Purple and blue lights shined down on the racks of designs, and beats by producer xRainbowxBoyx filled the room.
In high spirits, ten streetwear brands showcased their work: Sliv Life, Toki Prism, Ego Death, OKIME KOLLECTIONS, Perspective Pyra, efta., Menaz Worldwide, Slime Ball 4 Life Streetwear, d0gha1r and Real Go Gettas.
Perspective Pyra launched only six months ago with 19-year-old lifelong friends Arman Sadeghi-asl and Maddox Albright at the center. The brand aims to highlight the utmost beauty of the Middle East by incorporating bits and pieces of the culture into the designs.
“My best friend and I, both being Lebanese and Persian, saw a lack of Middle Eastern culture represented in overall streetwear and fashion,” said Sadeghi-asl. “We named the brand Perspective Pyra because we value perspective deeply and believe other people’s perspectives should overall be valued more.”
The two designers wore pieces from their upcoming collection, which will appear in the New York Fashion Week streetwear show on Feb. 10. Sadeghi-asl wore a blue hoodie with an intricate white embroidered design inspired by a Persian rug.
One of their first designs is a Palestinian woman in a matching set and tattoos. A third eye rests on her forehead, which “signifies spirituality, the generations of children in Iran that have been oppressed by the government and seeing the future of pushing out the dictatorship, ” said Sadeghi-asl.
Many have thought the design to be controversial or offensive, but the design merely exists to represent the women in the Middle East who are continuously being oppressed. The current popular phrase in Iran is “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi,” which means Women, Life, and Freedom.
On the back of the shirt, the phrase reads “Look at the world from a different perspective. Expand your mindset.”
It’s evident that both designers think deeply about the messages their designs convey. From the minute details to big picture symbolism, Perspective Pyra has a bright future ahead.
“The streetwear culture in Denver has been lackluster,” said Sadeghi-asl. “Lately, though, more than ever, there have been a lot of cut and sewn upcoming brands.”
Sadeghi-asl first heard of Sliv Life creator Cameron Connolly through a model friend and eventually attended his Friday the 13 fashion show back in October. After all the models walked down the runway, Connolly emerged with a smile on his face, running up to the fans and familiar faces in the crowd.
“It just showed us he’s not about the popularity, he’s not about the social status, he’s for the people,” said Sadeghi-asl.
Shifting through hand-me-downs, Sam Jacobs’ love and taste for clothes began at an early age. He appreciated the clothes gifted to him for birthdays and holidays, but if they weren’t attuned to his style, the garment would remain hung in his closet yearning to be worn.
He appreciated the intimacy clothes had – the different places and hands they had been or once belonged to.
Jacobs created d0gha1r at the end of 2019 after his first brand, 919. The name came about when he found his dog’s hair on the first garments he made for the brand. With the hair of five different dogs constantly winding up on his clothes, Jacobs began to see a deeper meaning in it all.
“Maybe I was looking too far into it, but I thought about how hair is a dog’s form of clothing,” said Jacobs. “It stands as a reminder to have compassion for things, even if they might bite you.”
Jacobs strives to build a brand that takes care of the people in any way he can: charity events, food drives, clothing drives.
Compassion lives within Jacobs — he understands the human struggle of living. Wanting to obtain certain brands such as Supreme but knowing that the price was not realistic to spend at the time, he took matters into his own hands.
“I wanted to create pieces with the same inspiring aura or essence to it,” said Jacobs. “Trying to replicate that feeling in my own individual way and achieving it — there’s no better feeling.”
Clothing has a gender: male or female. At least, that is what society has deemed to be. Jacobs, however, wants to break the gender norms in fashion.
“I still fall into the construct of labeling pieces as male or female,” said Jacobs. “But I’d love to break through that and make unique unisex patterns and styles that will transcend gender norms.”
According to World Population Review, “The city of Denver is currently growing .27% annually.” Ever since 2018, Denver has seen not only an increase in population but an increase in local artistic culture.
“2022 was the year when I saw a boom in fashion based events, fashion brands and community involvement,” said Jacobs.
The Denver fashion scene is growing and community events like Sliv Life’s streetwear market are only furthering along the uptrend.
Efta. focuses on inclusion and fostering a creative community. Creator Teagan Glass uses organic, sustainable materials as much as possible and gets all of his production done through local companies.
Glass started efta. in his studio apartment with a heat press in 2017, but has actively been a part of Denver’s streetwear community since 2020. Glass showed his brand in Denver Fashion Week twice and consistently does pop-ups around the city.
For creators, Glass thinks streetwear is a perfect medium for storytelling and expression.
“Streetwear allows people to express themselves every day based on what they pick out of their closet,” said Glass. “There are no rules or guidelines so with every fit, you can tell a new story.”
Real Go Gettas
Real Go Gettas started with vinyl and heat press shirts about three years ago. Since then, the brand’s products are now cut and sewn, completely handmade or upcycled.
Creator Staxx modeled for Sliv Life throughout the years and did a fashion show with the brand’s creator, Cameron Connolly.
“He is definitely someone I look up to in the Denver fashion design community,” said Staxx.
Staxx believes markets like this will allow designers and contenders to network and establish a real fashion based community in Denver.
Photos by Annie French-Mack