Whatever 21's Fall '17 Lookbook: Mall Goth Glamour
By Justin Moran
Whatever 21 Fall '17 Lookbook: Mall Goth Glamour
Brooklyn-based Whatever 21 creates fashion for outsiders, bringing together a blend of contemporary sportswear and nostalgic mall goth attitude for a look that's garnered a significant queer following.
Helmed by founder Brian Whatever, the independent brand has been slowly growing each season, and for fall '17 delivered its strongest range to date—updated velour tracksuits a la Juicy Couture, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts with punk plaid detailing and plenty of DGAF slouchy silhouettes to sulk around in style.
The collection's goth-glam lookbook, premiering today on OUT, stars some of W21's core muses, including Cheeky Ma, Infinite Coles and Ylang Ylang. In the following slides, we meet the W21 models and discuss why they enjoy wearing Brian's brand and what changes they'd like to see in contemporary fashion.
On Whatever 21: "I love wearing Whatever 21 because it gives me the comfort of being in pajamas, while looking fly as fuck at the same time. Brian brings me back to my lil' scene days, and chilling at the park smoking cigs at 13 thinking I'm the shit. Though dark by nature, Whatever 21 makes me feel really warm and happy inside."
On Whatever 21: "[Whatever 21] clothes are cute like early 2000 mall goth dream clothes I imagine you would find at the pre-scene hot topic next to the TRIPP pants and the Demonia boots. They are versatile and easy to style in multiple different ways, which make them fun. I think Brian is physically manifesting ideas that are in the collective consciousness through making cute, comfy clothes people can express themselves through. Brian also makes things inclusive, which is cute and very necessary."
On Whatever 21: "I love what [Whatever 21] brings to the culture—where high fashion meets street punk. I love the creativity that goes into each piece, from the oversized rugged sweater look to the suspended bondage jeans. I feel like Brian helps a lot with breaking the barriers when it comes to fashion and social acceptance. His brand is for everyone no matter what race, color or gender. He breaks all boundaries and is very passionate about what he does. Brian is real,and this is what gives Whatever 21 its own identity: the realness."
On contemporary fashion: "I want to see more 'real' models getting major jobs. I feel with my look, I'm really limited to the type of shoots I can do, and [I'm] usually shooting with underground designers (which is totally not a bad thing). However, I wanna be modeling for Prada and other major fashion houses. Because of my height and size, it seems like it would be impossible, unless the industry becomes more open."
On contemporary fashion: "I would like to see contemporary fashion as we know it to end. Obviously fashion is inherently classist, racist, and exclusion is central to its "well being." After oil pollution, fashion is the 2nd greatest source of pollution in the world. The production of textiles pollutes many of the worlds waterways in third world countries. Fast fashion depends upon essentially slave labor even though we're living in 2017. Synthetic fibers [and] dye are all toxic in different ways; polyester off-gasses once-produced artificial dyes often contain heavy metals and other carcinogenic chemicals. When you sweat, your pores open to allow these things to be absorbed into your body as your body absorbs about 60 percent of what you put onto it. So essentially it's all fucked."
On contemporary fashion: "What I would like to see change in the contemporary fashion industry is the lack of acceptance in genderless fashion. A certain style or clothing shouldn't be for a certain gender. I was never a big fan on materialistic things having some sort of power to define who you are. A man should be able to walk out in a dress and it be socially accepted even it was made for a woman. Instead he would most likely be judged and categorized. I want people to look at fashion and just realize that it is art, and it is beautiful, and it is okay to be different."