Under the Radar is Highsnobiety’s weekly celebration of upcoming talent brought to you by Avión Tequila. Each week, we’re spotlighting an emerging brand that’s bringing something new to the worlds of streetwear and fashion.
Highsnobiety recently wrapped up a month-long initiative exploring how sexuality and gender are crossing over with the spheres of fashion, streetwear, and sneakers in 2019. Unsurprisingly, the intersections were vast. The past 12 months has bore witness to some potentially zeitgeist-shifting ways pertaining to how people shop for clothes, what they can expect from retailers, and how designers can better cater to modern opportunities for self-expression and comfort.
One label we illuminated was One DNA, a genderless NYC brand from co-founders Simon Black and Travis Weaver which has inclusivity as one of its core design principles, creating a product for people stepping out of the binary. “I want men to feel empowered to wear a dress just as much as a woman feels empowered to wear a suit. That’s been a mission of ours,” Simon tells us.
Regarding initial inspirations to start fashion design, Travis refers to some of the earlier collections from J.W. Anderson’s namesake line, which posited womenswear staples as menswear in FW03. It’s like instead of finding the menswear equivalent to “the little black dress,” why not just make a little black dress that men actually can and want to wear?
However, in 2019, PR-friendly words like “inclusive” and “empowerment” are increasingly at risk of having their meaning obfuscated all-together due to brands latching on to the trend. Meanwhile, concepts of “unisex” fashion can conjure up visuals of anemic-looking sweaters and shapeless T-shirts. So why is One DNA different?
“Gender is a big part of it, but when I speak about inclusivity, that’s for size as well. So the reason why we chose to do the paperback pant is because it accommodates virtually every size, so it can be worn on the hip but also higher on the waist, but then also allows people with different body types, too” says Travis.
One DNA’s paper-bag waist pants are a good example of how to enable fashion that speaks to ideological values like inclusivity or gender-neutrality without compromising on design. The loose-fitting wide wale corduroy pants feature all-natural nut buttons, a concealed zip fly and a detachable self-tie belt, and could be styled in alternative ways to suit the mood.
Elsewhere, the brand aligns with more current trends for SS19 such as lax tailoring with wearable suits made from a rayon-blend twill in shades of dark gray and dusty pink, red and black. The Fw19 collection promises some more outlandish pieces such a faux-fur deer-print two-piece set, boxy roll-necks, and see-through T-shirts. Simon explains that, from a designer’s perspective, “when you start to work on gender-neutrality design over the long term, like several years, it just seamlessly starts to become about body type and not about your gender identity even.”
Ona DNA is available via the online store.
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