Gucci's Hommage to Label's Adidas Collaboration Circa 1993

Mon Jun 06 2022

The intentions of Label, which emerged from the DIY movement of the early 90s, sought to dissolve the boundaries of high and low culture and create an inclusive realm where the power of branding and the dangerous hold it had over society was put into question.

Spurred by Guy Debord and Derrida, Label sought to recontextualize the icons and phenomenologies of consumer culture, retooling their energy to tell new stories seeking to dismantle a blinding psychic hold. Label sought to take on the most notable logos and brands creating a disambiguation of their objectives, shocking the senses through the unfamiliar so as to open a portal of paradigm shifts that would undermine the oppressive systems of the past. As a young woman, many of Whitcomb's directives sought to overcome particularly patriarchal and racist systems that were sustained through the mass culture image making machine. Her early collections sought to remodel masculine and hierarchical codes in culture offering products that were made outside the mass manufacturing system. Most importantly, it empowered young entrepreneurs to create their own brands which would be self-sustaining and promote the ideologies which had arisen from the club culture consciousness that was birthed in the late 80s and fueled the strong anti establishment communities of the 90s that sought to enlist radical change.

The purity of this idealism eventually became corrupted by consumer demand and the motivations slowly themselves became victims of this process of commodification. Label started to see that the irony factor of appropriation was becoming an endorsement rather than a questioning of the shadow of our culture. Whitcomb decided to retreat to Label's original objectives to catalyze paradigm shifts through the message of clothing which would be supported by art shows mirroring its like minded themes. Equally important, Label's retreat sought to encourage others to place above all cause the importance of finding an autonomous voice as inevitably this is the redemption of the creative path. Whitcomb started focussing on the language of form and line in her cuts while looking to ancient hermetic symbols and appropriating images of resistance as visual platforms and largely making one off pieces. 

The last decade has seen a pinnacle of what had seemingly begun with Label's collaboration with Adidas in 1993. This collection reconfigured one of the most iconic staples of culture which itself had become a symbol of a powerful uniform of a youth culture movement that would further the objectives of the Civil Rights movement to mass appeal in one of the most empowering movements. The dress came to symbolize the inclusion of women into this revolutionary platform and ultimately resonated with women as a collective symbol of empowerment.

Label continues to seek the dissolution of boundaries and appreciates the generous acknowledgement of Alessandro Michele who strives for further inclusion and the breaking down of the boundaries of gender for a brand that prioritizes inclusion.

To view Label's fashion archives, view our website.