Our respect for creatives is a given at IDOL, for we are indeed a cluster of creatives ourselves. And as anybody who is of the creative mind-set knows, your curiosity never quite rests. There’s always another conversation to be had and another list of questions to ask. For us, one of our recent bouts of curiosity manifested in Paris last month, after meeting Hussein Suleiman, co-founder of Amsterdam menswear label Daily Paper. At only 19 Hussein and his partners, Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini, had Daily Paper up and running as a lifestyle blog, selling the odd African print t-shirt. Now 26, this humble co-founder and his team are at the forefront of Amsterdam streetwear with a label that offers the capsule wardrobe with distinctively strong African roots.
The fully fledged brand that exists today really began in: 2010 when my current partners Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini decided to start a clothing label and it gradually developed. We were all friends before we became business partners. It took two years of preparation where we decided upon the concept as well as how we would differentiate ourselves from other brands and in 2012 we launched our first spring/summer collection. We design what we like to wear ourselves as we are part of our own target audience. Our products cater to men who like to express themselves through clothing no matter what age group they are in. We find it quite remarkable though that a great proportion of our clientele are women even though Daily Paper initially is a menswear brand.
Ever since we started the brand we’ve always placed huge importance on: The inspirations behind our collections. The design process of all our collections start with in-depth research on various aspects of African history and interpreting this information into original designs and prints in our pieces. After travelling to Morocco for a photo-shoot in early 2014, we got inspired by the culture, colours and fabrics of the Moroccan people. After the trip, we got back to the drawing board and created two collections for the SS15 collection. The first chapter was mainly focused on the colour palettes used by the Moroccan people and their use of fabrics, while the second and last chapter shows influences from the ‘Imazighen’, the descendants of the pre-Arab inhabitants of North Africa.
Our SS16 has been: Crazy as usual. Paris was pretty cool, it’s one of my favourite cities in the world and the energy is always extra special during Fashion Week. I returned home with a lot of inspiration and energy from the shows I visited and the new people I met.
Our most successful city visit this season was to: Berlin. Mainly because we invested a lot in a pop-up store which resulted in good sales and new relations. But then for us I think Paris is one of the most important Fashion Weeks in the world. It is the most international in my opinion and the most important buyers and press are in the city. We got a chance to meet some of these buyers and press from all over the world and showcase our Spring/Summer 2016 collection.
In Paris we made sure we saw: Y-3. The stuff Yohji Yamamoto does for a brand like Adidas is, for me, amazing. I hope that one day we will be able to create a co-branded sportswear collection for a big sportswear label.
Another brand I love and look up to is Comme des Garcons. Not necessarily in the clothing they bring out, but more their business concept. They have different lines they release that all have a different aesthetic but are still very CDG, like their Play or Shirt lines. Besides that, they own one of the best retail concepts in the world; Dover Street Market, Push-Up and coming designers like Gosha Rubchinskiy. We strive to create a similar platform in the future.
Besides showcasing our collection, in Paris the one thing we got a buzz from was: Organizing and attending dinners with fellow designers and industry professionals. During the fashion weeks you get so many talented industry professionals together in one city. We always try our best to maintain our relations and pick peoples brains.
We’ve just come back from Berlin, for us the city is: Incredible. We were showcasing at the Seek tradeshow amongst a few of my favourite brands. The love we get out there is unmatched. That is also why we decided to do a pop-up store during Berlin Fashion Week. We opened a store for two weeks where we sold our current collection, showcased our upcoming collection and hosted a few events.
But the greatest city in the world is: Amsterdam for sure. Even though we consider ourselves as modern nomads and travelling is one of the best things that comes with the job, there is no place like home.
Daily Paper’s next stop is: Back to base for the release of a full womenswear collection. After our time in New York this month for Men’s Fashion Week we returned even more driven to hit the ground running again.
By Fenn O’Meally
Images by Sharon Jane D.