HypePeace Is The Bootleg Brand Making Streetwear Political

The brand’s founders explain the serious message behind their witty designs.

November 14, 2016

S/O 💕 @hype.peace 💕for making these to support the Sharek youth forum #hypepeace 💕

A photo posted by crackstevens (@crackstevens) on

HypePeace is the London clothing brand whose political voice is as strong as its designs. Their bootleg red, black, and green Palace-style logo is everywhere in London right now. Combining a tongue in cheek approach to fashion with a serious message, their hoodies and tees are giving people the chance to show support for the war-torn middle eastern region while also staying snug this winter.

ADVERTISEMENT

Graphic designer M and fashion designer J (that’s all they wish to be known as right now) set up HypePeace just six months ago. "Being politically engaged used to have a stigma and expressing your thoughts on certain matters like injustice or inequality is often dismissed as ranting," M tells The FADER by email. "After designing the Palestine bootleg triangle I realized it was a subtle and effective image that could help communicate this thorny topic to a wider audience."

The chance to gently poke fun at streetwear devotees also attracted him. "Everyone likes a good parody, especially Palace and Supreme fans. We deeply respect these brands and where they come from, but we’ve always found it astonishing how devoted some of their audience are. Imagine how empowering it would be if people would hype things like justice, peace, and equality as proudly as some people flaunt their brands."

@hype.peace #savepalastine

A photo posted by Novelist TuggSet (Ruff Sound) (@novelistguy) on

Their pro-Palestine logo has been cropping up on our timelines since HypePeace started selling online in September, with grime MC Novelist, photographer Vicky Grout, and director and DJ Crack Stevens all copping the brand's clothes. "I met Novelist backstage in Manchester at Warehouse Project," M says. "I knew he was politically engaged, asked him if he liked the sweater I was wearing and if he'd like one. He gave me his address and a few weeks after we shipped it he messaged us telling us three pictures were to be published soon. Everyone else has picked things up organically."

The money raised by HypePeace is being donated to the Sharek Youth Forum, a Ramallah-based organization that helps young Palestinians develop in life, with a particular focus on employment. The group famously backed out of an organized meeting with then London mayor Boris Johnson in 2015 after he made pro-Israel remarks shortly before they were scheduled to meet. "Sharek is a platform that helps young people to achieve their goals in an often hostile environment," M says. "Not only do they focus on the individual, but at the same time they’re trying to contribute to the community as well."

M and J have both been politically conscious for a long time. Both are planning future campaigns to benefit other organizations. "My mum always said I should go into politics,” M says. “But as I don’t trust the current political class and can’t relate to any of the existing parties this was never a real option." J agrees with her partner and lays out HypePeace's wish for a more caring future. "I think we need people up there [in power] that are more empathetic."

HypePeace Is The Bootleg Brand Making Streetwear Political