Calling all lovers of streetwear – this one’s for you
A new reality competition has descended on BBC Three and the prize is not to be sniffed at.
It’s Project Runway meets The Apprentice; only, unlike the latter, these contestants are actually talented.
The Drop may already be a few weeks in, but trust me when I say, you’ll want to see this. Presented by radio star and national treasure, Clara Amfo, it’s a fashion design competition, on the hunt for the next big name in streetwear.
The winner will get the chance to stock their collection at one of the UK’s leading luxury retailers, Flannels.
Streetwear isn’t just a style of clothing, it’s part of a global cultural movement. Between the ’80s and ’90s, different subcultures (like skate and hip-hop) adopted the style as an identifier that was not only expressive of their place in society but comfortable as well. American designer Dapper Dan then put streetwear on the world stage when he started dressing emerging hip-hop artists who were being turned away by luxury brands.
Although the movement started in California and New York, the UK scene is massive and is home to some big names, including skate brand, Palace, and utility streetwear label, Maharishi.
Amongst those hoping to make their mark on the industry are nine creatives from all across the UK. They not only know their way around a sewing machine; each contestant has designed and created their own original brand. It’ll be up to the judges to decide which one they give the chance to take their brand to the next step.
R’N’B superstar, Miguel, knows his way around the scene, having just launched his own fashion label last year. He’s come all the way from LA in his search to find someone special. Joining Miguel on the judging panel is menswear designer Marc Jacques Burton (of MJB) and skater, artist, and owner of clothing brand, Thames, Blondey McCoy.
It’s inspiring watching young creatives do their thing. One guy just graduated from the prestigious design college, Central Saint Martins, but the majority have no professional training. With this in mind, it makes what they’re producing so much more impressive.
As well as taking part in a range of weekly challenges, at the end of the week they stage a public drop. [For anyone not well versed in this area, that’s when limited merchandise is released for purchase.] In the show, they do this by bringing in real-life streetwear fans who give their verdict on whether they’d buy the piece or not. The judges then use this feedback to decide who stays, and who goes. After all, streetwear is for everyone. It’s worn by everyday people, so who better to judge than the public themselves.
Having created their own brands, each contestant has a clear message they want to convey to the public: from the importance of sustainability to being black in a white-dominated space. The diversity among the cast is commendable too. One contestant, who lost his leg in an accident is determined to make clothes for everyone. His first piece was a pair of trousers with adjustable zips at the knees for other amputees.
With brilliance everywhere you look, this is well worth a place on your catch up list.
The show airs on Mondays at 9pm on BBC Three and the first 3 episodes are currently out on iPlayer