menswear brand, daily paper - read all about it!
Established in 2010 by a collective of friends with a mutual interest in clothing, design and authentically representing their heritage; Daily Paper aims to acknowledge African designs and culture through classic menswear staples.
Daily Paper spring/summer 14 lookbook
Amsterdam-based menswear brand Daily Paper was shaped with the intention of producing quality street/casual wear for men just like themselves: innovative and cultured with the desire to express their individuality through personal style.
Its founders Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsin who are of Somalian, Ghanaian and Moroccan descent often joke that they need another partner from the Southern region of Africa to cover all the corners of the continent which serves as the primary influence behind the brand. With a strong focus on individualism, Daily Paper place major importance on details: from in depth research on various aspects of African history as inspiration for their collections to interpreting this information into original designs and prints in their pieces.
Their recent spring/summer 14 collection shot in Marrakech stays true to the brands aesthetic and overall philosophy, drawing inspiration from the Kuba Kingdom in Congo known for precision and beauty.
How did the brand develop from the initial conception to a realisation?
Daily Paper began as a lifestyle/fashion blog in 2010 and as a way to promote it, myself and Asheru Al-Haag, the founder of online magazine Collect & Curate who I started the blog with, decided to make T-shirts. Every now and then we would launch new styles and prints - we became more known here in Amsterdam for our T-shirt designs than for our blog. In 2010 my current partners Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini decided to take the designing to another level and it gradually developed into what it is today. 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.
What's the inspiration behind your latest collection?
Like most of our collections we drew our inspiration from Africa. Every season we look into different African regions and tribes and try to translate this into contemporary menswear design. For this collection we drew inspiration from the Kuba Kingdom. More than four centuries ago, about 20 tribes settled in the Kasai region in Congo and formed the Kuba kingdom. The empire was known for it's sense of precision and beauty, which is reflected in our spring/summer 14 collection through distinctive geometric patterns and use of colours.
The lookbook is beautifully shot. Why did you choose to shoot in Morocco?
We knew that shooting in the continent that serves as our main source of inspiration would compliment the collection a lot more than a studio look book. We flew to Marrakech and eventually drove 12 hours south to reach the gates of the Sahara..
What are your favourite pieces?
That's a really difficult question. Every piece in the collection is something I would love to wear myself, but if I really have to select a single item that I'm extra happy with, it would be the Blue Bakuba shield shirt. I'm very happy with how the print turned out on the heavy weight white denim fabric. The wooden buttons and the fit make this shirt extra special for me.
How do you remain authentic in representing your African heritage but also stay relevant and cater to a wide audience?
By translating African heritage instead of copying African heritage. The patterns you see in our collections are not 1 on 1 copies of African style aspects, but a reflection of our interpretation of it. By doing so it is less 'folklore' and more contemporary. We mix modern silhouettes with African inspired prints and color palettes. With this combination we mix the best of both worlds. We look at African culture in general from Moroccan tiles, to engravings on traditional Malian cutlery and African architecture. For example, we are currently working on a new capsule collection which we drew inspiration from the patterns and colours used on the houses of the Ndebele tribe in South Africa.
Who do you design for?
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 portion of our clientele are women even though Daily Paper is a menswear brand.
How has the brand evolved?
Our first designs were very basic compared to our current collections - this was mainly because we were limited by a small production budget when we first started the brand. Over the past few years as our style matures so do our collections. We started our first collection in 2012 with five t-shirts and I'm currently working on a 50-piece collection for spring/summer 15. This collection does not only contain a wide variety of t-shirts but also everything from socks to jackets. Our vision and understanding have vastly expanded yet the things that were important to the look of our pieces in 2012 are still relevant today as our brands philosophy remains the same.
We will continue to drop collections and special releases every season. We have planned a series of collaborations throughout 2014. This spring we are dropping collaborations with two well known footwear labels. The first one is with our friends at Filling Pieces which will be released in May. The second collaboration is with iconic sneaker brand PONY and is set to release in June. Apart from our regular collection and capsules you can expect many more special projects with ourfriends labels and artists.
Text Zeyna Sy
Photography Sharon-Jane D