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Hassan Hajjaj Relaunching Streetwear Label After 20 Years


Moroccan artist, designer, filmmaker, and photographer, Hassan Hajjaj, is relaunching his streetwear label, R.A.P London at Sole DXB—a two-day street culture event in Dubai taking place on November 18th-19th. R.A.P, which stands for Real Artistic People, was last available for purchase twenty years ago. Hajjaj originally launched the brand in 1984 as a political statement. “It’s all about timing and for R.A.P, 2017 is the right time for me to relaunch,” explained Hajjaj speaking exclusively to Vogue, “I’ve been building my career as an artist and now I can give R.A.P the time it deserves with the right team behind it.”

The artist and his new brand set in motion an explosive creative scene that united art, fashion, and music under the emblem of diversity and against the socio-political backdrop of the time. The forerun of all contemporary streetwear brands was headquartered in a shop on Neal Street, just off of Covent Garden, which quickly became an artistic hub for Hajjaj’s vast group of friends. The shop and the brand gave a voice to their collective desire to be visible through fashion, style, and culture, at a time when the mainstream felt too detached and out of reach.

As Hajjaj simply puts it, “The big fashion labels didn’t design for people like us, so we’d go and buy the fabric and put it on the back of jackets. I wasn’t thinking outside of doing stuff for myself and my friends. It was what was going on around me. I was trying to create for what they would wear.” Essentially, R.A.P. mirrored London as a focal meeting point for people with diverse cultural backgrounds and nationalities, all of who called the city “home.”

Today, the brand relaunches at a time that reflects the energy and cultural environment of those years—when societies, nationalities, and old and new worlds clashed in a collage of diversity—and makes for a welcome addition to our contemporary streetwear landscape.

“Dubai is the centre of the new world. Logistically, financially and wih SOLE DXB at the helm, that cultural aspect is really booming,” explained Hajjaj.”A truly one-off festival bridging East and West, luxury and street— This kind of melting pot is what the world is about and what R.A.P continues to represent.”

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