Lately in menswear, designers are pulling more and more from casual, street-driven styles to propel their ideas and draw in the modern man. Brooklyn We Go Hard (also known as BWGH) is a Parisian label that focuses on the line between faconnier and streetwear. While you wouldn't be mistaken for thinking the brand hails from Brooklyn (or likes Jay Z for that matter), BWGH's French origins are no secret. "We're a Parisian brand indeed, but at first, Brooklyn We Go Hard was a collective that we created to gather photographers who were working in this district of New York," says co-founder David Obadia (left). "It's a place with such a special energy and a multicultural atmosphere and these values are the basis of our DNA—that's why we go hard!"
Considering BWGH began as a collective to highlight the work of Brooklyn-based photographers, the designs emulate that in both purpose and practice. The current collection, simply titled "Stonehaven," draws inspiration from open Scottish landscape. "Stonehaven is the name of a little town at the border between Lowlands and Highlands," says Obadia. "It had a strong meaning for me because I wanted to associate urbanity and elegance." However, the inspiration behind a collection doesn't have to be so concrete as a region or town. Obadia explains, "I draw inspiration from everything around me: places, shapes, colors, art—it's hard to explain, really—sometimes it just comes from an indefinable feeling."
But modern brands can't survive in a vacuum these days, so in addition to the solo collections, BWGH has a few high-profile collaborations under its belt. Most recently with footwear giant Puma. "I always choose to work with people that share with me a special energy and common views on fashion," he says. "It brings BWGH to new horizons and allows the brand to enlarge its universe." Obadia uses the label's "universe" to promote young photographic talent within the collective. As he mentions, "this activity is at the basis of BWGH—it's important to keep to the brand roots while growing."
To talk about the future of BWGH with Mr. Obadia, one is better suited thinking in terms of evolution. "My goal since I started the brand was to make the best of the two universes, to reconcile the aura that surrounds original streetwear brands and the technical savoir-faire of high fashion," he says. "I want to focus more and more on the artistic work—the choice of materials, the cuts and the style—to come closer to the creative brands I admire. The 'culturally-minded' philosophy of the brand is the most important aspect I want to develop." From where we sit, it seems like he's on track to do just that.