2016 "Between the Blues" Collection
Ugly is finally attractive! With its culture inspired brand that stems from Auckland, New Zealand, Valentin Ozich’s men’s fashion brand I Love Ugly has been even more prevalent in the American street fashion world. Coming from humble beginnings in 2008, I Love Ugly has been in the discussion of top men's street brands for quite some time now, since it reached global status in 2013. Nevertheless, many don’t seem to be “woke” to the top-drawer designs and conception of the brand. Being inspired by the means of music, film, and vinyl art, I Love Ugly have already caught the eyes of the street menswear community, solely because that’s where we look for our urban style today.
From its inception, the brand has inculcated its community of Auckland into its designs. With first starting out in a small community, it allowed the brand to have quick response from its community, so that its designs, and overall feel of its clothing reckoned towards its people. Ozich, in a interview with Thehundreds, exclaimed that I Love Ugly used Auckland as a testing ground to get the clothing and "business model right." So fixing problems effectively and efficiently was of optimal importance in its conception.
For some years now, the other New Zealand/ Australian brand Zanerobe has been in the premiere foresight of most urban fashionistas, but I Love Ugly is coming in full force and pushing other brands into the past. In an interview with Hypebeast, Ozich stated, “Our vision is to be one of the strongest menswear brands in the world.” And they’re making that vision a reality. For starters, the brand’s designers doesn’t only limit their creative genius to original outfits and homey urban feels, but it also aligns itself with major trends and aesthetics. This is what sets I Love Ugly apart.
The brand itself exhibits, for the most part, a minimalist aesthetic with some unique prints of Auckland here and there… ya know, a style that suits grown men, not kids. Though it does contribute its minimalist look, I Love Ugly incorporates 11 annual projects with 20-40 new garments. Using this cleaver method, the brand doesn’t only have something new for you every season, but it offers new clothing more than one time a season, keeping up with any trend that the fashion world embodies. Keeping you in something new and fresh to “stunt” in every season, is what everyone wants, and it differs from most of the high end street brands that only release two projects a year.
Printed Drop Crotch Joggers? They got it! Printed Shirts? They got it! Hoodies, Jackets, Coats? They got it! But, not the regular duds you find at H&M that fall apart after two washes. I love Ugly specializes in quality with a matching price.
With all of its products, you feel the richness of its texture. From material such as pebble nappa leather, herringbone, and flecked wool, you are investing in clothing that’s both aesthetically pleasing to the eye and touch. I’m telling you, you’ll feel like King Jaffe Joffer with a few pounds of authentic goods on your back. Not only does I Love Ugly focus on the material used on the extremities of the products, but also on the interior. Did you ever have a jacket that had that sexy lining on the inside? Yeah. They got those too. The pants even have inner lining and interior pocket sticking artwork.
Focusing on the detail of the product makes all the difference, and the designers of the brand nailed it. For example, in the Spring/Summer months, you look for something light and easy to breath in. Their “Axel” and “Ss” shirts are perfect for the weather. In the Fall and Winter months, the layers need to come out. Their “biker” and “hudson” jackets and coats make you the “Layered God” for the season. Though there are styles for each season, the Zespy Pants are an essential to your closet for year round use. Made with the most prominent drop crotch feature, the Zespy Pant is made up of stretch fabric, durable cotton, 95% cotton, and 5% spandex. The magic is the stretch cotton blend which allows for added comfort and durability. I myself have a few pairs of Zespy pants and the material is incredible. I wear them all the time, and the fabric does not become dull. The fabric allows the pant to keep its natural silhouette. It’s no wonder why it’s their most sought-after product.
Collectively the entire brand is genius. It stays true to what a street brand requires, its Auckland influence, and pushes the limits as well. From its inception in 2008, I Love Ugly is hitting the mark on what young urban fashion based men want in a brand today.