Bastards of Youth is a brand that has been influenced from everything from ’90s culture to Norwegian black metal. In this issue of ASIAN VOICE, we explore the current Asian fashion scene from the perspective of “originality”.
Nana : As we always ask our guests, can you give us a brief introduction to your brand?
Aldy : Bastards of Young at it’s core is a brand with a lot of influences, ranging from ‘90s cultures, punk subcultures, skateboarding magazines, Guy Debord situationism, films, music ranging from Brazilian bossanova to Norwegian black metal, artist like Raymond Pettibon, Shepard Fairey, Gee Vaucher, Banksy, Ryan McGinley and russian posters. All of our designs and stuff are a big collage from all of our influences.
Our messages is of course, staying young and free. We want people that use our products to live their best life, not losing their inner child and have a positive outlook in live.
Nana : How did you come up the name of your brand?
Aldy : We decided to create Bastards because we’re tired of always consuming other products but not creating anything. It’s just our basic desires to create stuff at first. We started making local bands merchandise Tees at first (around 2011-2012), than we started putting our logo on our original designs and they sells better than the band merchandise, so yeah, we’re headed into that direction and started making more original designs up until now. I named it “Bastards of Young” simply because I liked the Replacements song called Bastards of Young, and the lyrics really blew me away when I first read it.
Nana : Are there any other things that have influenced “Bastards of Young”?
Aldy : Music, art and films has always been the staple of our influences and it’s always our main passion. Imagine life in these pandemic times without music, art and films. Life would be a waste. The thing is, at first, we were not into fashion as much, but music and films have always introduced us to fashion: the way cool bands dressed or the cool villains in movies. Other brands that we like are: FUCT, Cavempt, Brain Dead, Online Ceramics, Aries Arise
and of course, all those heritage outdoor brands: North Face, Patagonia, Carhartt, and Salomon.
Nana : What is your impression of the current fashion scene in Indonesia?
Aldy : There seems to be a lot of brands doing price wars nowadays, and it’s literally destroying the fashion ecosystem from the inside. And there are too many fast-fashion retailers that are creating dangerous effects on the earth. There are still many underpaid workers in the fashion factories. Also, there is a price surge on fashion ingredients because of the pandemic.
There are many new and great Indonesian brands. People now are proud to wear local brands because of the good quality and designs. Some local footwear brands nowadays go head-to-head with International footwear brands. People get influenced from the over-flowing surge of informations on the internet nowadays, so a trend on country A can also happening on country B, C until Z. Some countries get the trends at a later time but it’s basically the same trends in any other countries.
Nana : We see that your directions for each collection are very well structured and thought out in complex ways. What do you most value when deciding on a theme for each collection?
Aldy : We’re not fashion students, so we basically just design stuff that we would like to wear and buy. If we don’t want to buy or wear our designs if we see them, then we don’t produce those. As simple as that: we make stuff that we’re gonna wear proudly for each collection
Nana : How does your brand use social media to deliver your products?
Aldy : Same as other brands do: we put out lookbook videos, editorial photos, moodboards. Sometimes we do interviews and put out mixtapes too. We’re basically putting our passions in music, films, designs and sub-cultures on display in our instagram.
Nana : Can you tell us about some of the challenging experiences you have been through in the process of building your brand?
Aldy : The most challenging experiences is to keep surviving and still staying constant while delivering good quality products. A lot of new brands are born everyday, a lot of old brands go down. You’ve gotta keep up and stay relevant. Also try keepin’ it real.
Our messages is of course, staying young and freeBastards of young
Nana : Is it possible to let readers know a little about your next drop? If so, what has inspired the theme and the pieces in them?
Aldy : Our last drop was called “Dystopian Summer” because the collection drops in this dystopian-pandemic era in summertime. Our next drop will still revolve around survivalism, public paranoia, teen-angst anxiety and having a positive outlook in these dark times. Just staying relevant with all the current issues and responding to it.
Nana : What do you hope the Asian fashion industry to look like after the pandemic?
Aldy : Becoming more sustainable. Asian fashion should stop fast-fashion and price wars trends.
Nana : Do you have any advice to our readers who want to create brands and go into the fashion world?
Aldy : There is no such thing as originality in this day and age. We like to deconstruct stuff and make new stuff from those old ones. Just like ‘90s hip hop music: they sampled drum beats from James Brown, use bass from jazz songs, and put their own rap to make a unique beats. Follow all your interest but try not to be like them. Combine all of your influences and make it your own voice. You have to trust your taste and instincts.