Typical streetwear pieces include graphic tees, plain hoodies, comfy sweatpants, and pricey sneakers, but Nigel Xavier is giving the streetwear subculture a revamped reputation
Everyone knows that the barriers between high fashion and streetwear have been blurring for some time now, but it’s just fascinating to see someone reimagine and elevate this subculture in order to make it more exciting. Winner of Next in Fashion Season 2, Nigel Xavier is gaining traction in the fashion industry for his innovative takes on classic streetwear. He transforms basic streetwear items into fashion-forward pieces, and here is how he is doing it:
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Banking on upcycled and repurposed materials
Whether it is a worn pair of jeans or a scrap canvas painting, Nigel’s keen sense of style and his ability to sew are more than enough to transform it into a work of art fit for the runway. In the “Thrift” episode, Nigel shared that, because his family isn’t financially well-off, he often has to resort to upcycling and reusing old items. Rather than preventing him from pursuing his passion, he found new ways to express his fashion creativity and explore his imaginative side. Nigel’s mastery in finding new uses for old pieces was evident, as he was declared the winner for that episode.
Revolutionary and intricate patchwork
Patchwork is not an easy technique and style to master since it requires sewing together tiny pieces of cloth to create a bigger piece, but Nigel shows expertise in this complex art with apparent ease. His patchwork skills were so impressive that even Gigi Hadid would often compliment him in every episode. Nigel’s unique style can easily convince you that instead of wearing the same old basic hoodie, you can step up your fashion game and try on an ensemble made from basketball jerseys or a jacket designed from a range of denim materials.
Defining new gender norms in streetwear
Considering that men make up the majority of the streetwear industry, it came as a shock when the Atlanta-based streetwear designer revealed that he would be casting five female models for his final collection. Nigel’s impressive fabric manipulation skills did not just win over the crowd and the judges, but also proved his point that streetwear should not be confined to either gender. He created gender-neutral garments by blending seemingly incompatible materials like fur, denim, woven materials, and glittering laces. “Coming in, he had one note, and tonight, he showed a very inclusive collection. There is no gender. He nailed that to a T for me.” These were Tan France’s exact words when he described Nigel’s finale performance.
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Nigel did not only win USD 200,000 in cash, but also had a collaboration with Rent the Runway. His signature tie-dye and patchwork denim outfits made from repurposed fabrics were featured prominently in this collection. It was also reported that he and three of his Next in Fashion co-stars, Denotré, Desyrée Nicole, and Amari Carter, would be hosting a Culture + Diversity panel.
Photos from NIGEL XAVIER and NEXT IN FASHION (via Instagram)