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How Sav Noir's Fearless Aesthetic Was Born

The ‘80s were all about Michael Jackson's "Thriller," Madonna proving that bras could be fashion statements, and a kid named Ferris Beuller having one epic sick day on a parade float in the heart of Chicago. Well, at least, that's what the era read for most pop culture consumers. But if you held a magnifying glass to the Northern California city of San Francisco, many kids were trading their neon spandex in for ruffled cuffs, dark makeup, and leather.

Before "all black everything" became a saturated Instagram caption, the San Francisco night scene had developed a goth subculture of its own, calling on the rebellious souls that prowled its dark, teen-infested streets to curate its own aesthetic. But while decades have passed and entertainment, fashion, and even hip hop have switched gears to minimalism, one brand is continuing to bring life to city’s euro-goth scene. Enter Sav Noir, a high-end fashion brand confidently bred with San Francisco's fearless attitude in mind, with a splash of chic, of course.

The goth subculture present in San Francisco was a rebellion of the hippie movement of the ‘70s. Bred in England during the early 80s, goth fashion stripped away floral prints for plain black and bare feet for platforms and spikes. In its early days, its culture invited a band of outcasts or those with an allure of mystery and emotion. Of course, as pop culture and fashion media caught a glimpse of its riveting and somber themes, others latched on to the misfit culture. But even so, Sav Noir founder Edwin Haynes suggests that euro-goth fashion and his brand are for those who have followed a dark and strenuous path. "This is inspired by people that been through that sh*t," he says, over the phone. "You've been through that f***ing war to recognize who you are and to own yourself, and to pick yourself back up from the floor.”

A little over twenty years after goth culture erupted in the city, Edwin planted the brand's foundation in the heart of the city in 2010. "It just started with a lighter and a logo," he says. In its infant stages, Edwin took 300 lighters and pins with a distinct logo design and passed them out among like-minded, confident individuals. It wasn't long before his lighters turned into t-shirts, hats and streetwear for both men and women, attracting San Francisco’s developing fashion and nightlife culture.

The ‘80s also delivered San Francisco’s energy that fed off of the club scene. The pulsing nightlife seduced young adults to its angst reverb, birthing a blooming fashion and attitude that refused traditional standards of sexuality and accepted and celebrated the androgynous, unusual and bizarre. Just as the nightlife grew in size and style, so did Sav Noir's identity as a street wear label. Soon after, the logo that covered the brand's first products ignited a community that not only grew fond of its untamed nature, but who also resonated with its matured story. While its story seemed relatable to those who sported it, it was a story Edwin knew personally – one of endless grinding, rebellion, and fearlessness. And as Edwin's story progressed so did the brand into what it is today.

Sav Noir may have been plucked from the euro-goth era and designed in its mystery and excitement, but the high-end fashion brand represents more than hitting a nightclub in black and leather. "Sav Noir is an aesthetic and demo of willed individuals that have a story to tell. Save Noir represents confidence, a survivor in the world," Edwin says. Now, the brand has evolved into a high-end series of detailed collections, which have been worn by A-list names such as Chris Brown, Shaun Ross, and Big Boi.

Its newest A/W 15 collection has officially propelled the brand into the high end fashion realm, showcasing its innovative vision. While its collection thrusts the brand forward, showcasing its forward-thinking and iconic aesthetic, it still calls on its 20-year-old inspiration from the San Franciscan streets where it first came to life. The brand continued to steer clear of gender selection and celebrate all walks of life by selecting transgender model Paul Mitchell to star in the latest collection. "We're so jaded into one thing," Edwin says. "Certain people want to see a six-pack and a chest or big boobs and lips. To integrate both of those things together is just to appreciate beauty. Confidence is beauty and the reasons for using [Paul Mitchell] is because he owns that beauty."

As far as the future holds, Edwin says Sav Noir will continue to become a highly respected brand. He says it will eventually be sold exclusively at Barneys and H. Lorenzo and an internationally known brand, reaching not only its hometown, but Paris and Hong Kong as well. "The evolution of Sav Noir will definitely be on top of the pyramid. Why? Because people are waking the f**k up," he says. "People are starting to not be robots and realize what is real. And Sav Noir is real as f**k."

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Mo'Nique Shines In Donald Glover's Short Films For His Adidas Collection

No matter where she is, Mo'Nique will always shine. The comedian was a pleasant surprise in Donald Glover's series of short films released Thursday (April 18) in tandem with his collection with Adidas.

The films, titled Timber, 1985, Avocado, Polenta and Dusty feature both actors with underlying themes related to Glover's reimagined designs on the Nizza, the Continental 80 and  Lacombe. Throughout the films, Mo'Nique teases Glover with digs at his celebrity, calling him "a little booty baby,"  and comparing his forehead to a stop sign.

Mo'Nique shoed love to Glover and hinted towards another collabo they might have in the future.

The comedian and regal films are a perfect juxtaposition to Glover's approach on his collection."Rich is a concept,” Glover said in a press release about the collection. “With this project, I wanted to encourage people to think about how their stories can be told on their feet. Value isn’t quantified by what you wear, rather the experiences from them. And you make the decision on what works for you, you live through your own lens. The partnership for me is about being able to exemplify what doing your own thing truly looks and feels like."

The shoes carry a deconstructed style like uneven stitching, inside-out golden eyestays and handpainted three stripe design. The Lacombe will run for $90, the Nizza for $80 and the Continental 80 for $100.

Glover recently teased the shoes during his time at Coachella, air dropping fans at random images of the shoes for them to pick up at the brand's installation.

Check them out below and enjoy the short films above.


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Jennifer Lopez To Receive CFDA's Fashion Icon Award

Jennifer Lopez is reportedly poised to receive the Fashion Icon Award at the upcoming 2019 CFDA Awards.

J.Lo will join an elite group of fashion influencers, including Rihanna,  Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell, and Pharrell Williams.

"At the board meeting [in March], it’s always the most discussed and debated award each year," CFDA’s president and CEO Steven Kolb told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are so many worthy candidates, and everyone has really strong opinions, because style is objective, in terms of what people like and what looks good. But Jennifer has always been a steady presence in fashion and continues to be bold and make statements, and she’s someone who’s always noticed and talked about, and that makes her a perfect choice."

Lopez has been an unrivaled force on the red carpet. The green Versace dress that she wore to the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000 is still a fashion moment people bring up in conversation.

Red carpets aside though, Kolb suggested that Lopez was bound to be a fashion icon because of her "true love" for style. "When you look at fashion and style and the way celebrities dress, even when they embrace it they can sometimes look like they’re holding it at arm’s length,” Kolb added. "They embrace it for reasons of being photographed or noticed, but you wonder if they really love it. But you can tell that Jennifer really loves it. She would be a style icon even if she weren’t on the red carpet. There’s a true love there that comes across in her style, and you can tell she thinks it’s fun."

The 2019 CFDA Awards will be held at the Brooklyn Museum on June 3.

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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