Founded in 2018 high-end streetwear label called Area Code hails from Stockholm, Sweden. The brand was born with the aim to facilitate opportunity for people living in developing communities around the globe through selling good quality fashion. The collections are inspired by urban trends, with an inspirational nod to the countries and the communities it is seeking to support via the Area Code Foundation. 15% from the sale of every item in the collection goes to its own charitable foundation. The Area Code mission starts with the building of the school, GOROM 3, in Bambilor, Senegal, progress on which is regularly posted on the brand website and Instagram account.
Each piece is named after a member of the community and comes in limited runs to minimise waste. Due to the limited availability, Area Code has created subscription only access to the website. The ethos behind this is to develop its own community of supporters; followers of the mission behind the brand but also of the unique style of the pieces it creates. After signing up, members are able to view progress on the current project, and to register for updates on new collection drops and news about the Area Code initiatives.
The debut SS21 collection takes its inspiration from the community it is currently supporting. Standout pieces include a multi-stripe kimono, named after 11-year old Moussou Kera Sane from Bambilor, the heavy-cotton piece exudes the spirit of Senegal and comes in various shades of warm orange and earthy browns. A green satin bomber jacket takes its name from 10-year old Gallo Dia, while 12-year old Cheick Niang, who dreams of being a fisherman, is the name behind a heavy-duty cotton gilet, in black, with white and orange reversible African print detail. There is also a selection of socks and canvas accessories.
TheChicGeek says, "It's clever marketing and a way of growing your database by making people sign up before they can even view your website. It's also clever to focus the charitable side on one project, get people continually updated and link it to individual people and name them. It all makes it so much more real. As for the clothes, it's good to reference African prints and fabrics, but not make it look too forced or contrived. The pieces here look contemporary and desirable."
Prices range from £18 for accessories, to £1400 for outerwear.
Left - Area Code - Reversible Waistcoat - £780
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Left - Area Code - Reversible Kimono - £1400
The Japanese word "kimono", literally means a "thing to wear”. It’s almost like an order, and, oh, what a beautiful one. This exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum charts the kimono from the 1660s to the present day. From its early influence on shapes and fabrics, its absorption of ideas from the rest of the world when Japan opened up in the 1850s, up until contemporary fashion taking it as a starting point.
The exhibition's highlights are anything by Galliano at Dior - always - some stunning art deco Cartier jewellery and make-up cases, Freddie Mercury’s lounging around kimono, Madonna’s Nothing Really Matters video garb and Bjork’s collaboration with Alexander McQueen.
There is some menswear, though the kimono is very unisex, from Thom Browne (right), Duro Olowu, T. Michael and Yohji Yamamoto.
The kimono is the original silk robe and you only have to look at designers like Dries Van Noten or Edward Crutchley to see its influence today and the tradition being carried on.
The kimono is one of fashion’s closest things to a walking work of art and this exhibition is a worthy tribute to it.
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk runs from 29 February – 21 June 2020 - £16
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