With the popularity of streetwear skyrocketing month after month, drop after drop, the bar for collaborations just keeps getting higher. And today, we might have seen its peak: Illest has just announced a collaboration with Asians Never Die.
Yes, we’re talking about one of the OG streetwear giants joining forces with a meme page about Asians. Surprising? Yes. Did we see it coming? Kind of. Let me explain.
You see, Asians Never Die started as a meme page that made fun of Asian culture aka ‘the kind of jokes that your parents would 9/10 laugh about.’ With memes shared by thousands, and even millions, of people, it’s no surprise that the owner realized they could reach for something bigger. Fast forward to today, Asians Never Die still manages to produce quality memes and spoof shirts while also serving as a center of information for the Asian community. Talk about some real character development, right? While starting online and eventually transitioning into a brand sounds like a fairytale, Asians Never Die wasn’t actually the first to do this.
Mark Arcenal, the man behind Illest, first came onto the scene as a blogger. Yes, before YouTube channels and vlogs, there were blogs, and hip hop culture-focused Flatlace was Mark’s baby. But after growing his following, it turned into a home base for music, fashion and even motor-related content. With the success of Flatlace’s messaging, Mark wanted to carry this to a wider audience through fashion; hence, the birth of Illest. Was it a coincidence that two brands that started out as small communities ended up getting together? I believe so. But why should a streetwear brand partner with a meme page anyway?
Well, memes and streetwear are essentially similar. And no, it’s not because people literally line up for memes or that streetwear is laughable. Memes, just like streetwear, tell so much about a person. The jokes we’re into tell who we are as much as our style choices.
With the collection showcasing both the strengths and similarities of streetwear and meme culture, the pieces live up to the expectation to get heads turning. Hell, these might even be the best conversation starters. I mean, there’s literally a cap that says “Fear of Mum.” We know the idea may sound laughable, but trust us when we say, it’s definitely worth a cop. Peep their lookbook video below:
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Art by Jan Cardastro