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Ready to take your wardrobe to the next level? Cue streetwear brand Daily Paper. Here, co-founder Jefferson Osei shares the story of his label’s rise to cult status.
When school friends Jefferson Osei, Hussein Suleiman and Abderrahmane Trabsini, set up a fashion blog in 2012, they never imagined it would lead them to where they are today. Nearly 10 years on, that same blog has transformed into Daily Paper, the globally acclaimed streetwear label worn by everyone from Lupita Nyong’o to Anderson .Paak, Jorja Smith, Raheem Sterling and Lil Nas X.
Based in Amsterdam and fueled by their rich heritage of African culture, Daily Paper is becoming one of the fastest-growing fashion brands out of Europe. Offering timeless, mostly unisex designs across ready-to-wear streetwear. Here, we catch up with one-third of the streetwear label, Jefferson Osei, to find out more.
How would you describe Daily Paper?
“If I had to pick three words I would choose the following: roots, unity, and creativity.”
Daily Paper didn’t have a conventional start, can you tell us about how the brand came to be?
“We felt that there was a big part of the fashion industry that nobody really noticed in Amsterdam. So we started a blog documenting and publishing pop culture around us. At some point, we decided to make T-shirts implementing our African heritage so we used a lot of African prints. At the time, black and white was the trend, it took some time for people to understand the direction of the colourful prints we were heading towards. Our first retailers were actually in Paris at Pigalle and Colette, and Amsterdam followed after. In 2016 we opened our first flagship store in Amsterdam. Hit fast forward and here we are. It’s been a blessing.”
Was a fashion label part of the original vision or a happy evolution?
“A happy evolution. Initially, we started the brand off as a blog and to promote the blog with something that was physical and community-driven, we then decided to make T-shirts implementing our African heritage into it. And our T-shirts became popular, that’s when we realised we could change the way we were telling our story into the way we’re doing at the moment.”
What would you like the brand to be known for?
“I would like the brand to be known for changing the narrative and transcending borders through creative storytelling, whether it be through our collections, campaigns, collaborations or physical activations.”
Were you all equally interested in fashion?
“We all share a love for fashion but everyone expresses it in a different manner. I, for instance, really love the storytelling part of fashion and community activations paired with art direction. Hussein is really in love with the strategic marketing side of the segment whereas Abderrahmane really loves the design process.”
What is your biggest inspiration?
“I have a lot of inspirational sources but if I had to choose, I think I would go for Africa as the whole continent is an endless source of inspiration. That’s where I feel at ease and let my mind flow.”
By blurring the lines between streetwear and luxury it makes it more accessible and inclusive than it used to be.
Streetwear has become increasingly popular over the past few years, what do you think is its global appeal?
“The streetwear we knew 10 years ago and streetwear we know now are really different. I feel like it’s more accessible and easier to digest for us as consumers. For instance, designers, artists and social media are creating a shift in what streetwear is. The definition of streetwear has become wider in the sense of it not being limited to hoodies and graphic tees in terms of product and now also involves terms like high-end streetwear and contemporary streetwear. By blurring the lines between streetwear and luxury it makes it more accessible and inclusive than it used to be.”
Your roots are clearly important to you – how and why do you honour them through your designs?
“I think to get to know yourself you have to know where you came from, and we have roots in Ghana, Morocco and Somalia, but grew up in Amsterdam. On that quest, we started diving into our African background and heritage which is also a big part of us next to our Dutch background. Through this journey, Daily Paper was founded and to this day we want to bridge the gap between Africa and the Western World through stories of the continent and create designs and concepts based on our findings. This way we can translate our roots into clothing.”
How has Dutch style influenced your label?
“We try to find a balance between the traditional pieces of clothing from our roots and mixing them with the Western way of clothing.”
Who is your customer?
“It’s cool to see how much support we gain from different types of creatives all over the world and how they make the brand their own. A great moment was seeing it reach the Latin market with major artists like J Balvin and Bad Bunny wearing the brand. Artists like Lil Nas X and his stylist Hodo Musa are super creative with our garments which is cool to see and Gunna incorporating our Van Gogh collaboration into his own art with music is another highlight. Other exciting moments have been talents that we admire wearing the brand like Issa Rae, Elsa Majimbo, athletes like Raheem Sterling, Russell Westbrook and artists like YG, NSG, Wizkid, Burna Boy and Rema to name a few.”
I think to get to know yourself you have to know where you came from.
The fashion industry has undergone some major changes in the last couple of years, what has been the most positive in your view?
“In my personal opinion, I feel like more brands are trying to tackle modern-day issues. And inspiring their customers to look at it from a different perspective.”
How do you find working together? Did you find it hard to transition from friends to colleagues?
“Due to us sharing the same interest, it’s not hard to transition because we share the same passion and love for the things we’re doing. The conversations mainly remain the same but just with a different perspective.”
What have been some of the biggest ‘pinch me’ moments since creating Daily Paper?
“Throughout the process, there have been a lot of moments like that but opening our first, second and third flagship stores in Amsterdam, New York and London have been major milestones.”
What’s next for the brand in 2022 and beyond?
“Next year we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary so there are a lot of exciting things coming up. Just keep following us and you’ll see it all!”
SHOP DAILY PAPER:
DAILY PAPER Epuffa Puffer Jacket
DAILY PAPER Lorin Printed Sweatshirt
DAILY PAPER Africa Hobe Short Sleeve T-Shirt
DAILY PAPER Lor Printed Joggers
DAILY PAPER Africa Hobe Drawstring Hoodie
DAILY PAPER Etrack Logo Jacket
DAILY PAPER Lutalo Logo Crew Neck T-Shirt
DAILY PAPER Laro Long Sleeve Shirt
DAILY PAPER Erib Logo Collar Sweatshirt
DAILY PAPER Lennox Tie-Dye Logo Joggers
DAILY PAPER Hobe Varsity Jacket
DAILY PAPER Lexter Tie-Dye T-Shirt
DAILY PAPER Epuffa Puffer Jacket
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