Why the vintage tee has our favourite brands rethinking the Summer 21 season.

Han Kjøbenhavn, John Elliott and Darryl Brown present their most personal tributes to vintage clothing. 

Often, those with the strongest personal style are creatures of habit. These are the same people who swear by the same cut of t-shirt, no matter how old. Or those constantly searching for the perfect cut vintage denim jeans preferably worn by two generations before them.

It is no wonder that brands like John Elliott, Darryl Brown and Han Kjøbenhavn have approached their current SS21 season with a like-minded approach to vintage collectors and archivists alike. Emerging from the idea blackhole that was lockdown in the USA, Europe and Australia, comes the re-evaluation of new and old clothes and the revelation that joy doesn't always come from the most glistening, pristine new garments on the rack.

Instead, much like the thirty-year-old tee that houses decades of stories passed from owner to owner, this season's designers have taken a similar approach to the vintage tee in a very 2021 way. Han Kjøbenhavn, John Elliott and Darryl Brown seek to insert their own origin stories within their vintage-inspired clothing - using modern technologies dyes and fabrics to replicate a lifetime of wear and anecdotes.

Han Kjøbenhavn


Han Kjøbenhavn SS21 Distressed collection tells a different story to their Scandi counterparts like Wood Wood, Soulland and Polar Skate Co. Grounded in their Copenhagen street origins, Han Kjøbenhavn tells the story of it's subversive, mysterious and grunge beginnings as an eyewear brand. - refusing the intrinsically optimistic and lively approach to clothing and accessories that so many other Scandinavian brands take. Styled wearing oversized, geometric frames that pay homage to their design roots - the Distressed collection takes on an anonymous approach to vintage-inspired clothing. Refusing to look back to stories of previous wearers - Han Kjøbenhavn owns its mysterious and incognito identity and relentlessly remain itself. Leading to create it's own stories instead of searching for old ones.


John Elliott: The Reconstructed Collection


A brand built on the appreciation of quality fabrics and simple, minimalistic construction, John Elliott's Spring / Summer 21 Collection was born in the early days of LA's lockdown when Elliott took a step back to appreciate the materials he had before him. Using the John Elliott signature Beach Hoodie as the canvas, the Reconstructed Collection was created using multiple layers, unfinished hems, mixed textures and unique washed dyes designed to age over time.

To launch the Spring Summer 21 Collection, the John Elliott team provides an instructional DIY video giving life to an old hoodie, giving avid John Elliott fans their own insight into the brand's origins - producing creative solutions to everyday wardrobe problems.

Darryl Brown


Darryl Brown's SS21 collection is rich with duality with many layers of meaning behind each garment. In a very modern way, Brown's interpretation of vintage-inspired clothing delves not only into his personal history as a railroad engineer but also the lifeblood and stories of Ohio's blue-collar working class and the generations of men and women subject to the pitfalls of the Mid-West's inherent classism and racism.

Referencing the vintage workwear uniforms from the 1950s-1970s, the Spring Summer 21 collection provides glimpses into the uniforms worn by the designer's father and grandfathers before him. While fusing these vintage American cuts and silhouettes with Japanese workwear references and advanced fabrics and dyes, Brown reveals his personal experiences - leaving the railroad workforce to pursue a career styling and eventually to creating a globally successful label.

You can shop new-season Spring / Summer 21 deliveries from Han Kjøbenhavn, John Elliott and Darryl Brown here.

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