Pitti Uomo this year had a section dedicated specifically to african designers titled AFRICAN CONSTELLATION. Now being a trade show, showing at Pitti Uomo as a brand is a great exposure and that is where I discovered this gem of a brand surprised at myself how this genius of a label was hidden for so long. What many designers are pretty much cautious to venture into, is the very essence of this brand’s core foundation; prints for menswear.
Turning up desi and videshi (foreign) elements over their heads on a kitschy platter, that’s 9lines for you. The local Pakistani brand has been serving up since 2013. The brand that started off with kitschy graphic tees and have branched out into different merch each one unique in its own identity.
The co-founders Saad Shahid and Hassan Iqbal Rizvi (who are pretty easy on the eyes; perfect reason for them to star in their own campaigns… I hear no complaints) are two fun creatives who have successfully managed to build a fan base in a short amount of its nascent stages (who can say it just started in 2013). The brand’s philosophy is not simple. its a RIOT. The pop culture references, the splash of color, the desi kitsch design sensibility and the love for vintage Lollywood and Hollywood movies. Its unapologetically sassy and does not fear to mix up elements with fun one liners. Turning over Linchenstien and Warhol over its head, the brand successfully manages to cater to the local and international brand of people who don’t fear stepping it up a notch with desi Pakistani kitschy elements.
So you would get an audrey hepburn with a ‘jaani zid na ker’ tag line, a Marilyn monroe with ‘had ker di aap ne’ to Barbara Sharif with ‘phoolon ki shehzaadi’ (trust me translating it in english would make it lose its charm). A loud applause is definitely in order for them to successfully translate the street art into wearable one. Its loud, its kitschy and its desi fun . In the sea of sophistication, the duo sings a tune of their own. Though one does see a shift in terms of evolution towards being polished, they do not lost sight of their kitschier ways… just the way they like it (n I hope they keep it that way).
Starting off with quirky and cheeky ‘tease’ (how they like to call it), stationary and poster, they have quickly spread out into different merch including their successful line of bags. Just this summer they launched a limited line of sunnies (guilty of owning one) and these neon briefcases that are sure to grab attention (who said you can’t have a little fun while being corporate ;). Launching their faux leather jackets for fall, the brand is spreading out its wings into more apparel ventures without losing the sight of their attention grabbing aesthetics. The poppy colored jackets are a perfect fun element of pop for those experiencing fall/winter (who said it has to be all greys and darks) … and whats more is they deliver across the globe. Head over to 9lines before they run out (trust me they do.. with a limited edition I was looking to get my hands on of their other products and it was gone within a day). Get your kitsch on!!
*Images courtesy 9lines