For brands Abel Honor New York and Sorapol, inspiration is everywhere. From the people around them to books, travel and culture, these brands draw from every aspect of life to create styles that are fresh, modern, and creative. I caught up with them to discuss street style, athleisure, irony and, of course my most recent research topic for Issue 11, Juicy Couture.
How has street style inspired your brand?
Abel Honor New York: Street style has definitely inspired my brand. Subcultures are a huge muse for our design team, and the evolution of street style is definitely one of them. It can be anywhere from Emo street style, to Bohemian street style. I love vessels that can separate themselves from the mainstream.
Sorapol: As you may know, my brand takes most of its inspirations from culture. Streetstyle is simply another culture of fashion that I admire and of course I take some motifs from them to compose my brand. That is to say, I am looking more closely for the details of people in different cultures to reinterpret them into my own creations.
Street style is, for me, as much about attitude as it is the clothes. Do you agree?
Abel Honor New York: Totally. Attitude is the first thing you put on when you pick out your outfit – you wear that before you wear anything else. Your clothing is a direct reflection of that… or at least it should be! An outfit tells so much about a person.
Sorapol: Yes, I totally agree. Because most streetstyle clothes are representative of the person who wears them, they not only speak to their style but to who they really are. That being said the inner attitude is equally important as it is the main thing that can help you physically embody your identity as well as your personal uniqueness.
Can you tell me where you find inspiration for your designs?
Abel Honor New York: Well, I first find my ‘girl/guy’, and I do that by interacting with as many people from different walks of life as I can. I find so much beauty in diversity, as well as the unknown. This person may be someone I meet in a passing that I talked to for 5 minutes but left a beautiful mark on me… a mark that is worth celebrating and spreading. From there I will paint the picture of who this character is… what they do, where they vacation, how they dress, etc. After that, we add our Abel Honor special sauce to the mix and Voila! we have got ourselves a collection. Following lifestyles and cultures- rather than trends – maintains newness, as well as cohesiveness.
Sorapol: Most of my inspirations came from books and my experiences when I travel around the world.
Do you think that the popularity of Juicy Couture contributed to the current athleisure trend?
Abel Honor New York: Absolutely. I think the juicy track suit is one of the most iconic transitions in fashion!
Sorapol: Absolutely, the interesting thing about JC is that when it was started back in 1995 the history of the brand wasn’t focused around athleisurewear, it was created by 2 women who were solving a problem for themselves, which was stylish maternity wear. Their first iconic tracksuit was on the market in 2001 and the phenomena began. I think they were very much at the beginning of making it socially acceptable to wear athleisurewear every day, not just in the gym. When JC sold in 2003 it went for around $226 million which was paid over a five-year period, and this opened the gateway for a tonne of other brands.
There was a massive sense of irony surrounding those who popularised JC – you could even say that everything to do with JC and those who wore it were peak Camp – do you think today’s athleisure is ironic too? The idea that some people wear workout clothes to do anything but workout?
Abel Honor New York: I would say that today’s athleisure trend it is less iconic as it was when JC did it. I think when Moschino sends a baggy shirt as a dress down the runway is more aligned with JC’s track suit irony— but today’s athleisure is less couture and more skate wear inspired, attracting a more comfort. laissez faire attitude.
Sorapol: At the end of the day consumers choose to wear what they feel comfortable in, clothing is an armour and you wear what makes you feel like you. I don’t think athleisure is ironic, when we look over the last few decades there are always trends which actually come back around, in a sense athleisure wear started before JC. Look back at Jane Fonda and her workout videos, there was a mass love of spandex in the 80’s and it would be almost ironic to claim that people only wore this to work out in. In its day it was quite a provocative look, a female feeling confident to wear spray on lycra during the day, that was possibly the very start of athleisure as daywear. Media in the early 00’s is different to media in the 80’s which is why JC are headlined as starting it, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and J Lo was always seen wearing JC.