If you identify yourself as a nonconformist, I’m sure there were multiple occasions you’ve wondered where to buy clothes, shoes, accessories and other fashion essentials from that match your style. Remember that time when UMM made kickass t-shirts? I miss them, they were creative, unique and didn’t burn a hole in your pocket. I love brands like that, that make unique designs which are not something that the regular crowd would pick up. Therefore, reducing the possibility of running into someone else on the street wearing the same t-shirt you have. Seeing someone else in the same clothes as me makes me wanna rip them off immediately and burn them. Hence, I’m constantly on the lookout for unique, borderline offensive brands for the little rebel child in me. So after years of personal research on the alt fashion scene in India, here are my top 12 counter culture fashion & lifestyle brands to be a stylish misfit. Weird and proud? No problem, these guys got your back, quite literally! The following list is in no particular order, they’re random, just like you and me.
- Haul Apparel – Haul Apparel is a streetwear brand that not just promotes the style arising from various emerging subcultures that are beginning to have a big influence on our growing society, but also represents them. Their designs are extremely thought provoking and far from subtle. They make clothes and accessories for the everyday hustlers who are proud of their individual identities, and passionate about their unique sense of style. Their collection of graphic t-shirts are extraordinary, totally love their hoodies and their snapbacks too. However, none of it beats their collection of lungis. Yep! You read that right. They do fabulous artsy lungis too. Getting too hot? No problem! Hate wearing pants? No problem at all! Grab a Haul lungi today, and beat the heat!
- Quirk Box – As the name suggests, this is as quirky as it gets! Pop art galore, this brand is doing jackets, vests, dresses, kurtas, shirts, shorts, accessories and even sarees! Founded in 2011, Quirk Box is a fashion and lifestyle label that exudes wearable eccentricity. Original art is the hallmark of the label; that, in addition to rich colour, graphic art and playful sophistication define the brand. Quirk Box makes regular rounds at The Lakme Fashion Week and has won awards for being the best urban wear label in India by Grazia and Vogue.
- Redwolf.in – Redwolf is an independent clothing label started in 2011 by a bunch of friends with small savings and big dreams. From then to now, the brand has come a long way. Today Redwolf is the go-to online shopping portal for indie music merchandise, official DC and Marvel comics merchandise, official Game of Thrones merchandise and of course, all your favorite Indian metal bands merchandise! 5 out of 7 days I’m wearing Redwolf and hence, I can vouch for their quality. They go out of their way to ensure you get your hands on your favorite t-shirt which is quite cool. They also do fridge magnets, laptop skins and beer mugs apart from the regular t-shirts and sweatshirts.
- Play Clan – Play Clan combines fashion, art and design to create unique collections in home, apparel, gifts and stationery, inspired by vibrant colours and local culture. Each garment has a story and is beautifully combined with the local culture. The website has folk tales from Bhutan, Kashmir, Bali and more places and has stores in New Delhi, Chennai, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Mumbai, Bali, Jodhpur and Jaipur. This one is for the artsy kind.
- Nicobar – Fashion & lifestyle brand ‘Good Earth’ has been charming people with their sustainable and organic products since 1996. ‘Nicobar’ is a minimalist fashion label by the founders of Good Earth. The clothing line claims to offer high-end luxe clothing at surprisingly affordable prices, and showcases a distinctive sense of style and design. The product range covers three comprehensive segments, namely home, travel and fashion. They also have stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jodhpur and Goa.
- The Moja Club – We are immersed in an age where fashion is becoming increasingly homogenized and wearing the same old boring socks kills the vibe of a perfectly crafted outfit. Founded in 2016, The Moja Club set out with the goal of making unique and eye-catching socks – the kind that you’d love to own but couldn’t find anywhere. Their socks are the perfect way to lend character to your OOTD. Funky socks are underrated, take a look at their collection and you’ll know why.
- lazyassbikers.com – Apart from riding and racing gear, this particular website has some interesting clothes, helmets and boots for bikers and people who in general enjoy spending time on the road. This website seems to have every biker’s wishlist and should be visited when in a self-indulgent mood. It’s not exactly pocket-friendly shopping however, their collection of boots can kill. This website is an initiative by four motorcycle enthusiasts in Mumbai to provide the most varied and exciting motorcycle helmets, apparel & accessories to the Indian motorcycling community.
- Roadster – Roaster is super cool fashion brand owned by myntra.com and makes urban fashion affordable. The brand has been reviewed well by most users and will surely make it to your list of ‘great buys’. This brand can be your one stop shop since they have everything, from t-shirts and jeans to shoes and watches, for both, men and women. The collection for men is diverse, rugged and edgy. The collection for women is quite cool too. There isn’t excessive usage of flower motifs or delicate patterns which adds to the practical and mature appeal of the collection.
- Bewakoof.com – Bewakoof is a really smart online shop for intelligent slogan t-shirts for the bikers, alcohol lovers, the holy leaf appreciators, the word porn lovers, the cartoon and anime lovers, the Marvel comic character lovers and the proud rebels. They also do jackets, hoodies, sweatshirts, joggers, PJ’s, shorts, boxers, bags, caps and mobile covers. Their content is super quirky and is ideal for the contemporary Indian population. You know you’ve arrived when the models on their online shop have tattoos! Enuff said…
- Lazybrats.com – Lazybrats deal in all kinds of lovely hand-painted items such as ballerinas, clutches, passport holders, kettles and canvas shoes. Their quirky canvas shoes are my personal favourite. They are light weight, great quality, unique and easy on the pocket. You can also get a customized pair which make for a great gift as long as your friend is not freaked out by bright colours. Pop culture? These guys have done it right.
- happilyunmarried.com – Happily Unmarried has been around since 2003. They sell apparel, home accessories, bags, stationery and have two very interesting sections, one for the bar and the other is termed miscellaneous and has a bunch of UFO objects for sale. UFO being Unidentifiable Funny Objects which are just cool products for people with a sense of humor. Yep, these are the guys who made the ‘sandaas ashtray’ famous! A lot of their products stand out but what really spoke to me were their all natural, no chemical face and body products.
- Urban Monkey – Urban Monkey is a combination of great quality products, unique designs and a whole lot of community. They are focused on the progression of fashion by cultivating the underground street culture of India. They have successfully created a platform where alternate artists and athletes can co-exist, share their stories, experiences and talent. If you’re into hip-hop, rap or skateboarding, you’ve hit jackpot! What’s better is 4% of their revenue goes directly towards the education of underprivileged children. Here’s how you shop for a cause!
Happy Shopping! 🙂