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11 Honoré Launches Private Label Collection

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We tapped the CEO and design director for all the details.

11 Honoré, known for its unparalleled collection of luxury designer apparel—available in sizes 1226—launched its own private label collection on June 23rd. The skilled duo of founder and CEO Patrick Herning and design director Danielle Williams Eke, along with their team, began formulating a collection of elevated essentials months ago. Little did they know that coinciding with their release date, the world would transition to a completely new WFH lifestyle, causing their sartorial focus to shift to exactly what 11 Honoré offers: modern wardrobe staples that don’t sacrifice style for practicality. “I think about god shining a light on us,” says Herning of their impeccable timing.

The new collection’s price point ranges from $98 to $598 and contains everything from polished blazers and shirt dresses to chic sweats. The color palette is rooted in neutrals—classic creams, blacks, and whites interspersed with rich blues and a modern mushroom hue. These are clothes you want to (and are proud to) live your life in. We caught up with Herning and Williams Eke to discuss the story behind the collection and their thoughts on the plus-size fashion industry.

 

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On why they launched:

Patrick Herning: “Private label, just as a product offering for companies, is usually about margin health and opportunities to increase revenue. Sure, all of that’s true, but for us it was really a reaction to the [systemic] issue that we would find day in and day out, season over season, where we couldn’t get brands to go up to a 26, we would still struggle with fit problems, or we wouldn’t be able to find a price point that made sense for a particular style. By introducing private label, focusing on fit, focusing on integrity and everything that our company stands for, we now have an opportunity to not only dress more women, but to also have an aspirational price point that sits just below our existing brand partners in the overall 11 Honoré matrix.”

On the importance of fit:

Danielle Williams Eke: “The most common feedback we hear from a lot of plus-size customers is about fit. Whether you’re a plus-size brand or a straight-size brand transitioning into plus, the fit is always the hardest piece of that puzzle. We focused on things like having a real fit model versus fitting on a dress form so that we can understand how clothes move and feel and stretch. Our grade rule was really important, how we scale the size up to a 26 and scale down to a 12. That’s always a hard part for a lot of brands to get. The way we really wanted to tackle that was by getting a group of women from our office, from a size 12 through 26, to try on these clothes and give us feedback. We were able to see that as we go up to a 22 or 24 in a top, maybe it was getting too long. If we were scaling down to a 12 or 14, then the armhole was getting too small. Without taking that extra step, those are things that you miss.”

On the makeup of the collection:

DWE: “We wanted to look in the plus-size retail landscape to really see what was missing, what women were asking for. It really was about these modern wardrobe staples that were of high quality with good fit. The other piece of that was looking at straight-size brands that we’ve always admired. One of those was Donna Karan and her seven easy pieces, which were really about getting a group of garments together that could be mixed and matched and used throughout different aspects of your life. We really wanted to adopt that architecture in terms of building the line. The great thing is that we started designing this pre-COVID, and as we’ve transitioned into our current lifestyle, this collection is actually even more relevant than I think we thought it was going to be.”

 

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On steering clear of the word basic:

PH: “I know it’s semantics, but we’re really careful not to use the word basic. The reason I say that is this collection is based on a simplistic yet super stylish and chic approach to dressing. We’re talking about pared-back essentials. It’s really important that she doesn’t feel that our thought process behind this was to give her basics; it was to give her essentials in which she can grow her wardrobe upon. As a retailer, we have this unique opportunity to identify what we’re missing in the overall scheme of brands we carry, not only from a price-point perspective, but from a style perspective. It’s really meant to be about giving her an awesome black pant to go with that Sally LaPointe investment coat she loves.”

On the inspiration behind the designs:

DWE: “Women have always been the ultimate inspiration to me. We want to address as many women as we possibly can, and in order to do that, you really have to understand where they are in the different facets of their lives. We are mothers and wives and businesswomen. We’re all working from home and doing multiple things. As we go on to develop fall and holiday, that challenge of the intersection between casual and dressy is something I’m super excited to tackle head-on because it does force me to think outside of the box and look at new fabrics in a different way. It’s a challenge, but I’m really excited because to me it’s something fresh and new that isn’t out there. It’s untouched territory.”

