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In homage to the sought-after archive sales of its early years, LN-CC worked closely with Walter Van Beirendonck, Jil Sander, Stone Island, Acne Studios, Marine Serre, Vivienne Westwood, and Marni for a series of archive sales at the end of 2020. For 2021, LN-CC is pushing its archive drops that bit further. Marking its tenth anniversary, the Dalston-based, global-reaching fashion platform has broadened its support of the brands and people that are positively changing the world.
For ARCHIVE that means working with archival specialists, collectors and upcycling designers. To kickstart this endeavour, we had to begin with ARO ARCHIVE. With its 8,000-piece collection of hand-sourced Japanese, Belgian, French, and British clothing located just around the corner from our Shacklewell Lane HQ, we invited our Hackney-based neighbours to share an edit on our platform. The result is a 30-piece collection that showcases our shared love of ‘anti-fashion’ fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto.
The ARCHIVE series continually demonstrates how our past informs our present, and history gives form and meaning to what’s next. As with all preowned garments, this 30-piece collection archives people, places, attitudes, and moments. It’s a celebration of both ARO ARCHIVE’S sourcing and community, alongside Yohji Yamamoto’s craft and identity.
In an early scene of the Wim Wenders-directed video-essay, Notebook on Cities and Clothes, the German filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer recalls the moment he bought a jacket that bore Yohji Yamamoto’s label. From the moment he put it on it “reminded me of my childhood and my father as if the essence of this memory were tailored into it…What did this Yamamoto know about me...about everybody?” For us, this memory perfectly encapsulates just what makes Yamamoto’s intellectual, sophisticated and sensitive interpretation of fashion so special. As much a sartorial poet and ethnographer as he is a dressmaker and fashion designer, these aren’t just clothes, they are reflections of life. “Yamamoto’s clothes are made to be worn and we love how that connects to a very real sense of life and community,” Aro’s head of special projects, Joseph Delaney, explains as we visit the archive. Pre-owned, these reflections of life intensify.
“Archiving now is archiving people, places, smells, feelings, a time, and that’s what comes with a pre-owned garment," Aro’s owner, Ariana Waiata, tells us. “I often find people that just sell clothes from home and there’s an added intimacy of exploring these spaces,” she adds. “The visit is often backdropped by grief or a health issue, so there has to be trust and there’s a vetting process, before I’m allowed to see the garments and once inside, so many stories are shared.” From sourcing the clothes to how they present and re-sell, Aro is deeply grounded in real people, by community for community.
The Yohji Yamamoto archive collection is honoured in a new short film, Yamamoto 1983-2016, directed by Aro’s image director Joseph Delaney. True to its message of community, the casting of the film includes relatives, interns, loyal customers and creatives modelling the vast archive to forge their own devoted community. The film captures the renegade designer’s presence and is a powerful reminder that the archive collection does not only consist of physical garments but also people, places, personalities and significant moments.