“It was insane,” Palestinian fashion designer Shukri Lawrence says, looking back on the moment Hatari pulled out their Palestinian flag live at Eurovision. “I remember going on Instagram and literally every story was that one photo.”
But for Shukri, the act was more than just a political stunt, it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Iceland’s premier anti-capitalists and his fashion brand, tRASHY clothing. Now, the two have teamed up for a joint collection.
Two trash worlds
The 2017 origins of tRASHY lie in the dichotomy Shukri experienced between his daily life as a Palestinian photographer and videographer and the brands his subjects were often wearing.
“Everything I was shooting was related to what was around me in the Middle East, except the clothes were from abroad,” Shukri explains. “That’s not bad but it’s not relatable to the subject. I thought, something’s missing.”
To bridge the chasm, Shukri decided he’d make his own brand, and promptly began working on a line of t-shirts. Enter tRASHY Clothing.
“I started with this project that was basically bootlegging brands like Marc Jacobs and Nike and taking issues that are related to the Middle East and sticking both in a juxtaposition,” he explains.
His most famous design features a selfie of a group of women, each wearing a Niqab, above the Marc Jacobs logo. “These two different worlds that the West might not be used to. You know, Niqabi shoppers exist,” he emphasises.
From there, the tRASHY team grew to include Omar Braika, Reem Kawasmi, Luai Al-Shuaibi, and Sereen Khass. Then, in 2019, tRASHY was contacted by Hatari to work on a clothing collaboration for Eurovision events, press conferences, and such. It was a match made in trash heaven.
From the moment they arrived, Hatari began wearing bits of tRASHY clothing in all their appearances. “We tried to make it like hints,” Shukri reveals. “Hatari are wearing these earrings, but who are they from? They were always wearing Palestinian designers and repping Palestine, even before the flag.”
tRASHY then got the band to work as models for their SS19 ‘XD’ collection, which was inspired by the internet in the year 2010.
“It’s all about this confusion of tween days seeing emo/tumblr culture going on, yet there was this whole other world we were living in,” Shukri explains. “The war and the occupation. So this collection was a phase of those scene kids colours, screen reflections, and online superficial stuff.”
Hatari proved ideal subjects. “Seeing their spikes and emo-esque scene aesthetic, they were the perfect models,” he concludes.
Now, the two groups have re-united for a joint collection, entitled tRASHY x HATARI, with profits going to Rainbow Street Org, benefitting queer and trans youth in the Middle East. The line is directly inspired by Hatari’s run at Eurovision.
“We took inspiration from the flag moment specifically, so we did these flag hider pants, flag hider skirts, and a tube flag holder bag,” he says. “We also took inspiration from ‘Hate Will Prevail,’ and [changed it] to ‘Love Will Prevail,’ and ‘Hate Won’t Prevail.’”
But the graffiti-esque designs go deeper, Shukri re-iterates. “If you look closely, there are references to older news, etc. Everything is a secret code,” he reveals. “I am waiting for someone to crack it.”
tRASHY will be travelling to Iceland in March for a fashion show of their own. Considering their past shows have included things like makeshift border walls in front of the audience, it’s sure to be a flag-raising spectacle.
“It will be insane,” Shukri says, somewhat cheekily. “And that’s all I am going to say.”
Check out the tRASHY CLOTHING x HATARI collection online here.
Shot by: Isaac Eastgate
Makeup: Solenne Tadros
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