 

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On the changing landscape of plus-size fashion:

PH: “I ideated this back in 2016. We had been developing the business and went to market to look at fall ’17 collections. That fashion week, Michael Kors sent Ashley Graham down the runway. Prabal had his ‘I Am Feminist’ tee. A conversation had started. We were eight months in development ahead of that and couldn’t have anticipated that was going to happen. You never want to be too far ahead of the wave because the wave crashes on you. If you’re riding the wave, you’re with a bunch of other surfers, and it’s competitive. We have been pulling the wave. As a result, we have seen, firsthand, the industry changing. The thing that’s so exciting for all of us at 11 Honoré is sure, we struggle with fit, straight-size retailers struggle with fit, but just seeing the commitment from brands who want to do it. Some brands paused, not because they didn’t believe in it, but because they wanted to get it right.”

On how 11 Honoré fits into fashion’s current moment of reckoning:

DWE: “We like to use the term fashion reimagined, and to me that continues. It’s a cycle. I think you have to always continue to look at the lifestyle of your customer. Brands who don’t focus on their customer enough get lost in the sauce. I think the more we focus on our customer and her current lifestyle and how we can evolve to what it is that she’s looking for, that’s how we stay relevant in the midst of what’s happening in the industry.”

PH: “I think our private label, it really is a love letter to our customer. All of this was in development pre-COVID, so it is speaking to her current lifestyle. We want to continue to pay attention to that lifestyle and really develop and build into this brand in partnership with her, with where she is. There’s an emotional connection to how she’s going to react to this.”

On where plus-size fashion goes from here:

DWE: “I think the industry should approach it in the same way that we are all currently approaching diversity. Whether it’s color diversity, size diversity, preference diversity, whatever it may be, you have to just start. Again, my inspiration is always women, so I think we need to see more women who look like us. The more we can break down those roadblocks that have been in the way, the quicker we can move forward.”


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Official Images & Rumored Info

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Official product images of a Nike SB Dunk Low “Chicago” have surfaced courtesy of UK retailer Size?. Their existence suggests that a wider release could be imminent.

The “Chicago” colorway will be part of the “J Pack,” which debuted in 2005 and put iconic Air Jordan colorways on the SB Dunk Low. A “Royal BLue” version dropped in 2005, with a “Shadow” iteration joining the lineup this year.

This “Chicago” pair is different to its predecessors in that it features an upper entirely made of smooth leather, whereas other “J Pack” colorways mixed smooth leather with suede panelling.

No word yet on when this pair will be released, so stay tune for any updates.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar, and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning-quick updates to your inbox.

Bean-eating content machine!


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Nike’s “WORLDWIDE KATAKANA” Pack Release Information

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Nike has been inspired by the globe in recent weeks, dropping the Air Force 1 “Euro Tour” and an extensive “Worldwide” pack, and now the Swoosh has stopped by Japan for a “WORLDWIDE KATAKANA” collection.

UNDEFEATED has released the “WORLDWIDE KATAKANA” collection early, and has spotlighted the shoes and apparel in an exclusive editorial. The stalwart has put the focus on the sneakers, which come in the form of three Nike Air Force 1 ‘07 LV8s in black or white with matching all-over graphics, as well as one white and gold pair, and three pairs of Air Max 90s which appear in the same colorways.

The black colorway used across the sneaker collection sees traditional Japanese katakana syllabary all over the upper in neon green and white. Overlaying this is the term “worldwide.” This graphic motif is paired with white and “Flash Crimson” components, which highlight different areas on different shoes; the outsole for the AF1, and Air unit on the AM90 for example.

Nike’s white offering adopts the same construction, but uses black katakana symbols and overlays this with bright blue “worldwide” stamps. The white AF1 and AM90s are contrasted with neon green and bright blue segments, once again highlighting different areas on both shoes.

Standing out from those four sneakers is the “White/Metallic Gold” Air Force 1 and Air Max 90. The uppers are clean, served in white suede and leather to give the pairs a premium look. This is contrasted with a “Metallic Gold” swoosh on the side, a matching sock liner, and more gold detailing on the tongue and heel of each pair. Like all Air Max 90s in the pack, five mini swooshes have been embroidered on the toe box.

