Launched in May 2019, Vetyver is a relatively new addition to the round up of Singapore designed fashion brands. Founded by designer Firdaus Aris, better known as Pit, the label offers both womenswear and menswear in a monochrome palette of black and white with a distinctive cut that echoes some of Singapore’s more creative fashion brands.
When you look at these pieces you will see echoes of Pit’s foundation and training at two of Singapore’s more creative and successful fashion brands – alldressedup and In Good Company – where he trained. Vetyver was conceived while Pit was working as a fashion lecturer at Lasalle College of the Arts – the source of a number of Singapore’s best designers.
“I had the chance to work with friends and colleagues across different design disciplines and hoped to bring a new perspective forward through the label,” explains Pit.
“At the same time I was also liaising with a uniform factory that was going to close down and they were letting go of a lot of these ‘uniform’ fabrics. I started to develop a fascination in the idea of a uniform system.
“Uniforms have played a vital role in my memories of growing up where I had attended public school, to seeing my father who was an engineer leave for work wearing overalls.
Pit felt that uniforms were often overlooked as a design object; they are items that combine function and quality, and something that also “served as a visual representation of the identity of an organisation.”
These thoughts and ideas led him to look into creating a fashion brand based on the original uniform materials he discovered, creating a mini project, which turned into Vetyver. The brand launched with the capsule collection ‘Un-form’ at Grafunkt’s design district in Funan Mall in December 2019.
Sustainability in longevity
When asked about the brand’s position on sustainability, Pit noted that being sustainable and operating an ethical business “is a natural part of our process, which should already be for any existing fashion brands”.
“I love using durable materials that will last, that will wear and improve or give more character after each wash,” Pit explains, pointing out that longevity is as much a part of the sustainable movement as recycling.
“Upcycling of materials is in the plans for a future project. I believe that good design and good quality will last in the wardrobe, and I work very closely with our manufacturers. I am also opposed to the wear-and-throw culture.”
What’s the future for fashion?
Considering the current state of the retail sector with the coronavirus phenomenon, starting a new fashion brand could be considered a risk. Pit was asked about this prior to the current situation, and his answer appears almost prescient.
“I think more consumers are becoming much more aware of sustainability now as compared to 5 years ago. Curated designer thrift stores and resale garments are gaining more popularity. It can be seen as both over-saturated or also an exciting time for change. I remain optimistic.”
Pit is also optimistic about the future of Vetyver: “I love collaborative efforts within the creative industry. I’m planning for more exciting cross-disciplinary projects ahead.”
This is good news for fashion lovers, particular those who want to not only invest in well-made, well designed, long-lasting clothes, but also those who are looking to #supportlocal during this time of economic upheaval.
Shop local, support local designers
Vetyver is available online at www.studiovetyver.com. There are two collections available for men and women – one is currently available, the second is available for pre-order (another great way to reduce waste).
The looks are a mix of simple lines, and functional cuts with details like adaptable necklines – you use a drawstring to choose the size – and everything is designed to work together.
The menswear is particularly interesting with touches of Yohji Yamamoto in the uber-normcore cuts of jackets, pants and overalls. However there are plenty of interesting, more gender neutral shapes in shirts and tops. The womenswear pieces are equally a mix of simple and interesting – with looser cuts and luxe finishes like silk binding.
Vetyver pieces are also somewhat interchangeable for guys and girls; not unisex exactly, but definitely more flexible than traditional brands.
“The brand does have a lot of unisex styles. While I love the idea of unisex, I am not worried if the brand is seen as unisex or not,” says Pit. “I am more excited to see how people play with our garments, regardless of gender.”
Shop Vetyver online at www.studiovetyver.com.