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STYLE AND CULTURE

ASOS MAGAZINE CHATS WITH COLLUSION

November 29, 2018

As fashion's future is increasingly defined by creatives disrupting the system, who better to express the style needs of an emerging generation than the generation themselves? Launched in October, COLLUSION, exclusive to ASOS, brought together six diverse trailblazers to collaborate on the creation of the new brand — YouTuber Spencer Elmer (18), stylist Clarissa Henry (23), YouTuber Grace Mandeville (23), artist Rene Matich (21), visual artist Jebi Ndimuntoh Labembika (19) and blogger/author Chidera Eggerue (23). See below for a taste of our chat with five of the six (Chidera couldn’t make the shoot) and read the full interview in the Party issue of ASOS Magazine, available here.
Five of the Collusion designers | ASOS Style Feed

COLLUSION is...

Clarissa: "A brand that reflects Gen Z and its rebelliousness. A collusion of different ideas, trends and personalities."
Jebi: "Back home [in Cameroon], each tribe has its own way, so when they step into the world, each tribe is identifiable. The clothing, collaborators, models, message — all of that amazingness is like a tribe."
Rene: "COLLUSION means doing things together — as in every single person, not just fashion people, models, able-bodied people, white people or rich people."
Three of the Collusion designers| ASOS Style Feed

Why it's needed...

Rene: "Being a queer, working-class woman of color, I got involved to be my own voice as opposed to someone speaking for me."
Clarissa: "I thought, 'I want to do consulting because so many brands do it wrong.' I want to be the one who says, 'No, you have to do it like this!'" 
Spencer: "It’s not just us six, there are thousands of people who feel the same but don’t have a voice — COLLUSION’s given us that." 
Jebi: "I’ve never fitted in, that’s what I want people to realize — it’s alright to be different." 
Three of the Collusion designers | ASOS Style Feed

It's a work in progress...

Rene: "We had all-day monthly meetings in Shoreditch, discussing everything from casting and ethics to inclusivity, putting Post-it notes all over the walls." 
Jebi: "We spoke about the fashion industry and researched brands doing things well, and brands who weren’t."
Grace: "One of the exercises was to go through magazines and create a wall of perfect representation. That’s when I saw from everyone’s perspective what they wanted to see. I said I couldn’t see anyone disabled and everyone was like, 'Wow, we didn’t understand it until now.'”
Clarissa: "Just because you’re represented doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be considerate of other people who aren’t. Just because someone’s represented, are they represented the right way? Are they represented genuinely? Is this an authentic story that’s being told?"
Five of the Collusion designers | ASOS Style Feed

Pictures: Sarah Stedeford, Styled by Rebecca Goldsworthy

Growing together...

Jebi: "It’s hard sometimes to express yourself without coming across as overly confident — Chidera taught me to speak up more. Spencer is my babe! We vibed from the start. He invited me over to his house and I cooked pasta — I ended up on his YouTube channel!"
Rene: "I’ve learned how to collaborate because I’m a bit of a control freak about my art. It’s been nice to relax into other people’s ideas."
Spencer: "I’ve learned to listen. It’s easy to judge what it’s like to be someone else until you have a conversation."
Grace: "I thought I was open-minded before, but I didn’t realize there are so many social issues and that I could help. I felt uncomfortable talking about race, but Chidera told me, 'Just ask questions.'”

 

The Party issue of ASOS Magazine is out now — get your copy here.

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