Rounding out the Nike “WORLDWIDE KATAKANA” collection is a selection of apparel pieces. There are T-shirts featuring the same katakana symbols on them, jackets adorned with colored mini swooshes to match the sneakers, and a pair of shorts and a skirt that go along with the black sneakers on offer.

Take a look at the entire Nike “WORLDWIDE KATAKANA” collection in the galleries above. UNDEFEATED has released the pack early at its numerous Japanese outposts and online. Shop the collection on UNDEFEATED’s website while stocks last.

In other news, Nike has dominated this week’s best footwear drops with its $500 USD ISPA sneakers.

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These photos of queer, brown Asian men aim to widen representation

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Growing up in Singapore, photographer Hidhir Badaruddin was always conscious of being different. “I knew from a young age I was not like the other boys growing up,” he recalls. “Instead of playing with action figures, I would be found in the aisle playing and combing the hair of a My Little Pony toy.” In addition to feeling alienated by conventional masculinity, the sense of his own otherness was compounded by the knowledge that he was a minority even within a minority. “As a queer brown Asian, who is also Muslim, I’m ticking all the boxes of being a minority. I don’t see anyone who looks or is like me portrayed in media.”

In a photo series entitled Younglawa (which means ‘(someone) that is beautiful’ or ‘the beautiful’ in Malay), Badaruddin seeks to address the gap of representation where Asian men are concerned. “I want the world to know how diverse and multifaceted Asian men can be,” he tells Dazed. He also hopes his images can challenge the colourism he’s encountered within Singapore, where Malays or Indians are often discriminated against in favour of lighter-skinned Singaporeans. “My goal is to show that the Asian identity isn’t just one look, and that brown Asians are also part of it as much as East Asians.”

We speak to Hidhir Badaruddin about Younglawa, resisting the pressure to conform to traditional gender expectations, and how fashion magazines “kept him sane” during military service.

Can you tell us a bit more about the project and how it came to be?

Hidhir Badaruddin: I have always been (and still am) on a journey of discovering my own masculinity. As a brown Asian male, I’ve found myself excluded from the narrative of what people in the West perceive to be Asian masculinity. When one is said to be ‘Asian’, they’re often characterised as being of East Asian descent. Why so? Because it is how the western mainstream media has commonly portrayed and categorised Asians. I hope to show that the Asian male identity isn’t just one look.

Photography was the medium I knew how to navigate well. I wasn’t the smartest in school or the all-round athlete, but photography was my way of expression and I had a point of view. Being able to tell my story and show my vision was important to me – something that I believe photography has the potential to do in this project.  That is why I wanted to create a photo series that developed on both themes of Asian identity and masculinity, because they are both part of me.

I hope to challenge the stereotype of the Asian male and celebrate their youth, tenderness and soul. The photo series was made during my last trip back home to Singapore.

What are the common Western preconceptions about Asian men? How would you define the gap in representation?

Hidhir Badaruddin: When you think of the traditional masculine figure, white, physically well-built, and strong, are attributes that come to mind. This has always been the visual narrative reinforced by what we see on screen and in print across mainstream media. It has always stemmed down to how we have been portrayed. There weren’t many Asian men holding these attributes because very often they’ve been stereotyped in roles; such as the nerdy sidekicks and not the main character of a story, for example.

I don’t recall the last time I ever saw a brown Asian male fronting fashion campaigns or films within the media. Asian men have long been desexualised in western media and this has been driven by the lack of representation. The Asian male is usually portrayed emasculated and lacking in appeal or a voice.

“People like me were always in the background, the supporting roles, and rarely in the forefront or the protagonist” – Hidhir Badaruddin

Could you tell us a bit more about the pressure to define ‘what kind of Asian’ you are?

Hidhir Badaruddin: Moving to London for university, I attended a fresher’s event and I remember getting asked ‘what kind of Asian’ I was by a couple of people at the party. I told them that I am of Indian heritage but grew up within Malay culture in Singapore. One person slowly nodded their head in agreement, and another gave me a rather perplexed look. It was no surprise for me that people in Western countries would often associate the Asian identity with East Asians; the Chinese, Korean, Japanese.

