New Black, Streetwear Swedish Style

Elias Gillberg was in Miami one New Year’s, wearing his “Like Mike” t-shirt, a combination of Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, and Michael Jackson’s faces.

Dave Chappelle, who happened to be passing by, said, “Oh, I like that.” The t-shirt hadn’t even been released yet, but it was when Gillberg, who until recently was a designer for Swedish fast-fashion juggernaut H&M, thought he might be on to something.

Based in Sweden, New Black is different to most streetwear brands not just in America but in Europe too, embracing patterns, which most brands turned away from after the Bape hoodie explosion of a decade ago. And then in Europe the name, "New Black," inspires curiosity, since the English-language saying isn’t commonly known. “We’ve gotten a lot of questions,” says Gillberg, “asking if it actually has something to do with the color black.”

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