One of Cairo's most flourishing streetwear brands, UNTY is back with their seventh collection and a an edgy new shoot...
Every since its inception a few years ago, local clothing brand UNTY has thrived on consistently releasing capsule collections, always cutting edge, always thoroughly infused with art. Their latest collection – their seventh one to date – is no different, featuring limited pieces which once again tap into the edgy, cool kid, streetwear aesthetic, while simultaneously carrying art created with the intent of resonating on a much deeper level.
For their latest collection VII, the brand, which has just released their campaign is diversifying its product line. In previous collections they’ve already rolled out t-shirts and sweaters laden with graphic-style art, which have come to be something of the brand’s signature, and last summer they released a collection of caps. This time however, they are broadening their scope, incorporating sweatpants and jackets. “UNTY started with a lot of experiments, with concept, designs, and campaigns. Now we want to start developing and building on the brand, not just with our standard product line (t shirts and sweaters), but into more diverse pieces,” explains co-founder Omar Mobarek.
The constant thread however, which weaves its way through many of the brand’s collections, is that somewhere within the designs featured on the pieces or the concept behind the campaign is a notion which is often reflective of some sort of psychological discord or internal dissonance. For this collection “the concept is driven by the question of ‘what if’, and how letting your imagination create this alternative reality that could have happened is poisonous,” Mobarak explains. Their limited items per collection means there is often sentiment behind each individual piece.
The white sweater’s designs is meant is meant to encapsulate the notion of ‘what if you looked past your ideals’, reflecting the fact that myriad traditions and principles have been instilled into everyone since their youth, “but what if you get to a point and wonder what’s past those?”
The black sweater on the other hand, which features the word ‘lust’ splayed across the front, revolves around the concept of ‘what if you fell into temptation.’ Mobarek elaborates; “We meet many people in our lives that we had feelings for, but it also came with a lot of pain, leaving wonder if it was worth it.”
The jacket – the first time they’ve produced one – reflects the idea that the imaginary trajectory of something is often far superior to its reality. The text reads ‘what is left unfinished is always brighter and purer in the mind.’ “This is about losing something and thinking that if it was there, it would have made your life better,” Mobarek says.
The brand has also created sweatpants for the first time, and lets be honest, every hipster worth his salt in the city has run out and bought himself a pair of sweatpants and is now strolling around in them and these new UNTY ones will define winter comfort.
The shoot for the campaign is gritty and urban, reflective of the brand’s identity. “We wanted to create an urban aesthetic for the brand, to create an image that we can finally build the brand with. We worked with photographer Omar Harbi on this shoot. He managed to completely grasp the direction we wanted and give us exactly the tone we were going for.” Rarely tapping ‘models of the moment’ to front their campaign and instead always discovering and selecting fresh faces to feature in their shoots, UNTY has once again veered from the track of selecting the same faces see plastered on local brands, and instead selected Mai El Sabi, a an emerging face on the music scene, and Mourad Emam, a young aspiring artist.
The streetwear market in Egypt is a nascent one, and UNTY is consistently at the forefront of propelling it forward. Check out the rest of the shoot below.
The pieces are limited and you can buy them via Facebook or Instagram @UNTYDesigns or catch them at announced events.
Photograpy by Omar Harbi
Models: Mourad Emam and Mai El Sabi