing collection is no different.

2. Future Stars *KNEE POCKET PANTS FRONT

Because of the timeless style and versatility of denim, a big portion of 69’s designs feature overtly baggy, kimonos and dresses, made out of the material for any person who wants to wear them. The collection also possesses an array of oversized t-shirts, jackets, and denim button-ups that are modeled and worn by men, women, children, and those who choose not to identify with any title. Floppy bucket hats with cutouts for the eyes or face and chambray tote bags the size of a poster board, are just a few unique items that continue the distinctive style of 69. The non-demographic clothing and accessories provide a relatable inclusivity in an exclusive industry. 69 has received nothing but acceptance from people across the world, and because “every ‘one’ counts” according to the designer, it’s impossible to see a company with this kind of philosophy not become the new accepted way of thinking.

In our social media rich time, the designer sees consulting and sharing ideas as essential, as well as being interactive with customers and followers. From sharing minimalist logo stickers with followers to moving GIFs of their models on the shop portion of their website, 69 seems to have social interaction down, allowing everyone and anyone to be a part of it. Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr serve as outlets where 69 shares their latest updates, newest androgynous pieces, and provides a forum for followers to rave, question, or discuss. 69 Studio is the next thing in store and although an elusive idea, we can expect something exciting from a company with a perspective so ahead of their time.

The designer’s main focus is for people to feel liked and cared about, and provide a positive, accepting environment. So what is this nameless trailblazer getting out of all this designing? “Release.” One simple word that allows him or her to avoid the social constructs of gender, the fateful grasp of ego, and the unnecessary judgment that comes with an industry that won’t let a designer simply just make clothes. But with other companies following suit, 69’s brand might be the biggest turning point in fashion that we’ve seen in centuries. Blurring the lines of gender in retail may be the best move made in recognizing fashion design as an art form, rather than another restrictive barrier.

 

Text by Melissa Epifano

THE SPRING FASHION ISSUE

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