It’s Shadow Banned’s season, and we’re all just living in it. The product of a middle school scene phase and music-fashion career marriage, Shadow Banned was born in 2018 with little else than a screen printing machine. Two years later, the brand is a pillar of counterculture streetwear, with a recognizable lineup of horror-infused puffers that stretch far beyond Halloween (although they are just too perfect for spooky season fits). Below, the 26-year old designer—who prefers to stay anonymous—talks music, creative freedom, and thinking outside the box.
Where are you from, and where are you now?
I’m from Broward County, Florida, and I’m about to move back after living in Los Angeles for the past two years.
What is your first memory with streetwear?
My first memory with streetwear was buying band merch in middle school, back when everybody was scene. At that time I was too young to start a clothing brand, but I definitely fantasised about it. As I got older, I lost my interest in clothing and got into music production, but now I’m finding myself coming full circle with ShadowBanned. The music industry influences fashion in so many ways, and being involved in the music industry revitalized the inspiration I felt with fashion. I’ve found that I make clothes the same way I make music.
If you had to compress your personal style into one outfit, what would it be?
Basketball shorts, oversized tee, and comfortable slides.
When did you first feel inspired to create your own designs? When did you first start selling them?
I started making clothing when I moved to Los Angeles in 2018. I started with a Speedball screen printing kit, and my laptop. I made a Big Cartel account, set up an Instagram, and just focused on connecting with my current community in this new way. Starting small has given me so much room to try new things.
Describe your design aesthetic in one sentence, if you can.
Dystopian cyber punk.
Where do you feel the most inspired?
On the internet, or spending time with friends.
Which living designer do you most admire?
I don’t have one.
What’s your biggest creative or career milestone so far?
Being able to support myself through making art.
How do you want people to feel when wearing your designs?
I really want people to feel like they’re wearing something that’s truly special.
What would you most like to change about the current fashion industry?
Less pollution, and less thinking inside of the box.