Cancel that Billionaire Boys Club order. Wipe that drool you let slip whilst on Bape.com. Most of all; stop wearing whatever Big Sean wears. Here’s Y’Oh Streetwear – the UK’s latest offering in the world of fashion and streetwear, and it is streetwear. Created by one Kara Messina, Y’Oh’s upcoming drop probably includes some things you wouldn’t usually wear but is also more than probably going to be a massive hit in Britain and beyond! I was able to virtually catch-up with Kara and shoot her a few questions regarding the collection and the inspiration behind it.
Just to get the ball rolling and familiarise the readers with the brand; what is Y’Oh?
A men's streetwear brand run by myself and my sister Danielle making stuff you didn't even know you wanted haha.
You use the word “streetwear” on your Tumblr but from the pictures I see on there, it’s quite different from what a lot of people would call streetwear (recycled logos on tees etc). What’s the inspiration behind the brand?
I was thinking about the fact that I explicitly used the word â€œstreetwearâ€ the other day… I'm really glad I did. Most of the menswear coming out of the UK ends up being high end fashion. I knew I definitely didn't want it to be that so to make it clear I labeled it. The fault probably lies with the terminology. Some t-shirt brands call themselves clothing labels when they don't have the potential to do anything other than screen print tees. My understanding of streetwear is so much more than that. It relates back to the 90s when brands had a huge presence. I'm inspired by the way people shopped back then which is unlike the way we go about it today. I love that back in the 90s teenagers were saving up for their Ralph shirts. Y'OH isn't cheap (£120 for a shirt) but it's not out of reach either, basically you could save up for it if you wanted to.
I’ve seen you featured on a few “women in a man’s world” type blog features. Obviously this reaction was inevitable but how do you feel about a lot of the publicity you get focusing on this specifically?
Makes no difference really. I think it works for me because I really do see fashion designing as a service to society, I see what's missing, what people are looking for and provide it. Menswear comes more naturally to me. If it was womenswear, I'd be more concerned in what I wanted to wear…and in all honesty I'm not that stylish haha.
How did you get into designing? Is fashion/streetwear always been something you were interested in?
Yeah since I was around 8. I used to love drawing but I would only ever draw clothes. I guess it just carried on from there. I was sending letters to Versace in my teens asking them loads of questions (they never got back to me haha!). I went on to study it, then got a job in Italy as soon as I finished. I've spent the first 6 years of my career in high fashion so this transition into streetwear is a recent move. Why the change? I felt that I didn't connect with the customer who was buying clothes at that kind of price. I wanted to see my homies wearing the stuff I had worked on.
Are there any UK brands you’re feeling at the moment (besides your own obviously)?
Palace… I really love their stuff and although it's mostly tees and hoodies that I see at the moment, I know they will develop nicely. Their product and presentation is on point. And Too Much Posse. They have a good consistent aesthetic.
You’ve been “building the hype” up a bit on the social networks for quite a while so when will we see the first collection drop?
Haha! â€œBuilding the hypeâ€ – Trust me that's not intentional I would have dropped it ages ago if it was up to me. Manufacturing, the legal side, all of that needs to be taken care of before the big drop so hence the delay. I really wanna say 15th of September but I just spoke to the web-designer and made a few more changes so we'll see. Definitely this month.
Thank you Kara for taking the time to speak to Ahoodie.com – any shoutouts,
links or anything else you wanna say?
I could be here all day with the shoutouts so just a big thank you to everyone who's contacted me. I appreciate all the emails, tweets, facebook messages, blog post and features… I'm hyped your heads are ready!