Its no secret that us here at Metoatee are proud of where we're from. The north west of England provides us with a melting pot of cultural history and influence. We like to celebrate this and share it with the world.
Last week in a somewhat unified fashion, two of the biggest contenders in streetwear have looked to the North yet again for their reference and to further their reach. Supreme and Palace have paid homage to two of Manchesters greats and not only Manchester’s, but Factory records greats.
Supreme have released a collaboration with Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, with a multiple piece collection from jackets to printed t-shirts and it is the graphics adorned on the ‘game over’ and ‘this is tomorrow’ tees that draw our attention. They are designs by none other than factory records own Peter Saville, he partnered with Yohji Yamamoto in 1991/92 and art directed numerous collections with Yamamoto over the years.
On the other hand with a less subtle reference to the north, Palace have released a collection in collaboration with the Happy Mondays. A comprehensive collection of t-shirts, a shirt with Bez going wild on it and a few different products using the cover of the Happy Mondays, wrote for luck.
These collaborations mark a few things, the significance of the North of England culturally and in particular Manchester not only Uk wide but also internationally. The use of northern artwork and creativity still holds strong and is happily used by national and international brands, despite little recognition of local talent or the North as a place that creativity can be sold on an international level. It seems it takes legendary status and not current inherent creative value. In no way is this a blow at the creativity of factory records nor the collaborations as pieces in their own right, but rather the fact that the working class north seems like a token to the rest of the world and not something that can be of value in its own right. That’s our two pence anyway, peace!