Luxury streetwear label, Loveclosely, introduces to the industry a whole new meaning of “East meets West luxury.” Founded and leading a meaningful journey since 2018, the brand communicates rich rooted tradition, culture and history inspired by the Middle East and South Asia. In efforts to connect two ends of the world together, the label’s product lines illustrate a unique twist on the relationship between modern art and social consciousness across the globe. Making recent appearances on notable personalities such as French Montana, Roy Woods, Jessie Reyez, OVO 40, Yuna, Krewella, and others, Loveclosely is just one step closer to dominating both the fashion and entertainment industries.
The brand’s newest sustainable collection, ‘Birds of Love,’ sets a new standard for luxury streetwear. Constructed from up-cycled textiles and patchwork, the newest pieces repurpose waste production in efforts to strive for a more environmentally-friendly version of luxury. The name, ‘Birds of Love,’ has been claimed to derive from the Persian fable, “Conference of the Birds.” The story speaks of the search of happiness, for the birds to only find that true peace arises from within. This concept has been brought to the center of the newest collection in hopes for consumers to pull from the lesson and apply it to their lives.
As the industry enters its post quarantine era, many brands have found themselves in the modern struggle of adapting to the current retail climate. Consequently, labels have had to refocus their intentions and creative processes. With the pressure push for representation saturating the industry, Loveclosely has turned its natural commitment into the new standard: transparent representation of people, culture and their values. While redefining what other brands have failed to portray, the label holds a special place in both streetwear and now a new vision for the future of fashion. With an ever-changing industry at its peak of differentiation, Loveclosely’s contribution will surely leave an impact.
To dig deeper into the innovative brand, we interviewed the CEO and Creative Director himself, Taha Yousuf, about his intentions and creativity as the designer of Loveclosely.
“Fashion now must be meaningful, carry a powerful message, and help to create a change that questions the status quo.” – Taha Yousuf
Trend Privé Magazine: What inspired you to create Loveclosely and where did the name emerge from?
Taha: Loveclosely was founded to create meaningful streetwear rooted in tradition, culture, and history, specifically the vast amount of forgotten poetry, art, and culture from the Middle East & South Asia. By connecting the two worlds together, we are hoping to expose our community to the beauty of different cultures and traditions, and share it with the masses. The name is meant to resonate with our community to appreciate their innate passions, talents that differentiate from others and make them unique. It also aims to break down the negative connotations that may exist with the culture, and create a new perspective–one of beauty in fashion.
TPM: What is the story behind your newest collection, ‘Birds of Love?’
T: This collection is inspired by the Persian fable, “Conference of the Birds,” a story of birds in search of happiness, only to find that true peace comes from within. Drawing inspiration from this Persian poem, we hope to encourage others to continue to focus on their personal and mental well-being. Especially during a time of quarantine and isolation, it’s important to find contentment outside of the regular daily life filled with work, school, and social obligations. We hope to create a new avenue of learning as a choice rather than a lesson.
TPM: How do you think your brand plays a significant role in today’s retail climate post COVID-19 and beyond?
T: In a post-pandemic world, this East Meets West luxury brand doubles down on their message of creating meaningful apparel meant to resonate with their community. While other brands struggle to re-align to the new fashion climate, Loveclosely feels stronger than ever that the fashion community needs to be a leader in de-commercializing in order to truly represent the people & their values. As consumers become more conscious about the choices they make in life and in fashion, the complexity has increased for brands as well. Fashion now must be meaningful, carry a powerful message, and help to create a change that questions the status quo. The brand is also proud to take this step forward in sustainability as we continue to set the bar on how everyday fashion is consumed; not as a trend, but as an art-form.
TPM: Your newest collection ‘Birds of Love’ is 100% sustainable. Can you elaborate on the development process and what it took to build a sustainable collection?
T: Design always comes first–using inspiration and innovation to create sketches and tech packs of what vision we would like to execute. Sourcing took the longest time and a lot of back and forth in order to find the right relationships with access to waste materials, and match the different colours and textiles accordingly. After being able to source appropriately, we were very hands-on with the development of samples. We went through about 3 iterations of different colours and back and forth with fabric textiles in order to arrive at the final sample; with which we went into production. The entire process, in all took 4-5 months.
TPM: Where do you source your materials and production?
T: We work with a Canadian clothing manufacturer, producing goods locally, and internationally in Pakistan & China. In order to combat our concerns with ethical fashion, we directly interact with our factories to ensure we address exploitation of child workers and adult workers through unsuitable work environments, forced overtime, and subjection to physical and verbal abuse. Internal audits are performed on a regular basis, and compliance standards are met with regulatory authorities. We hope to also further improve our ethical standards through expansion, and pivot our factories solely to the Middle East / South Asia in the future.
Our factories have appropriate policies and controls in place to ensure minimizing of waste production and enforce protection of the environment. We recognize that cotton production, and specifically polyester can have an adverse impact on the world. Our mission is focused on empowering our community, and as such are striving to ensure we reduce the use of poly-based fabrics and better our environmental footprint. All our pieces are not meant to be fast fashion and are meant to last as essential wardrobe items to be worn for years. We are aiming to further better our sustainable apparel lines in the future through future releases. Stay tuned for more!
TPM: What is your relationship with sustainability and why was it important for you to create the ‘Birds of Love’ collection in an ethical and sustainable manner?
T: We have only just started our relationship with gearing towards more sustainability in our clothing through this collection. We hope to continue to expand on this through positive reception with our community. It was important for this collection to speak directly to the current times, not only innately carrying a message, but empowering our community to think about the environment and the world around us.
TPM: What differentiates Loveclosely from other luxury streetwear brands and what would you want consumers to remember most about it?
T: Being the first to take our culture to the masses, we look forward to the challenge of being the first to simplify the beauty of our background through streetwear. Similar to how Japanese culture has taken over streetwear and with the rise of the creative world in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, & Pakistan, we believe we are the first to showcase the beauty of our art to the world through fashion. We want to be known for innovating and resonating with the community by carrying a message that speaks to each individual and empowers them to be better people. We also want to allow Middle Eastern & South Asian culture to be appreciated in the West for its beauty, without any perceived stigma or baggage that may come with its connotations.