Dover Street Market has assembled the Avengers of streetwear and fashion proper to raise money for COVID-19 relief. The international boutique is no stranger to high-volume collections — its 15-year anniversary collection amassed more than 60 brands — and it's responded to the pandemic by getting 27 brands to create T-shirts.
The lineup is a who's who of streetwear and fashion with brands including Nike, Raf Simons, Noah, Brain Dead, Online Ceramics, Undercover, and Sacai. 100 percent of the proceeds will go to charities in the six regions where DSM is located: London, New York City, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, and Los Angeles. In the U.S., all proceeds will go to Give Directly, which has helped support more than 100,000 families impacted financially by the pandemic.
The Fearless Initiative — The T-shirt capsule has been dubbed The Fearless Initiative and gave each brand the prompt of creating something that inspires hope and optimism. Online Ceramics' T-shirt, pictured up top, shows a scene familiar to many of us who've lived through lockdown. It shows a cheery character working on her home with the Japanese poem, "I write, erase, rewrite, erase again, and then a poppy blooms."
Bianca Chandon, Brain Dead (above), ERL, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Wes Lang also embodied the theme best with a range of encouraging messages. As someone prone to dark imagery, I'm particularly fond of Wes Lang's grim reaper with the text "We can all do better." More unambiguously optimistic is the jersey-like, 3/4 sleeve tee from Eli Russell Linnetz's NYC-based brand ERL (pictured directly below).
The 'rona hasn't disappeared so why should streetwear? — Streetwear was quick to step up for coronavirus relief, with brands including Supreme and Noah releasing their own charitable T-shirts. This sense of community central to the space continued with the reemergence of Black Lives Matter protests and another round of fundraisers from the likes of Brain Dead and another group of giants led by Fear of God. For as much as the larger fashion world has co-opted streetwear aesthetics, it could still learn something from its devotion to aid.
Scoop one (or more) this week — You can check out all 27 of the T-shirts on DSM's site, where they'll release at 11 a.m. EST Thursday. They'll also be available at each of the store's locations, which have all re-opened since lockdowns have eased.