If the fashion trends of the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that men’s style does not begin and end with a suit. Feeding into Dubai’s burgeoning independent youth art and culture scene, Amongst Few has been catering to the region’s street style aficionados for the last three years with a range of homegrown T-shirts, shorts, caps, and sweaters.
With designs that incorporate its UAE roots, including a ghotra pocket pattern, Arabic lettering, and “Dubai Tribe” artwork on its T-shirts and caps, Amongst Few has generated a global fanbase.
The story behind how Amongst Few came into being is as laid-back and organic as the brand itself. “For me, starting a streetwear brand had always been a long-term goal, but it wasn’t my initial reason for moving to Dubai,” said Mike Taylor, a Briton who launched the brand in 2014 with friends Flo Moser, from Austria, and Khalid, an Emirati. “Instead, it was to pursue my DJ career. At that time Flo had moved to Dubai to create a clothing brand and was working on a debut collection. “We realized our synergy and outlook were perfectly aligned and agreed to partner up and create what is now Amongst Few.”
For a city that prides itself on leading from the front, Dubai has been slow to pick up on street culture. While the rest of the world has embraced this style of fashion, music and art, the UAE is only now starting to take notice. The reason for this, according to Taylor, is time. “I think it comes back to the fact that the UAE is a young country,” he said. “It’s easy to forget that the UAE is only 46 years old, especially when seeing what they have created so far.”
Indeed, it can be easy to forget that only a few decades ago street culture was dismissed as a flash in the pan. But while the scene is still in its infancy in the region, it has huge potential. “The region still has a lot to offer, but it’s important for things to grow organically,” said Moser. “There are more and more brands being launched every year, which is beautiful to see.”
Being one of the first homegrown brands of its type in a city that is rarely out of the spotlight, it was only natural that Amongst Few would attract attention, particularly for its use of the Arabic language and cultural references. “I feel in general a lot of people in the Middle East and afar are intrigued by what Dubai has to offer, especially in terms of fashion and design,” said Taylor. “We are in a unique melting pot of creativity and cultural backgrounds with no gatekeepers or rules. Incorporating local details came completely organic to us, it’s all a natural and authentic fit.”
Collaborations between different brands and artists are commonplace in the streetwear scene; from Kanye West’s work with Adidas to the recent Supreme link up with Nike, merging concepts to create one-off editions has proven hugely popular. Although relatively new to the scene, Amongst Few was keen to share its ideas with other creatives, resulting in one-off collections like the “Alpha Foxtrot” Nike Air Jordan 1 and Nike Air Max shoes.
Painted in military camouflage, the limited-edition trainers, made in partnership with Singaporean artist SBGT, were quickly snapped up by sneaker fans and collectors.
“Amongst few is built on simplicity, our outlook is classic, so in terms of our designs, we don’t actually try to stay on trend,” notes Taylor. That simplicity is translated into both its clothing line and store; branding is kept to a minimum and only a few pieces feature graphics, largely restricted to the back of T-shirts or sweats while the store in Jumeirah’s Palm Strip Mall has stripped back, bare walls allowing the products to take center stage.
Away from building up the brand, Amongst Few is involved in annual local events such as Sole DXB. “It’s important to us to keep a strong tie with the community and Sole DXB is exactly that, people coming together to celebrate street culture,” said Moser.
Taylor and Moser sum up their contribution to the UAE’s fashion and design scene in three words: community, creativity, authenticity. “Street culture is growing rapidly in the UAE so I think we can expect a lot more creativity with a unique regional perspective,” Moser said. “It goes without saying we will continue to help push the culture forward as much as we can.”
For more information visit www.amongstfew.com
Read This Next: Angel Syrup, Dubai’s Latest Streetwear Brand