Weird Walk x Sophy Hollington
The self-described “portal for re-enchantment in an increasingly disenchanted world”, Weird Walk’s output spans zines, podcasts, T-shirts and more. The trio are guided by their fascination with “old stones, folklore, sacred sites and the ancient customs of these weird isles we call home” – think a deep-dive into the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. For their T-shirt, they tasked one of our illustrator faves, Sophy Hollington, with helping to create a design that captured the weird and wonderful in what they do. The result was a brilliant version of her signature tarot-style prints, embellished with a distinctly Weird Walk sensibility.
Mangal 2 – Love Kebabs: Hate Racism
A Dalston institution since the early ‘90s, Mangal Ocakbasi II is a family affair. Originally run by Ali Dirik, who opened the restaurant after arriving in London from Istanbul in 1987, in recent years it’s been taken over by his sons, Ferhat and Sertaç Dirik. Their “Love Kebabs: Hate Racism” T-shirt, which ran as part of our Local Businesses collection, helped raise funds for the charity Stand Against Racism & Inequality.
Sebastian Croft – Queer Was Always Here
Aged 19, actor Sebastian Croft had an impressive string of smaller, career building roles under his belt, but it was his turn as Ben Hope in Alice Oseman’s queer coming of age series Heartstopper, which ran on Netflix this summer, that guaranteed Croft stardom. Already, the actor has been using his platform for good. His Pride Month Queer Was Always Here T-shirt, designed by Kieran Blakely, raised funds for Rainbow Railroad, a charity who help vulnerable LGBTQIA+ people around the world escape violence and persecution in their home countries. “Often being queer is sold as a choice or watered down to a trend. But it’s not, and exists across nature,” said Croft. “We’re also robbed of a lot of gay history, and can easily forget how long we have been here for.”
Najla Said – Good Lil Muslim Girl
Based on her AZEEMA Magazine photograph series “Sister, Oh Sister”, Najla Said’s Good Lil Muslim Girl T-shirt was an “ode to merging and harmonising hyper-femininity and religiosity.” Said, who grew up in Cairo and has since studied in Paris, Boston, and now Berlin, often questions or destabilises stereotypes through her photographs, especially stereotypes around women. The T-shirt’s playful slogan continues this theme: “What started out as a joke with a friend, ended up being my way of reappropriating my religious upbringing,” says the photographer.
Beam Me Up Softboi
Dating field notes for the digital age, since it launched in 2018 the Instagram account Beam Me Up Softboi has amassed over 680,000 followers. Conceived and curated by 23 year old Iona David, who first started the account while at university in Manchester, in the four years it’s been running it has grown from a place to share screenshots of modern love woes, to a community. Now a freelance journalist and cultural commentator, David recently published Is This Love or Dopamine?: A Deeply Unofficial Study of Dating in the Digital Age. Her collection of tees drew from some of the Beam Me Up Softboi account’s greatest hits, with slogans like “Please tell me you’ve watched Pulp Fiction”.
Gabrielle Monceaux – The Hysterical Woke Cult
Bordeaux-based art director and illustrator Gabrielle Monceaux often weaves political messages through her work, statements like “Our home is burning, what are you going to do about it?” or, “You can only ban safe abortions”. An intersectional feminist who is passionate about social and environmental justice, Monceaux wanted to create a T-shirt that poked fun at culture war hysteria. The result was “The Hysterical Woke Cult”.
Emma Dragovic x Tina Bozorgi
Graphic designer Emma Dragovic joined forces with British-Iranian Tina Bozorgi to create a T-shirt in support of the urgent wave of protests in Iran, sparked by the death in police custody of Masha Jina Amini. For inspiration Dragovic looked to posters from Iran’s pre-revolution golden era, the 1960s and 70s, and echoed what’s become the movement’s rallying cry over the past four months: “Women Life Freedom”. “We wanted to elevate the voices of Iranians by constructing a cultural dialogue around art and design as a means to bring non-Iranian communities together to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran,” Bozorgi said on Instagram.
