Fashion and Music are interconnected
When hearing the words “music and fashion” together, the British fashion brand Nicholas Daley comes to mind. Daley became the talk of the town when he featured Don Letts as a model for his graduation show at Central St. Martins, and recently showcased a live performance by young, upcoming artists such as Puma Blue and Cosmo Pyke during his presentation.
“Music” is key to Daley’s brand identity. To describe his relationship with music, he explains: “As a metaphor, my right hand is fashion and my left hand is music. Both are important and function as communication tools for my creation. When I’m in Japan, where I don’t speak the language, I can communicate through rhythms and feelings and make friends. The foundation of my brand is an amalgamation of my background, roots, British multiculturalism, and philosophical elements. Because music is culture and an expression of ethnicity, it is essential when it comes to expressing my identity or feelings.”
Daley claims that his upbringing has a lot to do with music dominating his brand’s identity. “I have Jamaican and Scottish roots. My Jamaican father was a DJ so there were tons of records at home. His favorite records from Jacob Miller and Santana are now part of my collection. My parents used to organize a reggae party called “Reggae Klub” in Scotland in the 70’s. Since my S/S 2019 collection was an homage to my parents, I named it “SLYGO”, which was my father’s DJ name. They were surprised! I respect my parents for creating an oasis-like space for immigrants and minorities back then. Having been raised in a family like this, it is only natural that music plays a big role in my brand.”
England, where he grew up, is a multiracial country. In art schools, there is a mandatory subject called “Cultural Studies” to learn about different races and cultures, and differences in fashion within the social scale. It sounds unfamiliar to us Japanese, but this perspective makes total sense in England, a country of mixed culture. According to Daley, the root of his brand comes from this unique English way of thought. Incidentally, the first black female photographer to shoot the cover of Vogue UK, 27 year old Nadine Ijewere, had made similar remarks about culture in a past interview. She started her career shooting images in Nigeria, where she has her roots. These images quickly gained traction and she has been working at the forefront ever since. She explained her vision as follows: “We live in a multicultural world today. I want to capture new beauty seen through my unique perspective as a black woman, unlike the stereotypical beauty created by fashion magazines.” Daley had used the word “multicultural” several times during this interview as well. With social media blocking the birth of subcultures, it is understandable that fashion with a story told through cultural studies and history, such as Daley’s, capture people’s attention today.