Years ago, including Singapore, the fashion of the Southeast Asian area was called the wasteland. Most of the people wore, so-called, "ugly shoes", sweatsuits, and cargo pants.
Nowadays, people consider "Gorpcore look" cool and welcome it with open arms. At that point, however, the only thing people cared about was the practicality of the clothing. Only once in a long while, there were few people thinking of fashion. It was a hard time to find anything interesting on the street. With the uprising of the fashion market of the Southeast Asian area, however, the existence of fashion lovers, counted only few in the past, became visual and detectable.
(Dover Street Market - Singapore)
'Dover Street Market (DSM)', the store that you can find in any places with passionate love towards fashion, has finally landed on Singapore. As well, indie brands are getting launched more and more.
With the appearance of DSM, Mr. Ryan, a photographer working with DSM, wanted to capture the colorfulness of Singapore with his camera. While he was working on this project, he met the indie brand, called YIB.
As one of the indie brands on the street of Singapore, catching your attention, YIB has members working in the field of music and fashion at the same time. Just like the meaning behind the brand name, Youths in Balaclava, the brand, itself, comes from the youth of the founders of the brand.
Appearing on their logo, the image of Balaclava (a mask) represents the energy that they have and the attitude that they possess towards the society clearly. More than anything, they respect for the characteristic of each other. Sometimes they wander around the street and reveal the realistic image of the youth that might seem antisocial. Although, in their products, it is easy to find the symbols of patriotic spirit and love towards their country.
In this time of period, when most of the public fall into prey of street-style fashion and the youth culture, they find their way out in their own cheerful and smart way.
Even at this moment, numerous indie brands are appearing and disappearing at the same time. Once they have their own color and direction, it is for sure they are on the right path. With their youth, as one or two year passes by, I wonder how much they will grow and change and the amazing artwork they will bring in the future.
Tell us about YIB.
Youths In Balaclava is the panic and hysteria of a nation on the brink of a war. We began as teenager who crossed paths along the walk of life and stumbled upon an idea. We’re still walking...walk with us if you must. Amongst our colourful palette we have soldiers, students, policemen, skateboarders, photographers, writers, and even more all bound by driving desires to contribute a verse to the powerful play of life.
What was the motive when you establish YIB?
how did you guys make this brand?
We were founded on the cemeteries of the artists we hold dear to our hearts. A collective effort was made to stir up the youths of today to create, to feel, and to live. Beginning in slender means, some of the first few members had to sacrifice educational savings, just to fund our very first collection : Traitor$ 2 $ociety.
Why 'Balaclava'? why did you choose it for logo and brand name?
Anonymity breeds unity. To don the balaclava is to unite and celebrate expression. We believe it is vital to remind jaded youths that they have the chance to listen and to be heard. Youths In Balaclava. To be the flint for steel-hearted youths trapped in houses of tinder.
What is your biggest consideration and inspiration when you make collection?
Our biggest consideration is usually if the collection in question lives up to it's intentions as best as possible. And because the gap between the art and it’s translation is typically lost in muddy and unfocused perspectives, our workflow always involves imploring for opinions from one another, these opinions often times being in conflict.
Who is your muse?
Inspirations, yes, we have plenty. In fact, if we were to trace the creative genealogy of each member of YIB, the results for each would be wildly different, with only some overlaps here and there.
In design, some products have symbol of this country how did the ideas cameout?
We wanted to remind people (and especially ourselves,) about our roots here in Singapore. In Singapore’s social climate today, it can be easy to become westernised beyond delusion. Yes, we can have a conversation about self-expressionism, but never forget that your geographical location will undoubtedly be part of you to some. degree...For better or for worse.
What is the next major project you have in the pipeline? (important project that on-going nowadays)
As of right now, we’re preparing the launch of YIB TAPE 1B the second half of our first ever collection from our YIB line. Feeling rather confident that people will like this upcoming collection, we’re extremely eager to carry on with our future projects as well which we will keep tight-lipped about. What you do with that fact is entirely your choice. We decided to include symbols of our country as a sort of low brow nod to anyone who got the reference.
Anyother project you guys on-going? besides make clothes collection?
The first of our music projects, Decay, who released an EP back in April this year, are excited to release new music soon.
What you guys usually doing when hang out with members.
Hanging out is never a dull time. One can never fall flat in conversation in our realm. Talking and exchanging information inspiration is one of our stronger aspects. If you catch us on the streets, we’re probably having a smoke. We play and listen to music constantly.
What are you interested in these days?
Spencer has been particularly interested in fish. Go figure, YIB’s first marine biologist.
Heard you guys working with DSM and upper ground bangkok. How is the experiences?
It’s astonishing we’re very blessed. We also bleed gratitude for anyone who has helped us make it this far.
What is the ultimate goal for YIB in the future?
What color do you as individuals identify yourself best with?
Any colour you like.
Any last words?
Eyes peeled, ears to the ground. Thank you to all.