Unknown London is currently shaping London’s street fashion culture the right way. MA Luxury Brand Strategy & Business student Kevin De Silva reports on the success of the UK’s best emerging brand and what its vision of the future of fashion looks like.
Joe Granger and Callum Vineer have successfully turned their aspirations from a bedroom dream into reality.
Two friends who met at college, Joe Granger and Callum Vineer undertook a mission to revolutionise the fashion industry. With a keen eye for style and a deep understanding of their local network’s needs, they observed a gap in the market for accessible yet luxurious clothing, so in late 2015, Unknown London was born.
United by their passion for UK culture, Granger and Vineer set out to design garments that embodied their personal fashion sense, focusing on UK streetwear fashion. They both always had a passion for clothing, sneakers and streetwear. Initially, their ambitions had to be realistic by targeting their circle of friends as their customer base. As they poured their creativity into their work, a set vision began to take shape.
“We started Unknown because we wanted to make clothes that represented us and what we wanted to wear. We then started selling clothes to friends, and as word got out about the brand, sales started picking up.” – Callum Vineer said in an interview with Complex UK.
Unknown London’s Direction
Joe and Callum launched Unknown London in 2016 during a time when British streetwear was on the rise. In 2016 we saw the rise and resurgence of a number of labels that made a big impact on streetwear, expanding its boundaries, including names such as BAPE, Palace, Supreme and Fear of God. Their research and development process involved utilising their existing knowledge and learning as they grew.
Their first drop involved purchasing blank hoodies and trucker caps, distressing them in their garage using a cheese grater. They also utilised a Facebook group to help launch the brand to spread awareness. In an interview with PAUSE Magazine, in 2017, Joe and Callum recalled, “For our first-ever drop, we ordered 50 plain sand-coloured hoodies with the only money we had and spent all night hand distressing every single one with cheese graters in our parent’s shed. We put them on our website at £25 each, made a post about them in the Facebook group The Basement and they sold out within 24 hours.”
The main inspiration behind their designs is to simply create clothes that they genuinely want to wear. They emphasise that every piece they design has been worn by themselves. The name ‘Unknown’ was not initially intentional; it came about accidently when they were building their first website. However, as time passed, the name seemed fitting as the brand was relatively unknown at the time, with low-key branding and an uncertain future direction.
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Unknown London’s Pop-up in Soho
The British streetwear brand opened a pop-up store in Soho on August 7 2021. The timing was perfect for them as the brand recently reached 100,000 followers on Instagram, gaining more recognition. To celebrate the milestone, Unknown released 100 custom-built 100k Championship Rings made by Feather Pendants. The rings represented NBA Championship rings, featuring intricate details with 18k White Gold, Cubic Zirconia baguettes, and crystals. Each ring had been individually numbered and stamped for authenticity.
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Unknown London x Ed Hardy Collection
The Y2K era made a strong comeback and became more luxurious, thanks to TikTok and fashion’s exploitation of trends. Designers and brands have been quick to recognise the growing nostalgia for the era and have embraced it by incorporating Y2K inspired designs and aesthetics into their collections. Social media platform TikTok, has provided accessibility of fashion content which has allowed fashion enthusiasts to participate in the Y2K resurgence. Unknown embraced this trend and introduced a new collection heavily influenced by classic motifs from Ed Hardy in December of 2021. This collection coincided with Ed Hardy’s 20th anniversary and combined the best elements of both brands, offering a range of denim jeans, jackets, t-shirts, sweatsuits, and accessories with the signature print and embroidery. The initial release of the collection sold out within 20 seconds, and a second release with additional products was scheduled.
Ryan Brown (model on cover image) mentions, “As someone who is inspired by UK streetwear fashion daily, Unknown London is a brand I keep up with. My favourite item from my wardrobe has to be the iconic rhinestone joggers. I always get hyped and excited for their new drops online and I think it’s genius the way they collaborate with some of my favourite rappers to promote the brand.”
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Unknown London’s Future Position in Streetwear
In just a few years, Joe Granger and Callum Vineer have transformed their aspirations into a reality with Unknown London. From humble beginnings of their college days, they recognised the need for accessible yet luxurious clothing in the fashion industry. With their keen eye for style and deep understanding of their local network’s needs, they set out to design garments that embodied their personal sense of style.
Today, this emerging brand stands at the forefront of London’s street fashion culture, reshaping the industry with their unique perspective. Inspired by their own desire to wear their designs, Joe and Callum have crafted a brand that resonates with fashion streetwear enthusiasts. Their accomplishments include opening a successful pop-up store in Soho, and collaborating with Ed Hardy for a highly sought-after collection, demonstrate their growth and dedication. As Unknown London continues to take UK Streetwear by storm, their vision of fashion and the future will leave a lasting impact on the industry they are setting out to revolutionise.
By Kevin De Silva, MA Luxury Brand Strategy & Business student
Photos via Unknown London