Local fashion brand Proudrace recently released its new collection, and it’s one heck of a nostalgic move. “Let this collection serve as a love letter to your old self,” says Proudrace creative director Rik Rasos.
Being stuck in quarantine forced Rasos to go back to Proudrace’s DNA of experimental DIY aesthetics and playful, nontraditional shapes. As Highsnobiety wrote in 2018, the label is “a fashion brand with its own distinct handwriting, while staying true to its DIY DNA… Despite such an aggressive aesthetic cocktail of stylistic references, everything is expertly exacted and resolutely wearable.”
The new collection features deadstock and found items like bed spreads, tablecloth and scrap denim remixed into new and unconventional pieces. A personal fave is the daddy cut-out tank top, with an old neckhole moved to the waist to show a li’l skin action, and the mesh pour femme column dress, which would be an extremely good baddie dress when it’s safe to hit up a club again.
The collection was also modeled by Rasos himself, foregoing the brand’s usual shoots (I still remember the 2×2 photograph teasers) with selfies taken in front of his mirror, which is an aggressively punk move. It’s a “very liberating experience for me since I thrive in anonymity for the brand,” says Rasos. “Not only is my brand being reborn but I am also being reborn with it.”
With this new collection, Proudrace is also pushing for ethical and sustainable fashion. “This pandemic made us explore to work with different subcontractors to continue and provide work for displaced sewers in the provinces. [We’ll be] moving forward to a more sustainable production and [creating] regeneration garments… Materials [for this collection were] recycled and sourced from different garment factories’ closing sales and by purchasing deadstock products.”
The brand is also introducing two new lines: Proudrace Artisanal with one-off and bespoke pieces “made entirely from recycled and re-worked garments and past prototypes” and Proudrace Factory Sample, which will carry classic silhouettes and be “available constantly on [its] website and stockists.”
“This is a reminder of your resilience despite the difficulties you have faced the past year,” says Rasos. “The pandemic, the changes in your routine and the new emotions that you recognized and embraced in this new life is something you are not ready for but you gracefully welcomed it.”