Fusing streetwear and high-end fashion, with Tyler, The Creator somewhere in-between: Wear? Magazine interviews Yonkers

A household name in fashion and music, Tyler, the Creator is often a source of inspiration for those looking to break out into stardom. The controversial rapper-turned-streetwear-icon has come from the bottom and put his own stamp on the industry.

And, Yonkers, one of his songs, also falls into place as the name of a New Zealand fashion label making waves over in Oceania, looking to reach the heights Tyler has reached.

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“Haha! Why did I get the feeling that something along these lines would be in the mix…

“No, there’s absolutely no direct link between the song & Yonkers. Derived from the word Jonkheer, literally translates to a young lord or young lady.” Joshua Austin, the brand’s creator, tells Wear? Magazine.

Yet, associations with Tyler, the Creator come as a compliment to the New Zealand label, instead of a burden.

“That man is very talented and has been a great influence within the fashion community. If anything, the correlation between the song and our identity only brings more exposure. A future collaboration would be epic!”

Josh formed Yonkers, not for his admiration for Tyler, but due to an immense need to be involved in fashion.

From as young as 10, he had a necessity to be at the forefront of the latest trend. By adulthood, he had a clothing brand.

“Funnily, my parents wanted me to become an engineer or doctor, though despite the parental pressure, at 18-years-old, the fire for this career choice was burning too fierce for me ever to consider anything else.”

Yonkers has grown alongside influences from a tight-knit skateboarding community while Josh’s uncle, Jake Pyne, is a leader in New Zealand’s fashion industry.

His family ties haven’t shaped the label much, but that inherent knowledge for style has been advantageous for Josh and Yonkers.

The brand has fused some of the best features from the high-end fashion realm to create one of the most urban streetwear labels. The quality, in every aspect, whether it be modelling, imagery or design, is evident to see.

“We are Yonkers, an ever-changing manifestation of our expressions and beliefs. We aren’t trying to be anything we are not. That in itself is what defines us, not being defined.

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Realising that a high-end image can now be accessed by everybody, Yonkers has provided an opportunity for people to express their true selves.

“Our vision is to continuously express our inner thoughts, through ideas and garments, all whilst further uniting a community full of like-minded people from around the globe.”

This vision aims to give people freedom. Freedom to wear what they want and do what they please, just as Josh did when he went against his parents by opting to own a fashion label as opposed to being a doctor.

“Too many people are trying to be something they are not. Social media has created this stigma of having to do this or that, otherwise, you aren’t cool.

“F*ck what they say. A ship doesn’t sink without water getting in. If you have a passion for something, damn chase it like there is no tomorrow!”

And, this attitude is what sets the label apart from the rest. The knowledge that it can shape people’s attitudes whilst providing them with clothes to do so is something that will only become more noticeable as Yonkers progress.

Joshua Austin, on behalf of Yonkers, speaking to Wear? Magazine

Images courtesy of Yonkers (@yonkersau).

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