Arif Ferdous, the brand behind the famous sweater you may have seen swirling around the internet including pages like Outlander Mag and HighSnobiety.
What started from a few samples funded by student finance turned into a full brand loved by many in the UK scene. Birthed out of a time when Arif was heavily into politics and global issues, both having negative connotations, he then changed his focus on expressing the opposite wanting to spread peace and love through his clothes instead. Channelling positive emotions like love and romance, these take centre stage in inspiring designs and the brand overall citing:
"There are countless things wrong with our world, but among the chaos, there are infinite blessings, happiness and light. A lot to be grateful for. I want to focus on these things and make others feel what I feel."
I reached out to Arif and asked him a couple of questions about the brand. We covered his favourite pieces and colours, WWE, Womenswear and seeing his designs as art pieces & extensions of his emotions.
Read on Below!
Give a brief introduction around yourself and your brand.
I started the brand in my 1st year of uni and used my student finance to fund samples. Initially, I wanted to make clothes with provocative messages but as I’ve matured, my sense of style and design taste has also evolved into something more focused on art, romance and longevity.
I see a lot of quotes on pieces such as “more love, less war” and “I see colours in you that I can’t explain”. What is your brand about and what are you trying to express with these words?
The foundation of the brand is based on love. Love for yourself, love for others, and love for the world. I started the brand when I was heavily invested in politics, but focusing too much on negativity and the issues with society will take a heavy toll on you. I’ve learnt that the best way I can personally deal with it is by showing more love and colours via my messages and designs. There are countless things wrong with our world, but among the chaos, there are infinite blessings, happiness and light. A lot to be grateful for. I want to focus on these things and make others feel what I feel.
What’s your favourite design so far and why?
Has to be the Lovers Kiss. I made the design during a time I felt loved and warm. I wanted to somehow visually display my feelings and I thought what better way than to make a sweater? The first Lovers Kiss sweater we made was built for summer, it had light cotton, spacious chest dimensions and a flowy cropped body. It was perfect and aligned with how I felt at the time. I love designing off of real emotions because even if the product doesn’t sell as well, I know that a piece of my art and soul is out there in the world and that in itself is crazy.
Which colourway do you prefer?
My feelings are very colourful but I personally prefer wearing darker colours so I wear the Dusk Lovers Kiss more than the original colour. It’s just more me style wise.
The Lovers Maxi dress with Mina Novski is amazing and may be my favourite piece, what made you want to delve into womenswear and will there be more women’s pieces moving forward?
Womenswear is a whole different universe. I love how elegant and artistic high-end dresses and womenswear pieces are, and I felt like some of my stories can’t properly be expressed by solely focusing on unisex pieces. I’m working on creating a whole womenswear collection to be released by summer 2024 if God wills. This is something completely new to me and I’m excited to learn!
I’ve seen footballers and other designers wear your pieces, let us know who you’ve gotten recognition from and what it’s like receiving it.
Ah, too many to name but I love seeing anyone rocking with the brand regardless of what position they’re in. It’s an incredibly humbling experience knowing people have believed in something I’ve created. I’m truly grateful to be doing what I love, Alhamdulila for everything.
I see the frequent use of Jeff Hardy on your personal page, I’m a huge fan of WWE. Tell us about your love for Jeff Hardy and if WWE is something you grew up watching.
Jeff Hardy is my goat! I can’t even lie, 90% of my swag is cos of him. I like how he’s different and is true to himself, he’s a rockstar. WWE has influenced me a lot, I love the styling, the attitude, the stunts and the entrance music. I can talk about WWE for days.
All your pieces seem to have stories behind them which have been thought out for a long time, tell us a few things about your Wild Flowers Fleece Jacket sample.
I don’t like explaining the art too much because art is subjective and I’d rather people come up with the stories and meanings themselves but simply put, I wanted to express that real love, nature and freedom go hand in hand. Hopefully, the colours, design and poem labels on the interior portray that.
What can we expect moving forward with Arif Ferdous?
Gas the people up. We’re just aiming to continue growing and creating beautiful designs that belong in art galleries, at the highest quality and most reasonable prices. We’re also working on simple timeless pieces that people can wear every day so we have something for everyone. I need AF in everyone’s wardrobe by the end of 2023, inshallah.
Find Arif Ferdous Here: