Braindead is the only lifestyle brand out there who gets contemporary culture and the current sense of impending doom. By combining an 80s b-movie aesthetic (think Hardware or Mad Max) with skate apparel in the style of say Cav Empt, they’ve become one of the only sane voices in fashion today.
Despite being a major dick in has last years Guy Debord is still one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. Everything he wrote in the Society of the Spectacle in the 60s has come back to haunt us one hundred-fold. He basically invented the meme, although in a much more intellectual form, when he combined chopped up newsreels with scathing voice-overs condemning everything from politics to art and even his own efforts. It may seem fatalist to some, or at least nihilist, but combined with later post-Marxist thinkers we can see a way out of the darkness. Everything must be destroyed before we can figure out how to actually build something that is meant for us, and not some kind of elite.
Post Design Festival is one of a handful of events that address design and digital cultures from a multidisciplinary and always relevant axis. So if you don’t want to travel to Berlin for Transmediale, this Copenhagen-based festival was co-founded by my friend Peter Folkmar and has survived the pandemic. They are currently operating with a decentralised programme that you are also able join online. Check out their website to hear some of their recent keynotes.
Tommy Genesis is one of very few non-heterosexual non-male artists working within modern hiphop. With lyrics about several taboo subjects and just being a nice person in general, she has made waves that even reach into mainstream waters. Born in Canada to Swedish/Indian parents, let’s say we share more than ideology. Tommy has proved that it’s ok to be a musician as well as a model and an influencer without losing the grip on your own ideals. Add to that she’s friends with and a collaborator for Left Hand LA, which is probably the most badass fashion label right now.
Tunica is the most inspiring printed magazine still around. Every issue is designed by a hand-picked set of designers and different artists are invited to style and shoot the editorials. For each issue Tunica also design a mini capsule collection of clothing that is always spot on. If you ever feel like you deserve a little luxury in your life, order the latest issue of Tunica and flip through its glossy pages.
Études is a Paris studio making clothing for men, and since not long ago also for women. They publish books and mixes and regularly collaborate with well-known contemporary artists. Their physical store in Rue Debelleyme is a mental haven and you’ll actually feel cleaner and less cluttered when you come out of there, whether you’ve bought something or not. The Études aesthetic is very classical yet always slightly ahead of its times. If you are able to afford not buying high street fashion, which is the second most polluting industry in the world, why not buy items that you can wear for the rest of your life? Études 4ever.
XR is of course the most important initiative of the previous decade. Anyone subscribing to their three demands is a part of their movement, and it truly is a decentralised organisation. By steering clear of political agendas, they are actually making things happen. In 2019 the European Parliament finally agreed to declare a climate emergency. This was an important step, but now it’s up to us in our individual countries to make change happen. That means saying fuck off to management, going out to support your local groups, wherever you may live. Do you want to waste the last few years of life as we know it on this planet working a day job?
Aya Gloomy is a Tokyo-based artist and also the owner of Pom Pom Shop that regularly does pop-ups, selling curated vintage clothing. Her latest release Kanjiru proved that Aya is one of the most important artists of the Japanese underground at the moment. Genres don’t exist anymore.
Felt Zine is an online platform for digital artists. Established in 2011, “its IRL and URL experiences examine digital activism, hip hop culture, race, gender, and class”. This is the future of publishing and it’s free. If you are ever lacking inspiration, visit their site and be amazed. In 2019 they also held a 3-day webshop with items created in collaboration with MalesRCancelled, called #RealityIsCancelled.
Lara Verheijden is not only one of the most celebrated Dutch artists working with photography today, she’s also one half of the artist duo @stadman.lara who have produced some of the most astonishing images of 2019. Why not check out her recent stories for newly redesigned Novembre Magazine that the above image is a part of?