Few young brands embody the cut-n-sew concept quite like HIGASHI. Esham, the designer and one-man-show behind HIGASHI, makes every one-off piece completely from scratch—and often, using repurposed materials—from patchwork quilted pants to gothic-infused tapestry crewnecks. Below, the 21-year old breaks down his long-winded journey away from the norm (don’t worry, he wouldn’t have it any other way).
Where are you from, and where are you now?
I grew up in Texas, but I’m currently living in New Orleans.
What is your first memory with streetwear?
First memory? My mind is mad cloudy, but I know I was introduced to streetwear through skateboarding.
If you had to compress your personal style into one outfit, what would it be?
An unreleased puffer jacket of mine, baggy vintage-washed Levi’s, and some Koston 1s.
When did you first feel inspired to create your own designs?
I’ve been inspired to create my own clothing designs since high school. What really inspired me was my disliking of the current fashions at that time, as well as my natural tendency to stray away from the path of what's popular amongst the people. I began selling my pieces a little more than a year ago.
Describe your design aesthetic in one sentence, if you can.
I don’t know what I’m feeling, but I know what I’m doing.
Where do you feel the most inspired?
I wish I knew the answer to that.
Which living designer do you most admire?
Ev Bravado and Téla D’amore
What’s your biggest creative or career milestone so far?
Really just going from nothing to a greater something.
How do you want people to feel when wearing your designs?
I want people to feel like a better version of themselves.
What would you most like to change about the current fashion industry?
I’d like to change the many unethical practices that are used in the production of garments.