INTL Assembly x Dinamo
We partnered with INTL Assembly this November to support their annual Glasgow creative conference of all things design, branding, advertising and beyond. The resulting collection of tees in response to the theme ‘Rebirth’ were all standouts, with work by design world luminaries including Neville Brody, Atelier Brenda and N&MS. If we had to pick a favourite though, it might be this one by Swiss type agency Dinamo, who co-curated a recent Everpress collection around censorship too.
Radio Alhara – Sonic Liberation Front
Started by a group of friends from Palestine and Jordan in March 2020, Radio Alhara has quickly gained a following for its thoughtful curation and approach. Describing the station as a “cultural space” rather than simply strictly a music platform, they work outside prescriptive notions of what the Middle East is. “For us it was a way to go beyond preconceived ideas of contextual politics, the idea of using the radio is to transmit a voice that will resonate throughout the globe,” says co-founder Elias Anastas. Their “Sonic Liberation Front” long sleeve with us has been a standout, but their designs are consistently strong, perhaps in part because several of their founders are graphic designers.
A true multi-hyphenate, the DJ, performance artist, curator and activist Lewis G Burton created a tee fitting for their hybrid approach and community spirit for the Balance Collection. A portrait of Burton, shot by Yasmine Akim, accompanies a poem by Burton in celebration of non-conformity. Burton also runs the legendary clubnight INFERNO, which celebrated its seventh anniversary back in March. “INFERNO was really about creating a space for my community, my friends, my peers who are artists, and who were making really amazing work at the time, and doing something completely different to what everyone else was doing,” they say.
Neiza Hernández – Herself
Part of Femme Type’s collection, which asked designers to respond to the theme of “Growth”, Neiza Hernández’s “Herself” tee celebrated self-confidence, growth that comes from the inside, and doing it your own way. “There are many ways to grow,” reads the T-shirt (if you look closely enough). Co-founder of the Latin American branding studio Ochodias, Hernández is a Venezuelan art director and graphic designer who is currently based in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Tropical Futures Institute – Philippines Love Songs
Founded by designer Chris Fussner and based on the island of Cebu, Philippines, Tropical Futures Institute is a collective and design strategy studio whose work includes exhibitions, trend reports, music compilations, and some of our favourite T-shirts this year. Inspired by the iconic 1960s Philippines pop star Pilita Corrales’s compilation album Philippine Love Songs, their series of long sleeves and hoodies have cycled through multiple iterations. From Kristian Henson’s original version “which channels the everyday graphic objects in the Filipino cultural sphere” to Sasha Magallona’s pink hoodie, which features three stars representing the Philippines’ major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Waterworks x Right To Dance
The only specialist charity for children affected by conflict, War Child do incredible work around the world. As their music projects and events manager Sean O’Daly explained when we spoke to him about the Parallel collection, “Music has always been at the core of War Child’s activities.” Right To Dance is Warchild’s fundraising movement in collaboration with the underground music community. For this T-shirt, which was designed by art director, graphic designer, and music producer/DJ Morgan Hislop, they joined forces with London’s Waterworks day festival.
Refinery29 – Abortion Access For All
Refinery29’s series of T-shirts started life as posters, created for the abortion rights rallies that took place all over the U.S. in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade this past June. Like all good protest placards the T-shirts bear slogans to help destigimatise and raise awareness of abortion, but they had a clever added function, with a directory of useful organisations and phone numbers on the back. “We just want to show people that there are these resources out there to help them safely access healthcare,” said Carli Whitwell in an interview with us. All proceeds from their campaign went to the National Network of Abortion Funds, who work to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access through a network of abortion funds across the US.
Mattia Guarnera-MacCarthy – Poker Face
Freshly graduated from Camberwell College of Arts this summer, Mattia Guarnera-MacCarthy’s star is firmly on the rise. Already the South-East London-based artist has exhibited his works as far afield as Berlin and Seoul, and at the likes of London-favourite Guts Gallery too. For his first Everpress launch, Guarnera-MacCarthy decided to reimagine his favourite painting from his graduate show as a T-shirt, to give everyone the opportunity of owning his work: “I really just want this to be a chance for people who have supported me and shown me love thus far to have a small part of my work,” said the artist. “Not only to collect and have sitting at home, but also to go out with and look good in, to have conversations about, and to share the sense of ownership of my work.”
Read More: Najla Said Is Providing Representation