Fashion is quickly pulling away from gendered norms, with more and more people choosing to take risks and wear pieces that were originally "meant" for the opposite sex. Whether it's guys like Young Thug and Jaden Smith preferring the fit and styles of women's clothing, or girls picking up the smaller sizes of drops from Kith, Supreme, or Noah, fashion-minded individuals are refusing to stay within any sort of gendered box when getting dressed.
One designer who has been keen on this notion for a minute is Raif Adelberg, who has been involved with brands such as Stussy and Canadian favorite wings + horns, working as a designer and artist. HYPEBEAST caught up with Adelberg to get some details behind his newest venture, HERMAN, which will be a skate and surf-inspired genderless fashion label coming to retailers like Barneys New York in the very near future.
Adelberg's focus on individualism is key to what drives the vision of his brand. In the interview, he recalls having to drive into Washington state from Vancouver, Canada just to get his hands on a pair of Vans Slip-Ons, and altering his clothes at a young age, whether by painting on them or chopping them up. "Street fashion to me is about being authentic and creating a style to one’s personality," Adelberg told HYPEBEAST. "When you say 'you can’t judge a book by its cover,' actually, you can. Because when you go into a book store, you’re attracted to that book for its cover, it’s what gets your attention." And much like how a cover grabs your attention, Adelberg's designs are about distinguishing the individual from the crowd in the spirit of '80s California skate and surf culture.
When asked about how he came to design a genderless line after years in streetwear and menswear, Adelberg recalls that "[he's] always designed for women but the clothing always had a masculine feel," As a way to bridge the gap between the two sides, he created HERMAN, "a label for “Her” and a label with “Man” to go for both genders.” He rejects the notion that in this day and age, fashion is still primarily gender-centric, because "even today there are a lot of guys that would wear a gown or a dress" with little to no hesitation.
Check out a few of HERMAN's upcoming items below, and keep a look out for the line at retailers like Barneys and Nomad soon. Head to HYPEBEAST for the rest of the interview.