Forward-thinking but seriously accessible, Manchester’s AKA Clothing is that perfect mix of unique tailoring, street wear and fashion. Bringing together a minimal aesthetic and monochrome palette, the brand is seriously on-trend with its graphic prints and progressive styling. Launched for SS14, the label has moved forwards leaps and bounds for AW14, cementing itself as an up and comer worth taking notice of.
While it is often London that takes the plaudits when it comes to menswear, the label’s birthplace in the north of England is very much at the heart of AKA. ‘Manchester is a vibrant, cool place to be based. There is a lot of creativity coming from the city, it is great to be a part of that,’ explains the label’s co-owners, Philip Pearce and Francis Sutherland.
Having worked in the clothing industry as suppliers and designers to various brands for a number of years, the duo behind the label had always wanted to go solo. ‘Working in lots of different areas, the dream was always to have something of our own,’ they explain. With a wide understanding of what the consumer wants and what looks great, the team uses their developed expertise to produce current and desirable pieces.
With a black and white signature palette, Philip and Francis take their inspiration from the toughness of Manchester’s architecture along with things they see and find in every aspect of their lives – from the Internet to their travels. ‘We take inspiration from everywhere, but our main point of inspiration for graphics at the moment comes from natural and digital forms,’ they say.
‘For AW14 we took inspiration from art deco designs and their strong geometric patterns mixed with natural distressed textures. The brand has roots in street wear, but for this season we have brought forward more tailored influences.’
As AKA moves into SS15, the brand continues its interest in both what’s online and in the real world, with the collection titled ‘Natural VS Digital’. The duo has been looking at DNA Strains, X-rays and ECG graphs to find their prints. ‘We used this inspiration in our all-over textured geometric prints and graphics,’ they explain.
The resulting range sees tailoring meet street wear again, with slim-fit joggers paired with jersey blazers and all-over printed shirts and shorts sets being keys to the season.