Spencer Badu is disinterested in the monolithic looks that are popular in mainstream fashion today. You know, those head-to-toe Yeezy Gap looks you constantly see on your Instagram feed. Or, when you go outside and suddenly see that teenagers are all wearing Rick Owens now thanks to Playboi Carti. Instead, the 28-year-old Ghanaian Canadian designer aims to promote a different kind of uniformity within fashion. While Badu smirks and admits his friends thought the term was cliche, he dubs his genderless and futuristic garments “Youniforms” because they’re about promoting individuality more than anything else. 

“It’s not about us forcing a look onto you or forcing a specific idea for a brand,” says Badu, whose clothing have been worn by the likes of ASAP Rocky, Young Thug, Kendrick Lamar, and more. “We want to create enough options that people could rotate or translate them into their wardrobe. The whole idea is creating garments that, more or less, challenges garment construction and even the industry.”

Since Badu launched his Toronto-based eponymous label in 2015, he has honed in on crafting contemporary garments that are innovative and enduring. A collared Spencer Badu shirt recently worn by Lamar for a Saturday Night Live promo is a prime example of his design ethos. The brown logoless shirt boasts additions like elasticated toggles on the cuff, and subtractions, such as sleeves with elbow holes which reveal whatever layer is underneath. While it almost looks exactly like the classic wardrobe staple, Badu’s touches redefine every notion of what we imagine a collared shirt should look like. 

“A shirt’s opening is usually a regular placket with buttons so how do we make it modern or futuristic? We put an invisible zipper,” he says. “But with an invisible zipper, because it doesn’t open at the bottom, there has to be some sort of finishing at the bottom. So we added an elasticated waist to bring a crop-like shape. So in a way, you now have a new shape and garment.”