The label that predicted the end of the world: Wear? Archives interviews Strictly Original

With an aesthetic fitting of the times, Strictly Original have bounced into an immediate success with their latest launch. But the brand have been bringing consistency since its birth three years ago.

Merging multiple genres, Nicholas Raefski & Justin Crail bring forward New York inspired garments alongside film, photography and other fashion initiatives.

New York is an amazing place to be a creative. It pushes you to be the best version of yourself. Being around so many amazing creative people forces you to always bring your A game.

And this background, along with the varying skillsets of the two creatives behind Strictly Original, has brought them plenty of supporters since establishing in 2017.

2020, however, has seen the brand develop into a new dimension. Setting eight months aside to produce the ’10 Seconds til Midnight’ collection, a new aesthetic had been achieved. And this vibe struck a note with the planet’s current predicament.

This is certainly a different feel than I have gone for in the past. We chose the theme a while ago, way before Covid hit and the world was in its current state. The title is inspired by the Doomsday Clock and the inevitable end of the world.

The collection uses the latter idea to tell a more personal narrative. I (Nicholas) used the end of the world as this extended metaphor to tell this story of ending my time at Strictly Original. Through a mix of streetwear and American contemporary wear I wanted to tell the story of how the end of anything must be met with open arms and acceptance.

Initially end is met with fear and resistance, but we must remember that everything comes to an end… and that’s okay. The ending is part of the journey.

The ’10 Seconds to Midnight’ Collection couldn’t signify this narrative any better. With a mixture of products, ranging from knits to graphic tees, the brand have encapsulated every part of their ambitions.

The drop, tinted with sadness as Nicholas’ time at the brand comes to an end, leaves the label in a position to provide their supporters with more than just clothes. Telling stories, stroking a note with current affairs and provide garments that catch people’s attention.

“Justin will be taking over Strictly Original. I (Nicholas) am really excited to see what he does and where he takes it. I’m confident he will be able to lead the company into the next phase.

As Nicholas passes the baton to Justin, Strictly Original are a label garner interest and excitement.

Nicholas Raefski speaking for Strictly Original to Wear? Archives.

Images courtesy of Strictly Original (@strictlyorig).

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