Palestinian brand Trashy Clothing is challenging culture through the Internet. Under the co-creative direction of Shukri Lawrence and Omar Braika, Trashy Clothing is a satirical ready-to-wear label that questions the fantasized luxury ideals in mainstream fashion and presents each collection with the spirit of anti-fashion.
“Being a Palestinian brand, the Internet is our one-way ticket to making it as creatives,” says Lawrence. “The digital world is our new reality. There are no borders and restrictions to our movement. The accessibility of the Internet, if used correctly, means the world is your oyster. We try to stay unapologetically Palestinian online, because where else are we able to do so?”
Trashy Clothing is heavily inspired by online subcultures. The brand turned the pandemic to its advantage by using the Internet to explore new opportunities, through Zoom parties, virtual film screenings and more. “At Trashy, we believe the digital world is equal to the real world. They compliment each other. Over the past few years, we took note of what’s important, how to work through it and how to communicate with our customers online,” says Braika. “Shukri and I found each other on the Internet, so that is part of our story as a brand.”
After hosting their first Zoom party in 2020, titled “Bedsheet Couture,” where attendees from all over the world came dressed in bed sheets, Braika and Lawrence realized how important it was to utilize such an easy access to not only connect with customers but be able to promote future collections through it.
There has been a palpable shift in power, with the consumer dictating the dialogue, but that has always been the case for Trashy Clothing. “The Trashy customers make our brand. By sharing our mood boards, inspirations and how we think and operate, we ensure that our customers are part of our journey,” says Braika.
To date, Trashy Clothing’s virtual hangouts have garnered over 1,000 attendees. For their most recent collection, Club Sultana, which follows the life of a dancer seeking a safe haven, Trashy Clothing hosted a virtual release party, where they presented their official fashion film, DJ sets, performances and a live Q+A session with the co-founders.
With online portals being at the tip of everyone’s fingers, brands are guaranteed more visibility. For Trashy Clothing this has helped boost sales. “People now better understand what we’re trying to say with our symbolism, metaphors and the secret messages we try to highlight. So our customers are connected to what we do,” says Lawrence. “For Trashy, it’s all about bringing physical experiences online.”