To celebrate our favorite publication for and by ’90s babies, our Newsprint and Style sections this issue are guest edited by Rookie Magazine.
Where else could a label called Young and Lazy come from but Cape Town, the laidback city where every 20-something South African goes to “find themselves”? Anees Petersen, the 26-year-old designer of the burgeoning streetwear brand, is so lowkey he didn’t even put too much thought into what to call it. “I opened a store with some college mates and was forced to come up with a name,” he says. “Young and Lazy felt like me being true to myself. I’m a pretty chilled person.” Although he started the company in 2009, it wasn’t until September of last year that Petersen decided to make some moves and try out his work in the big city, Johannesburg. Young and Lazy premiered its latest spring collection at the city’s biggest street culture event, STR CRD, and Petersen saw the possibilities of bigger things to come. “It was my first time in Joburg,” he says. “It was so cool to see so many people who are really into streetwear. I design for black teenage guys. My market is in Joburg.”
Petersen himself has been “really into streetwear” since he was a kid. “From a young age, even at family occasions, my mom put me in American classics: sneakers and jackets, casual clothes,” he says. As an adult, inspired by mavericks like Yohji Yamamoto, Jeremy Scott and Raf Simons, he mixes casual and studied, high and low and, lately, masculine and feminine aesthetics. “I use menswear patterns for my women’s designs,” he says. His menswear, similarly, incorporates feminine touches like lightweight fabrics and delicate patterns; Petersen’s girlfriend even wears his own Young and Lazy men’s pieces, “because they’re so unisex.” His future plans include some dream collaborations—he wants to work with the South African artist and stylist Jamal Nxedlana and the style blogging duo known as the Sartists—and he’s been looking at potential new stockists for Young and Lazy. Still, Petersen’s goals for the brand remain remarkably hassle-free. “I make limited creations of my clothes so everything has that special and personal feel to it,” he says. “I want people to feel special while wearing what I’ve made.”