We live in the age of the internet. Our streams of influence are limitless, our scrolls infinite, and our feeds unending. The digital native’s conception of identity is multifaceted, and fashion is a daily opportunity to reflect a wealth of inspiration at our disposal. Eytys is a brand designed by digital natives for digital natives, and one whose brand mission is rooted in community, collaboration and unbridled creativity. They create reliable and exceptional basics which act as blank canvases, primed for the bricolage of modern style. Eytys does not aim to make products which define its customers; they make products which its customers are able to define. Creative Director Max Schiller told SLEEK, “I want creative freedom for our customers to visualize a style for themselves”.
Eytys emerged just five years ago and hit the ground running with the “The Mother”: a unisex platform sneaker with a memorable sole and minimal lace. “The Mother” was the mature response to those of us who grew up in checkerboard vans and high-top chucks, searching for an updated classic. Focused on universality and functionality, “The Mother” was a welcome deviation from the snobbery of the sneaker world, which is often dominated by hype and exclusivity. The brilliantly simple, unisex design demonstrated from the get-go that Eytys possessed intimate understanding of the malleability of style.
Five years and countless sneaker sales later, Eytys conquered a new frontier: denim. The release of the five pocket jean this Autumn carried the torch of Eytys ideology forward with considerable momentum. The brand released three styles — the Cypress, the Benz and the Boyle — which are unique in style but identical in the valor of their design. Eytys describes the jeans as “MTV meets workwear” and like the sneakers, are designed to be the only pair you’ll ever need. Both androgynous and timeless, the five pocket jeans welcome a deconstruction of categorization that has shaped the industry since its beginnings. Eytys designs aim to transcend gender, race, age and nationality, a declaration of inclusivity that is both ethical and admirable.
The five-pocket campaign launch was another reminder of an essential component of the Eytys agenda: a commitment to collaborating with the artists they admire. Eytys tapped print renegade Buffalo Zine to collaborate on the initial campaign. Schiller declared Buffalo Zine “the most interesting magazine ever”, considering each edition is an entirely new concept and aesthetic, with only the title remaining the same. The Eytys x Buffalo Zine collaboration was a fruitful one, resulting in a campaign based on ‘80s denim adverts “conceived to celebrate the fluidity of modern personal style and to embrace a contemporary approach of sexuality: liberated, open-minded, and proud”.
Schiller says that featuring other creatives was always a part of Eytys’ mission. “We wanted to have a platform that allowed us to work with people who inspired us”. Another pillar of their progressive brand identity is giving credit where credit is due, as they are proud to acknowledge the people, places and things that shape the brand and its output. Their countless collaborations (all visible in the footnotes section of their website) illuminate the “blank canvas” initiative of the brand. The flagship store in Stockholm is an architectural manifestation of the canvas effect, a minimalist space beaming in marble, with shelves featuring a medley of Eytys approved publications and likely the latest Yung Lean record. The aim of the Eytys x _____ collaborations is to honor the work of the artist as much as the featured product. Schiller explained, “We develop a concept together. What’s really important to me is to respect the reason why I wanted to work with them in the first place- to honor what they’ve previously done and their aesthetic.”
It’s clear that an incredible amount of research goes into choosing the Eytys collaborators. Although Eytys is the brand of the internet age, much of their attention is directed off-screen. When asked about the process of discovering collaborations, Schiller stated: “It’s very organic. Some of it comes from online, but I’ve been getting more and more into print. I actually deleted Instagram because I couldn’t handle the constant flow of things coming in and out. I needed to clean my canvas. Some of the people we work with I’ve discovered through fanzines and small publications. I try to spend at least a full day every 3 months at a bookstore somewhere.”
In chatting with Schiller, it’s evident that earnestness is an essential ingredient to stellar artistic synergy. “These collaborations aren’t about creating hype. We ask ourselves how we can create the best possible product and the best possible concept. We’re very humble about the fact that there are very many people out there who are way more talented than us”. Eytys aimed to create the “product manifestation of Generation Y” and with each new launch solidifies its goal. Let Eytys be a reminder that the generation they design for is rooted in connectivity and collectivity. Eytys’ design and ethos represents the best outcomes of the digital age, freedom from restraint and unnecessary classification.