Having someone ask me this type of question made me feel like I had to validate myself and my identity, as though some people didn’t know that someone that looks like me even existed.

Brown Asians such as South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis) and Southeast Asians (Malays, Filipinos) are often overlooked. The global success of the film Crazy Rich Asians, set in Singapore but predominantly featured Chinese ethnic characters, only seems to strengthen this assumption.

You mention your struggle to conform not only to a masculine ideal, but also to a kind of ‘aspirational’ whiteness. Could you tell us a bit more about this experience?

Hidhir Badaruddin: Growing up in Singapore, as diverse as it is, colourism still exists where often the Malays or Indians would be boxed into stereotypes seen as uneducated or unappealing. Growing up there was always a preference for lighter-skinned people, even in my own family where comparisons from a very young age would be made against my cousins and I for how lighter-skinned they were. As if to be lighter-skinned, one was better.

I would hear remarks from a young age such as, ‘Don’t play out in the sun for too long, or you’ll go dark’, as if it was a negative thing.

It roots from the belief of white supremacy. Whiteness was what we have unknowingly aspired towards growing up, where we are rewarded for our performance of whiteness, this includes speaking English. And don’t get me started on how many times people have complimented me on how good my English was, simply because they assume English isn’t the spoken language in Singapore.

People like me were always in the background, the supporting roles, and rarely in the forefront or the protagonist. For a while, I gave into the narrative of how brown Asians were only meant to lead certain career paths and positions. Over time, I realised that if I wanted to see a change in this narrative ingrained in me (all my life), that I had to be the one making the change.

You describe military service and being the only recruit reading fashion magazines in camp. What did the magazines represent to you? And in what ways did they ‘keep you sane’?

Hidhir Badaruddin: The photographs from the editorials of fashion magazines provided an escape from the regimentation of military life. Being in camp five to six days a week, away from home and civilisation for up to two years can take a toll on you mentally. 

Serving in the military, I constantly had to mask any form of uncertainty, or weaknesses with a veneer of confidence in hopes that it would make me seem more masculine. I was that recruit that was sneaking in fashion magazines into camp. I would often get comments suggesting I was doing so to see ‘sexy images’ of the female models inside.

Fashion magazines provided a window to another world, even if it was just a couple of minutes flipping through the pages up in our sleeping quarters. At the same time, I remember thinking about how I did not come across a page to see anyone that looked like me. Magazines were an escape. However, they were also a reminder of the realities that this idealised world, this escape, didn’t seem to include people like me. I was longing for something where I didn’t seem to fit in.

What do the bubbles represent?

Hidhir Badaruddin: The bubbles consist of a stretchy plastic substance and are blown through a thin straw. They were popular around the late 90s through early 2000s and I remember it being a prominent feature in my childhood. For me, the bubbles represent youth, pre-internet. 

The bubbles have bubblegum-like consistency, they’re not as durable as regular balloons and could pop easily if handled with too much force. Visually representing the fragility of a nostalgic time. Most of the boys relate to playing with the bubbles when they were younger, almost as if revisiting a nostalgic memory through them.

In what ways do you hope Younglawa will challenge these stereotypes?

Hidhir Badaruddin: The name ‘Younglawa’ is a play of words between English and Malay sounding like ‘Yang Lawa’, translates to ‘(someone) that is beautiful’ or ‘the beautiful’. With Younglawa, I hope to portray my vision for a new generation of Asian masculinity. I want the world to know how diverse and multifaceted Asian men can be, that brown Asians are also part of Asian identity as much as East Asians. These young Asian men are portrayed in an intimate and vulnerable way, challenging traditional values on how Asian men are seen both from within  and outside the Asian community. I hope to break the stereotypes in the media by visually creating the change I would like to see in the world.

When it is safe for everyone to be out again, I hope to expand the series. I’d like to photograph Asian boys in London, juxtaposing the geographical differences whilst celebrating the similarities of the Asian identity. Elevating Younglawa further, I hope to create a physical platform for the photos, in the form of a zine or a visual fashion calendar inspired by the yearly Pirelli calendars.


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