Say it with a slogan: 10 statement-making brands on our radar
Freedom of speech
Yes, we should all be feminists. The future is certainly female. And of course, girls just want to have fundamental rights. We will never argue the verity of those statements screen-printed on the t-shirts at Dior and Prabal Gurung, nor will we blame you if you're itching to admit that those slogans, relevant as they are, are talked to death — pun intended.
The antidote is this list of 10 slightly under the radar telepathic brands speaking their minds (and ours).
1. Être Cécile
Être Cécile's decidedly classic, almost too cool aesthetic is perhaps expected from husband-and-wife team Kyle Robinson and Yasmin Sewell — both fashion directors and style mavens in their own right. The couple launched the brand with the intention of designing unique ready-to-wear styles that are not only easy to dress up, but are easily incorporated with high end purchases too. Success.
What we love: Luxury t-shirts that are somewhat androgynous yet still feminine, infused with humour and light-heartedness. This summer, Être Cecile's French muse takes a trip to Los Angeles, living the high life, making picturesque stops at Rodeo Drive and Venice Beach.
Catchphrase du jour: U Turn Me On
2. A Black and White Story
On a mission to live out and uphold values of equality and integrity, Bip Ahuja and Anoo Rehncy ditched their previous careers for A Black and White Story. Promoting truth, diversity and unity through sophisticated street wear and active wear for both men and women, the brand's (you guessed it) monochromatic fantasy is becoming a fast favourite.
Why we love it: We're calling this the millennial dictionary, for its tongue-in-cheek, new age vocabulary tops combine wit, sass, and social consciousness.
Catchphrase du jour: Sushi: made to rock and roll
3. PSC pop.see.cul
After meeting as students in London's Central Saint Martins, Pia Hakko and Pelin Yasar started PSC pop.see.cul in 2013 shortly after their graduation. The duo's designs for both sexes are threaded with wit and attitude, meant to express personality and individuality. Straying away from the typical stereotypes, PSC pop.see.cul's lookbook is inspired by an honest approach to life and their unfiltered experience of moods and feelings.
Why we love it: PSC's t-shirts are practically conversation starters on their own, marked by sarcasm and candour bordering on the daring.
Catchphrase du jour: Goal digger
4. Bella Freud
Launched in 1990, Bella Freud's eponymous fashion label was already making a name for itself long before slogan tees returned for an encore. The designer and film producer is renowned for her graphic knits, with phrases like Ginsberg is God, Je t'aime Jane and 1970, particularly associated with the label. If there were ever a pièce de résistance in a wardrobe of must-wear fashion basics, a Bella Freud would be it.
Why we love it: Meaningful words, random thoughts and significant phrases — some of which, inspired by the designer's great grandfather, Sigmund Freud — are charmingly doodled on the finest merino wool, cashmere and cotton.
Catchphrase du jour: Art (because you are a work of one)
5. Rotten Roach
Born in the jungle that is New York, Rotten Roach has infested closets, becoming a cult favourite and celebrity go-to since 2012. A love of art inspired the creation of tees that serve as a canvas for playful slogans illustrated by artist and Oscar-nominee Hugo Guinness. This roach has jumped the pond, introducing New York's gritty street style to British classic elegance, and continuing to crawl its way across closets.
Why we love it: You can wear it with sweats and sneakers or trousers and heels — Rotten Roach walks you everywhere.
Catchphrase du jour: The boss
6. Lingua Franca
You could say that it was a bit of an accident when Rachelle Hruska MacPherson founded Lingua Franca. Retrograding to her childhood hobby of embroidery, Rachelle stitched the word booyah to her vintage sweater and shared it on Instagram. Soon, personal requests from friends and strangers wanting their own embroidered sweaters triggered the launch of Lingua Franca. Since then, the brand has gained popularity for unique slogans that include culturally attuned lyrics and socially relevant mantras.
Why we love it: Evocative messages and a political voice make these more than your classic, preppy pullovers. Feel the need to share how much you miss Barack? 50% of sales from the brand's resistance sweaters go to your charity of choice.
Catchphrase du jour: All the way up
7. Maison Labiche
An appreciation for savoir-faire and a hunger for inspiration encouraged the birth of the French brand six years ago. Collections for men, women and children are designed in a studio in Paris where lifestyle basics are elevated, produced using natural materials and incorporated with unique, subtle details. The creative muse behind Maison Labiche is the worldly Parisian, exploring new lands with a wardrobe that's both smart and casual.
Why we love it: Maison Labiche is thoughtfully designed for people who love to live. This season, the muse takes us on a trip to Africa where the chic and the wild unite for l'aventure of a lifetime.
Catchphrase du jour: French touch
8. House of Holland
House of Holland rose to fame with designer Henry Holland's amusing and irreverent catchphrases in 2006. A decade later, to celebrate its landmark anniversary, House of Holland has brought back its famous fashion groupies slogan t-shirts with fresh rhyming renditions that are just as amusing and cheeky as its original. Continuing to make headlines are the bright and bold tops favoured by the very fashion icons, models and designers they're inspired by.
Why we love it: A number of the tees here are strictly NSFW, yet House of Holland manages to be comical without being creepy.
Catchphrase du jour: I'm saving my hard on for JW Anderson
Reformation is on a mission to make killer clothes that don't kill the environment. Fashioned by designer Yael Aflalo, the brand is designed and manufactured in its own Los Angeles factory and partner factories. Integrating sustainability in every step of the production process, Reformation creates limited edition collections released every week, making a statement on and off the rack.
Why we love it: Staying true to their DNA, the brand's action tees are emblazoned with sustainable ethos.
Catchphrase du jour: My meow my choice
10. Spiritual Gangster
Radiate good vibes with Spiritual Gangster; the brand's fuse of ancient wisdom with modern culture draws inspiration from artists, musicians, athletes and yogis. Spiritual Gangster collections are fuelled by gratitude, philanthropy and happiness as a choice. Casualwear, activewear, swimwear and intimates are all inscribed with positivity and a sense of connectedness.
Why we love it: Slip into a Spiritual Gangster and feel as though you've instantly embraced la vie bohème, where good vibes are the only frequency.
Catchphrase du jour: Take me to nirvana