The creativity of the urban underground has offered both respite and inspiration for generations of artists.
But while most streetwear designers stalk parties and raves to channel a high-fashion take on DIY freedom, Kazakh brand ROXWEAR asked the creative youth of Almaty to take its latest collection into their own hands.
Their latest capsule, After-Party Merch, features the uncensored and spontaneous artwork of Kazakh ravers — drawn straight onto the fabric of the clothes themselves.
“We believe in collaboration, not collectivisation,” ROXWEAR told The Calvert Journal. “Many voices become one, and through chaos give birth to a sui generis design. People put their individuality and creativity into creating something truly unique.”
The brand calls its technique Crowdcraft. Designers stretched a printed fabric around the walls of a Kazakh party venue, encouraging guests to make their mark with anything from Instagram tags to intricate designs using markers, crayons, and spray paint.
The fabric was then used to create a series of t-shirts, trousers, and shorts, making every item unique.
With creative shockwaves moving across the country, ROXWEAR believes there’s no better time to harness Kazakhstan’s natural creativity.
“Kazakhstan is entering its own perestroika,” they say. “A lot of authentic movements and ideas are thriving in this turbulent time. Many people are realising their place in the world and thinking about sustainability and identity. They are becoming a lot more vocal on political issues, LGBTQ struggle, and gender issues. People are trying to be authentic — not just to rip off what has been done in the West, but try and find their own unique voice, make use of their mentality and heritage. We, too, are a part of that trend.”