For many young fashionistas in their early twenties, the concept of fashion would usually go somewhere along the lines of an expensive and obsessive hobby that never really ceases. The constant fear of being seen in any attire that has exceeded it’s shelf life in retail stores hangs heavy and large over minds slowly shaped by media personalities and peers alike over numerous mediums. However, for such a consumer centric industry, it is a tragedy that few have aspirations to make something they can truly call their own.
Enter Judgement. : The latest manifestation of courage and sweat to toss their hats into the stress chamber of an industry that is fashion. The aspiring clothing brand is a collaborative effort put together by Timothy Ezekiel, 22, and Elizabeth Tan, 19. Originally an experiment to salvage old clothing, the ideas eventually birthed forth into an avenue to freely express themselves. “Judgement. is really just an expression of who we are and our own take on fashion”, Timothy said. “There’s something comforting about creating a piece of clothing that you, not just feel comfortable in, but also feel like you can truly be yourself; with no judgement.”
Keen photographers, the duo spent many a month thinking of their primary design and more importantly aligning their philosophy and steadying their artistic direction. “Creation and destruction is actually two sides of the same coin”, Elizabeth explains. “They’re really just two beautiful births in juxtaposition, complementing each other in process. One can’t create without destroying, and destruction itself creates and manifests into another form.”
Aptly named “We Are Not Your Friends”, their first collection aims to question the rules of society: the pillars of conventional thought. The collection specifically targets two specific groups of people: artists and anarchists. “Just in the way countries have flags, the aim is to have this collection represent those who are sick and tired of following what years of repeating this invisible, endless cycle has inbred into the fabric of our human nature”, Timothy said.
“Creation and destruction is actually two sides of the same coin”
Having seen many of his friends and family conscripted into the daily rat race, the collection also aims to “tear itself away from these systems, and to define their own worth”. “This is anarchy through art”, Timothy concludes with a silent thought. Although esoteric and introspective in thought, their designs don’t exactly fall too far off the grid with frayed fabric and raw edges representing “the beauty we see in decay”.
A sobering thought floats by and the duo acknowledges that for a small team of two, the workload has taken an additional toll considering that the duo already have commitments to national service and school. “Creating a brand isn’t easy”, Elizabeth said matter of factly when quizzed on their organisational tasks. “There are already tons of other great concepts out there. Exceptional is becoming the new norm.”
“Small-team syndrome” isn’t exactly a new concept to them either with its ugly head rearing early on in their planning phases. “Zero to no sleep is definitely a pre-requisite for success”, Elizabeth exclaims. “Suppliers tend to only reply during the wee hours of the morning. Understandable, considering the different time zones and such.” The team also shares multiple anecdotes of suppliers, who were “frankly disappointing” with the product they promised falling far off the mark. “We had suppliers who sent us samples with the designs already falling off, or with very, patchy threadwork that was beyond slipshot.” Though rueing the costs of these mishaps, they are satisfied as “the many wrongs have led to a right”.
“There’s something comforting about creating a piece of clothing that you, not just feel comfortable in, but also feel like you can truly be yourself; with no judgement.”
All negativity aside, the small Judgement. team also ensures that there is greater control in what happens within the brand with both members knowing their roles. Elizabeth’s tasks include overseeing the marketing and finances of the brand, while Timothy bears most of the creative and brainstorming load. “I’m a little neater and maybe a bit more structured in the way I do things”, she said with a laugh. “I think our personalities compliment well, and it ensures a good platform for the design to realise it’s fullest potential.”
Timothy’s tasking is rather non-linear, however, and comes in bursts and spurts, which takes its toll, often leaving him frustrated. “Similar to our philosophy, we both see the end product, though one of us sees it from beginning to end, and the other vice versa.”
When quizzed on their future endeavours and beyond their first collection, they take a moment to ponder, with both searching the other for answers. A small discussion takes place, and I wonder if the touted answers would eventually take shape in the future. A more conservative response is agreed upon however, and they admit that beyond their first collection, they are uninspired at the moment; an honest luxury that they know they can’t afford in the hustle that never sleeps. “Timeframe? Well, that’s something we can’t define at present”, Timothy answers carefully. “We’ll definitely need a bigger ‘thinktank’, than the one we had for this collection. New births, new deaths, who’s to say what this new experience is going to teach us?”
The collection is due to be released sometime in mid 2017.
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