• Text Tempe Nakiska
  • Photography Harry Clark
  • 13th January 2015

Tribal

Nasir Mazhar’s boy has grown up. At least that was the feeling expressed at the London designer’s show and from the very first look no less, a petrol blue and black ensemble – wet look and heavy utility. Bold? Yes. Branded? No. The brashest thing here was the model’s creamy bleached hair, and there’s the clincher.   

Nasir Mazhar has built his label on a distinct sense of belonging. Moreover, he’s built a tribe – a following of boys and girls who subscribe to his look for its aesthetic and the attitude it stands for. Sportswear upscaled, the early days of the Tommy Hilfiger waistband brought forward to the 21st century and beyond. “I’m badge-worthy,” it says, and it’s worked for Nasir so far. But this collection was about the designer’s new ‘Notion of Normal’, one lacking in the heavily branded bandannas, elastic inserts and pocket linings we’ve come to expect from this designer. And it felt good.

The signature streetluxe sportswear DNA still ran strong: it was just heavier, shinier, more mature – more expensive. Funnel hoods and gaping slashes (zip pockets), clean caps; classic sports attire codes (piping and pop colour paneling); parachute tracksuits, all in a graduation of blue, black, clinical white and green.

This time last year we were witnessing Nasir’s DIY take on street, a hip hop haberdashery. Contrast to the final four looks yesterday, a rich set of jacquard separates in ink blue and rose gold, the final almost Elizabethan in its tight and padded, armour-like silhouette – and what you’ve got is a designer who’s comfortable in his niche, but far from lazy. Mazhar knows how his customer wants to be seen and he’s happy to push you there.