Prove your humanity

Grok Magazine sits down with Harry Hall, a first-year student who’s currently pursuing a major in Sports Science at Curtin University. We are also accompanied by his close-friend and musician Denzel Antoine, as we begin to learn more about the development of their clothing-brand “STEEZ”.

For starters, we ask Harry about when he first decided to create STEEZ, followed by whether it was an individual or collaborative effort. “STEEZ started when I was in my last year of high school. I wasn’t really close with Denzel at the time, and would often wag class.” Having admitted this, he soon recalls a conversation that he had with another friend. Their discussion originally revolved around their mutual dislike for mainstream fashion, but soon developed into a brainstorm of career ideas.

“Eventually, we started to come up with names for a clothing-brand – and from the top of my head, I thought of “steez”, which is another word for “style” or “well-dressed”. I felt like it was a pretty hard name.”

Image Credit: Abolee Gebissa

Harry informs us about how his experience with graphic design had helped him develop visuals for STEEZ. Not only did he teach himself how to screen-print, but he also went as far as to build his own press in order to create clothes. “Everything came out pretty well, and I managed to sell around sixty shirts in two days while at school.”

Upon being asked about the initial reaction he received after telling his friends and family that he wanted to create a clothing-brand, Harry confesses that although his friends were excited, his family couldn’t help but to feel otherwise. “Obviously, my family were all like “where are you even gonna get the money to start a business?”, but I solved that issue by working hard, and ended up with around $1400 to start things off.”

Our conversation then shifts onto the main aesthetic that Harry and Denzel perceive their clothing-brand to have. “STEEZ takes a lot of inspiration from streetwear, surf-brands, and skate-brands, especially Perth brands like Lo-Fi and international brands like Supreme.” With this being said, Harry mentions how STEEZ borrowed ideas from the three different aesthetics to make something new instead of creating something that was already existent. “I just wanted to create a new aesthetic by taking inspiration from everything I thought was dope and merge it all together.”

In addition to being inspired by other clothing brands, Harry describes how music played a massive role in the creation of STEEZ, serving to be an extremely positive influence on the brand, as well as a great way for Denzel to get involved with the production. “I make beats at home, creating a lot of underground drill and rap music.” Denzel explains. “Listening to different genres helps a lot with sampling, both new and old – and whatever Harry likes too, as I’ll usually go over my music with him to get some feedback on it.” After saying this, Denzel conveys how Harry constantly aims to promote new and upcoming sounds through STEEZ, including Denzel’s own songs.

“That’s what STEEZ culture is all about. Some people might not like it at first because its different. But in two years’ time, they’ll look back on it and start to appreciate it. You’ll never get anywhere if you keep on doing the same thing as everyone else.”

Image Credit: Abolee Gebissa

Expanding on the subject of music, we ask Harry and Denzel if there were any musicians who inspired the creation of STEEZ. “We take a lot of inspiration from A Bathing Ape (BAPE) and Nigo’s other brands, as he was able to incorporate music into his clothing.” Despite claiming BAPE to be overworn nowadays, Harry clarifies how Nigo – a former DJ and member of the Japanese hip-hop group Teriyaki Boyz – would often blend music with pop-culture to design his clothes. This inspired Harry to pursue a similar route with integrating music into his projects.

In terms of Harry and Denzel’s aspirations, we inquire them of what we can expect from STEEZ in the future. “You can expect a lot. There’s a winter collection that I’ve been working on for ages, so heaps of new stuff will be coming out soon. I’m also trying to get a temporary store up and running in Freo.” Harry also intends to release a surf-capsule during the summer – one that will take inspiration from Western Australian culture to expand his target audience and attract potential customers.

“I feel like Perth doesn’t really have its own fashion.” Harry says. “Of course, there are people with style in Perth, but we’d like to be part of that. There’s a lot of room for more creative brands, and I feel like STEEZ needs to fill it.”

Image Credit: Harry Hall

Reaching the conclusion of our interview, Grok Magazine asks Harry and Denzel if they have any advice for students who may be interested in creating their own clothing-brand. “Don’t do it. Give up on your dreams.” Harry immediately jokes.

“They should all be looking out for STEEZ!” Denzel humorously adds, only to end up providing us with a more serious answer. “If they’re truly ambitious, they can’t hold back. The world’s full of people trying to make their own shit, but if you really want to do it, you’ve got to push it out there.” Explaining the importance of being persistent and promoting one’s work, Denzel affirms that the same thing goes with music production.

“You gotta message as many people as you can and tell them to shout out your music. Try to arrange pop-ups and gigs – just do whatever you can to get your shit out there.”

If you’re interested in purchasing products from STEEZ, feel free to browse or STEEZ’s official Instagram page (@stzculture). You can also support Harry and Denzel by following them on Instagram (@harry.hall13) (luvzel12k), as well as checking out Denzel’s music on Spotify (luvzel).