Brand Focus: Namacheko
Speaking on last year’s Autumn Winter ’19 collection, Dilan Lurr seemed to be poised for progress. After three solid runway shows, Namacheko was finally on the cusp of following a brand new vision.
Led by brother and sister duo Dilan and Lezan Lurr, Namacheko is likely fashion’s most unique success story. With no formal design education and a focus in civil engineering, Dilan and Lezan both occupy a carefully cultivated space outside of fashion’s realm. Lezan handles the commercial side of running Namacheko, with Dilan taking the helm for creative direction and design.
The loudest speaking point of Namacheko’s previous collections has and continues to be heritage, with the permanence of identity being explored from the label’s initial launch. Being raised by an immigrant family in a predominantly Swedish neighbourhood made notions of identity, belonging and difference increasingly salient for both Dilan and Lezan.
“As a teenager growing up in Sweden, you just want to be like your friends — but you never lose being a Kurd,” says Dilan, “It’s a funny thing. You are what you are. I want to translate that into the garments.”
Namacheko’s first collection was inspired by bridalwear commonly worn in Kurdish regions of Iraq. To the surprise of both Dilan and Lezan, the collection sold and was immediately picked up soon after their Paris showing in 2017. Now Namacheko is stocked worldwide by hallmark luxury retailers like Dover Street Market, SSENSE, Opening Ceremony, Beams and now Roden Gray.
With a strong grip on his vision for Namacheko, Dilan’s concept for AW19 went hand in hand with his scholarly life, or rather, lack of interest in scholarship. He spent his years in university following other passions like painting, while attending woodland parties like any well-to-do student. This disheveled, realistic vignette of redirected motivation was something he wanted to reflect on for AW19.
The accompanying lookbook was inspired by a set of office characters Dilan had imagined, with the personal qualities of each being reflected by construction quirks, avant-garde stitching and unique applications of furniture fabrics.
Buttoned shirts were purposely designed in a misshapen fashion, with collar points sticking out of suit layers to signal an early morning rush. Seemingly disparate pairings of colourful underlayers found harmony in pieced-together looks with classic double-breasted suits. Changes to fabric mirrored Dilan’s uncertainty with engineering –– and construction details, like meandering stitch paths, referenced his non-linear path to design.
Knit sweaters made with three-ply twisted yarn offered a lightweight, high-loft canvas for vibrant, intricate print patterns resembling some of Dilan’s early college paintings. It’s almost like he found a way to integrate his wide array of passions into the creative process for Namacheko – a win-win considering the label’s fast success. But Dilan continues to look forward with an exhaustive approach.
“That’s a little bit of the process. I think about it in steps. There’s ‘this’ that we explore for three seasons. There might be something now that we work on for two seasons and then when you feel finished with that – you can finally move on.”
Like with painting, forest parties and even school, Lurr’s passions are fluid and hold only as much importance as they do for him in the present moment. We’re likely to see honest representations of the Lurr legacy, as stories of heritage can only be explored so far as they need to be before other paths necessitate travel.
This season, Namacheko aligns itself with a new vision for AW20. After reaching out to Yale professor and celebrated photographer Gregory Crewdson, Namacheko is set to release their first collaborative capsule featuring Crewdson’s staged tableaux that offer scenic vignettes into small-town American life. Inspired by the dramatic scenes of Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch films, Crewdson’s photographs are often surreal, uncomfortably intimate and beautifully horrifying.
His use of landscape, scenery and tone to bring life to his subjects evokes a similar process Dilan explored for his office worker collection. Both Dilan and Lezan were enamoured by Crewdson’s work so it’s no wonder a partnership would spring between creatives mutually inspired by the liminality of photography and film.
You can shop the entire collaboration along with Namacheko’s full AW20 collection, in-store and online now at Roden Gray.