Fashion and politics have always been a favourite pairing. In the case of HYPEPEACE, Jennivi Jordan and Michael Lecocq’s streetwear label, fashion is used as a tool that transcends superficial aesthetics by mobilising people to express solidarity with the oppressed.
The couple’s striking parody designs highlight specific causes of importance including the crisis in Syria, the fire outside the Vathy refugee camp in Samos and those affected by the 2020 Beirut explosion.
When asked about her favourite designs, Jennivi says, “I have to admit, most of them are from the Palestine range we did. We did a collaboration with a Dubai based brand, La Come Di – we did a very small release when it was fairly new to us. And we did an augmented reality aspect into the print. So, we created an app and if you place like your phone in front of the print it creates this animation. I also love the football jersey that we released with FC Palestina. We’re releasing a new jersey at the end of this year actually, an exciting collaboration with a known football team in time for the World Cup season. And obviously, the classic Palestine tri-ferg is also a favourite.”
Having done a number of collaborations with charities, Jennivi and Michael are excited to launch their first very own initiative, Art for Palestine. There’s no doubt that HYPEPEACE has always been vocal about supporting human rights in this region. In fact, one of Jennivi’s favourite designs – the hoodie with Palace’s “tri-ferg” logo coloured red, green and black, and the brand name replaced the word Palestine – is a testament to their support for the cause.
Reflecting on the reception to their signature hoodie, Jennivi says, “It had such a big impact within street culture, especially regarding something so political – I think we found that there was a huge support for Palestine that we didn’t think that there was, so that really grew a conversation within the streetwear community and the underground scene in London.”
After a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised £12,500, HYPEPEACE is setting up a creative art facility in Aida Youth Center, Bethlehem. The centre will be home to creative learning activities for children and screen-printing workshops for youths up to the age of 25. The facility will also provide lessons and workshops in graphic design, printing techniques, woodwork and other art crafts. By using a creative outlet, the aim is to help young people discover their passions in life, become empowered and enable them to positively contribute to their communities.
On why Aida Youth Center is the perfect fit, Jennivi says, “We approached them with this initiative because we love their values and mission which is a great fit to where and how we want to take this initiative. They were also looking to expand their programme to creative and art-based learning.“
“If you look back, like throughout our releases, we’ve always been consistent in supporting Palestine. And we’ve done like various events for them and collaborated with artists from there, whether they’re musicians or their designers, and so forth. We started building this network with creatives from the UK, London also Palestine and the MENA region. As a whole, we really want to build more of a connection between two different communities and backgrounds. I think it’s also very essential, not just like, talking about what’s happening, but I think to build that relationship is very important, especially with the young generation. These are the values of HYPEPEACE, you know, we want to use the creative platform to talk about important issues like this.”
What’s more is that this summer, HYPEPEACE intends to deliver art workshops in London. Having already successfully delivered a week-long pop-up shop in Shoreditch last year along with screenprinting workshops for adults and children, the team are now looking for creatives and volunteers to help run these sessions.
On the importance of art workshops for children, Jennivi shares, “I think it breaks the stereotype of activism. I think it’s also an important aspect, introducing children to different activities that make sense to them, not just like taking them to protest, but there’s like an underlying kind of conversation about important issues within other things that you have to do. Since starting the brand, there’s been quite a few that didn’t know anything about what’s going on in Palestine, certain kinds of weird situations, until we introduced them to this kind of scene, post streetwear scene and introducing that conversation on the topic. To us, that’s the goal – it’s to spread awareness among different groups that may not normally be exposed to such subjects.”
Keeping within the goal of bridging the gap between two communities, HYPEPEACE, is looking for children aged 5-12 for their Art Penpal Callout. Every month, there’ll be a creative theme for children to draw, in which they will be exchanging their work as a way to communicate and connect with children from Palestine.
In other exciting news, HYPEPEACE is opening a Dublin pop-up with Hen’s Teeth. Ireland has always been vocal in their support for Palestine and therefore, in solidarity they’ve asked for a full HYPEPEACE takeover, including the kitchen where the team will be working with Palestinian dishes.