This week a new fashion show premiered on the newly relaunched BBC Three. ‘The Drop’ is a competition focusing on nine young streetwear designers as they compete to showcase their unique takes on what the future of streetwear can look like, with the winner eventually having their line stocked in the retailer Flannels. Hosted by Radio 1’s Clara Amfo, the designers will be presenting their lines to judges Blondey, Marc Jacques Burton and head judge Miguel.
One of the core principles of the series is to break down the barriers for women to make it into the industry as well as to create more gender neutral looks and designs as, despite its massive boom in popularity, the streetwear industry is still primarily male dominated and focused. Read on for a rundown of the contestants and their brands as well as the outcome of episode one. Be warned, spoilers ahead!
Brand: Saint Mind
Categorising his brand Saint Mind as a lifestyle brand and streetwear hybrid Ibbz sees Saint Mind as being the next big brand in the UK. With more experience on the technical and marketing sides of the business as opposed to physical production Ibbz and Saint Mind have collaborated with the likes of Dappy and Yung Filly.
Currently studying fashion at MMU Kemi and her brand stand for sustainability and all of the movements that she believes in, wanting to make the fashion industry a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place.
Luke’s brand Dysfunctional focuses on creating streetwear suitable for everyone. Luke had an accident 12 years ago that caused him to lose one of his legs so he uses his brand and his products to send aspirational messages and inspire others to be their true best.
Missy and her brand Misemi are strongly inspired by 90s hip hop fashion with a particular emphasis on bug, bold prints and allowing consumers to really express their personalities through their clothes. Missy first started developing her brand when studying Architecture at university as a release from the course, which she wasn’t enjoying, and since then has had clients including Lethal Bizzle, Mahalia, Julia Adenuga and Raye. One of Missy’s main goals is to create and encourage conversation.
Brand: BVL Designs
Ola and his brand BVL Designs started out by making unique and quirky trainers that went against the grain and stood out amongst the crowd before eventually expanding into accessories, bags and garments too. Starting out the brand in the first lockdown due to his frustration with online working Ola quickly managed to collaborate with giants including Converse, Microsoft, Reebok and Jaded, so it’s safe to say that he already has his foot well and firmly in the industry.
Ruth’s brand was inspired by the film Dawn of the Dead which she used as the basis for her design in this first week. She created a huge display case that mimicked a ‘Break Glass in Case of Emergency’ panel that housed her garment, a gilet puffer with a zombie print on, behind it.
With his brand’s name deriving from the name ancient indigenous Africans used to call the land, Alkebulan, Saaba incorporates a lot of African tradition into his designs and garments. The designer also incorporates elements of knife crime into his clothes as well, being passionate about sending a strong message regarding the issue. Saaba graduated from Central Saint Martins and is seeking to tell the story of his people in a creative and engaging way.
One of Sam’s signature motifs is the yellow smiley face often associated with rave culture. Sam’s designs frequently feature bright colours and bold patterns giving his style a distinctly casual and laidback vibe that is perfect for the rave culture and imagery that he is inspired by.
Sophie’s brand GoGuy specializes in colourful designs for festivals and partygoers. Sophie describes the two main aspects of her and her brand’s personality as the 9-5, Monday to Friday workaholic and high energy, crazy and energetic which she uses as the basis for her design in the first week.
For this first week the designers were tasked with creating garments that reflected their own personal beliefs and ethics, reflecting themselves and their brands into their clothes. As well as this they also had to create a space to showcase and drop the clothes in, a significant challenge considering most of the contestants only have experience with online sales rather than physical drops.
This week’s guest judge was JME and he decided that Missy, who had created a printed puffer jacket dyed with orange swirls and the phrase ‘Love the culture but they don’t love us’, reflected herself and her story the best and crowned her this week’s winner, sending her through to the next round. Unfortunately, it was Ibbz who was the first contestant of the series to be sent home with the judges deciding that his garment and display didn’t convey the message of his brand well enough, with too many ideas being thrown into the final outcome.
With the challenges only set to get bigger and more difficult from here on out, it will be interesting to see which of the designers are able to make a big enough mark to stay in the competition. The Drop airs on BBC Three every Monday at 9pm and you can catch up on BBC iPlayer.
Words By Andrew Coyle
Photo Credit: BBC