It’s not everyday that you sliding into the Instagram DM of a creative powerhouse like Bobby (Kim) Hundred at 3am would lead to a first of its kind collaboration with The Hundreds. Undoubtedly, a surreal moment not only for 24 year old Prakhar Chauhan (who recently graduated design school in 2019), but one that deserved a retelling at Homegrown. A leap of faith and ‘putting yourself out there’ that led to this moment.
For those unfamiliar with global streetwear culture, The Hundreds is a LA and community based streetwear brand with a defiant ‘people over product’ focus. With its cultural roots firmly grounded in Southern California’s punk-DIY-tinged youth, to being an OG persevering brand when streetwear went mainstream, but most fell through the cracks. This collaboration speaks to the people and community ethos that shapes the brand. Despite their global impact in streetwear and culture, to this day, Bobby Kim continues to connect with the Hundreds’ fans and community and Prakhar happened to be one of them.
Prakhar inspired by Bobby Hundreds’ (co-founder of the brand) book ‘This Is Not A T-Shirt’ decided to take a leap of faith, asking Bobby Hundreds to critique his work. The back and forth texts between the two led to the Prxkhxr x The Hundreds collaboration giving the emerging Indian homegrown designer a platform unlike any other to showcase his gender-neutral prints capsule collection. We reached out to Prakhar to know the story behind it all and understand his vision a little better.
Q. This will be The 100s first of its kind collaboration with an Indian label. You reached out to them on Instagram which is pretty incredible. Tell us about how the collaboration came about and the creative process that guided it.
It started in April of 2020 when I reached out to Bobby via Instagram because I had just finished reading his book ‘This Is Not A T-shirt’. Things snowballed from there and we began working on the collaboration within a week of that first message. The creative process was surprisingly smooth and happened all over mail between us. We decided on the first mood board I sent and immediately started working on making the motifs for the print. The idea was to have white tigers (a recurring mascot of The Hundreds) fight with peacocks (to represent India).
Q. Why and how did you reach out to Bobby Hundreds?
I was really inspired by the book and thought Bobby can help me by critiquing my work, and so I sent him a message asking for critical feedback on my work so far. He replied within a few hours and started following my work. A couple of days later, he asked me about working on a collaboration.
Q. As an Indian streetwear brand you’ve often mentioned the need to incorporate Indian identity in your designs, how did you weave the identity in this collaboration?
It’s definitely one of the things I put the most effort into - making my work represent India in a contemporary way. Starting from the print/artwork idea (tigers and peacocks fighting), to the main campaign imagery which was inspired by a lot of my memories as a child growing up in Delhi and going for early morning trips and picnics with my family to different spots in Delhi (shot at Qutub Minar, Yamuna Bank and Okhla Railway Station).
Q. What is the one defining aspect about your label?
Hand-made prints made by me in-house have and always will be the defining aspect.
Q. There is a relatability to your designs that goes beyond the hype. Was that inadvertently achieved through the prints?
I’m a firm believer in building something that goes beyond the hype culture and makes you feel something much deeper. I think I’m able to achieve that from my handmade prints and also through carefully managing the brand imagery.
Q. There is also a larger conversation around sustainability in fashion and building a conscious brand. What is your take on it?
I think it’s a very important aspect to be considered while building anything new. Although there’s no such thing as ‘100% sustainable’, every small step counts. Some of the steps I personally take are using 100% recyclable packaging, not keeping any excess stock, using Khadi fabrics mostly, and paying a fair wage to the people who help me in production.
Q. As an emerging homegrown designer; how can we shape the future of Indian streetwear?
It’s very important for people within the streetwear scene to be supportive of each other and push each other to be better designers.
The campaign was shot by Abhinav Bhandari, featuring Dito Prahadi, styled by Sukriti Sharma and videography by Subham Bhakat.
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