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Introducing + Store Mix: deadHYPE

“The easiest, most accessible way to define deadHYPE is that it’s a collective because we're a group of different people with different skill disciplines, working together to achieve similar goals,” founder and creative conduit Bernard Koomson tells LN-CC over a WhatsApp call. The Berlin-based, global-reaching collective continually defies expectations. More than a label, deadHYPE is a collective call-to-creativity. United in its thinking, forever evolving, and continually collaborating, deadHYPE blurs the boundaries between clothes, music and consulting. By the community, for the community, its focus is on good people working together to create meaningful projects and products, alongside building the required infrastructure for the community to thrive.

Fresh after reworking the ZX 8000 as part of its on-going collaboration with adidas, LN-CC invited deadHYPE to create an upcycled outerwear capsule. After sourcing 10 vintage MA-1 jackets in and around Berlin, Bernard and his team made them their own by stitching and stuffing their signature dollar signs. “The dollar sign motif is a thread that binds us,” Bernard explains. As LN-CC exclusively releases these one-of-one jackets, deadHYPE soundtracks the moment with a 67-minute Store Mix that takes us on a journey through the Black British grunge experience and beyond.


Introducing + Store Mix: deadHYPE


For me, whenever we’ve spoken, deadHYPE is obviously more than a label and continually defies expectations. It’s a community, a connection, a cultural conduit and collaboration is part of deadHYPE DNA…
We are collected in our thinking, working across our main pillars; clothes, music and consulting. We’re primarily a collective of good people working creating infrastructure for ourselves and those that follow us, but at the same time we try to connect with brands in a meaningful way. It's not about me or the core founding members but anyone from the collective that will shine in that moment and bring a project to life. Our motif is the dollar sign, it's a thread that binds us. That dollar sign should mean something, it's like the most important thing for most people. You look behind it and the artist or the person we're working with and they’re an outstanding talent that has a lot to offer and has a big journey ahead of them.

Collaboration is part of deadHYPE DNA.
We are collected in our thinking, working across our main pillars; clothes, music and consulting. We’re primarily a collective of good people working creating infrastructure for ourselves and those that follow us, but at the same time we try to connect with brands in a meaningful way. It's not about me or the core founding members but anyone from the collective that will shine in that moment and bring a project to life. Our motif is the dollar sign, it's a thread that binds us. That dollar sign should mean something, it's like the most important thing for most people. You look behind it and the artist or the person we're working with and they’re an outstanding talent that has a lot to offer and has a big journey ahead of them.

How organic is the process in terms of growing and managing the community?
We are underground, like the fact that we are small and you're either interested or not interested, so we try to take as much of the process as we can offline. It’s about meeting people and making real lasting connections.

In doing so, they power and empower the ecosystem.
It’s about building a shared momentum. We have a purpose and we know what we need to do. We only work with the brands, and work towards working with the brands we want to work with. The North Face is a reason why we concentrate on the jackets. We’re demonstrating the concept, how we work with raw materials and how we can batch produce. It could be something for The North Face because it’s something they have not done yet.

You’ve mentioned product and working with jackets, which brings us nicely to our exclusive capsule. What would you say has been the biggest catalyst for it?
It's very difficult to find stability in the creative industries, to find work and receive enough support to just keep creating and focussing on what you love. Of course the pandemic slowed that process, but it helped us get more creative. We focussed on clothes, we’ve started making our own fabrics and really pushed our experimentation. We always wanted to get to the point where we make our own line of clothes, making necessities for people. Rather than a huge offering, it’ll be about creating those single items that you’ll have for a long time. Beyond the core sustainability side, it’s about not wasting money on too many pieces by making garments that are so personal that you can’t overbuy them; you have something that is truly yours and you’ll want to wear it everyday. It can be talking to businesses but that’s why I love talking to you guys at LN-CC because you care and you give a shit.

We think differently to most. We’re always looking at ways in which we can use our platform for good. This launch is a case in point. Few retailers would jump at the opportunity to sell one-of-one jackets, but we love what you and have the platform to make it happen.
I was so shocked.

What was the starting point for this exclusive capsule?
I'm just looking at items that people are wearing and I want the idea to be simple enough that anyone can do it themselves. The idea to buy a jacket and rework it is really not complicated. Designers know this but I want everyone to know. For me, there are people that can buy our version, they can afford it. But there's also people that can’t but there's nothing stopping them from using a sewing machine and trying to create something for themselves. It’s just important to just keep giving out these alternate ways of working that people can just take on board and just try for themselves.

It’s about so much more than product, it’s about sharing knowledge.
Exactly. That's why I'm really open. If I don't know something, I don’t pretend to know and instead ask someone that does know. After this capsule drops, I'm going to tell like 100 designers that come behind me and ask me how this worked. By being honest and open, we can hopefully help somebody else. Beyond clout and hype, we just have to talk to each other, and push forward together.

That’s beautiful. Finally, what can you tell us about the Store Mix. What will happen when readers press play?
I tried to do like the black British grunge experience, weaving in my own experiences as a black guy from the UK and a bit of a punk. So I tried to make the sound a bit more crunchy, it’s seamless grunge.


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