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Fashion | Brand Focus: DONOTSUBVERGE

This month, DJ Mag speaks with London-based brand DONOTSUBVERGE about creating a community, working towards sustainability, and fashion that's reflective of society

The brainchild of three London school friends, clothing brand DONOTSUBVERGE was born from a desire to, in their own words, “create a fashion brand that is subliminally associated with music, particularly the underground scene, by bringing together a community with meaningful connections built on a culture of rule-breaking attitudes and behaviours.”

Still growing and expanding since its launch in 2019, DNS has affectionately coined its community “subvergers”, and remained true to its founding principles: “the playful idea that when you’re told not to do something — you want to do it even more”. The brand’s very first collection, DNS001: DO NOT WEAR, explored the concept of trivial “do not” signs that people see throughout our daily lives.

“We’re becoming more aware of the deeper significance that DNS’s core values have in today’s society,” DNS tells DJ Mag. “There is a growing reluctancy to go against the grain and challenge the expectations that modern society places on us. We want to encourage our people to question norms and live with a new sense of authenticity — independent from external influences or perceptions.” All of DNS’s collections and capsules are inspired by society. The recent Liberty collection, curated post-lockdown, explored the fantasy of a utopian world after the pandemic. 

While the brand’s latest collection, DNS004: OUT OF OFFICE*/SORRY I’M LATE, just launched, elsewhere, DNS are also focused on the strategy for future drops. “Pop-up and new collection launch events are going to form a big part of our future,” they say. “We don’t want to be another faceless brand, we want to bring our community together at events that reward our loyal supporters. 

“Imagine intimate afters vibes, where like-minded people can come together to build connections, have a good time and check out our latest collections.”

Determined to put back into the society they draw their inspirations from, DNS are committed to sustainability as part of their expansion. Working alongside eco-certified suppliers, and leveraging industry expertise in the UK, DNS work with printing and embroidery networks based in London, and work with sustainably sourced fabrics. “We’ve spent all of 2021 restructuring our supply chain to become more sustainable,” they explain, “while developing our silhouettes to bring the highest quality products to the market.”

Moving into 2022, DNS also have an ongoing partnership with the charity Youth Music, who are focused on giving access to making, learning and earning in music for all young people. They recently launched a t-shirt as part of their collaborative fundraising initiatives with the charity, celebrating the UK underground and the importance of its culture.

“And just to wrap this up: no, ‘subverge’ is not a word – but if you do try and Google it after this, you will conveniently land on our website.”

Want more? Check out our recent brand focus features The Fandango Club and In The Music

Amy Fielding is DJ Mag's digital staff writer and fashion editor