Meet Unisex Singapore Brand, Youths In Balaclava

Meet Unisex Singapore Brand, Youths In Balaclava

Meet Unisex Singapore Brand, Youths In Balaclava

The insurgent collective’s SS21 range cites Genesis P-Orridge.

The insurgent collective’s SS21 range cites Genesis P-Orridge.

Text: Jo McDougall

Youths in Balaclava, a Gen-Z design collective out of Singapore, unveiled their Spring/Summer collection in Paris last week. YIB’s “Godstar” range, shown as part of Dover Street Market Paris Men’s SS21 showcase, takes inspiration from performance artist Genesis P-Orridge, who passed away earlier this year. P-Orridge was a “revolutionary transgressor in the face of naysayers,” the show notes say of the creative kinship, adding that the collection visually reflects the late avant-gardist's deconstructionist, less-is-more aesthetic.

First cropping up in 2015, YIB describes itself as “the flint for steel-hearted youths trapped in houses of tinder.” Its 13 members, all under the age of 26, identify as “soldiers, students, policemen, skateboarders, photographers, writers,” with most lacking a formal fashion background.

In stark contrast to the Singaporean status quo, one often defined by tight regulations and byzantine wealth, YIB strives to push boundaries. Their debut collection, titled “TRAITORS 2 $OCIETY,” addressed labor rights through the lens of the 1955 Hock Lee bus riots in Singapore, and, prior to COVID, the brand was known to stage guerilla-style presentations on urban rooftops. 

Youths in Balaclava is one of several labels at Dover Street Market Paris’s SS21 presentation, including Liberal Youth Ministry, RASSVET, and Eli Russell Linnetz. The by-appointment showcase ends on 24.

Youths in Balaclava SS21 (Courtesy: Dover Street Market Paris)

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