Childsdraw: Banging streetwear for ladies, gentlemen and bruvs
There’s more to the new Deptford Market Yard than street food and flowers. We went to the opening of Childsdraw’s shop to have a first look at Jess Childs’ “Terribly British Innit”, a collection that starts with illustration and finishes with a laugh, the good old British way.
Jess Childs is first and foremost an illustrator. This is what you need to know to begin to understand Childsdraw, the brand new label that the 27-year-old has just launched. “I wanted to make a product that held the same value as print, but without the context of paper. So the same ethos of a limited edition print applies to the tracksuits, the kind of one-off, handmade, certain number of them”.
Without a background in fashion, Jess used her prints as the starting point to create a range of unisex streetwear. “I buy a lot of guy stuff and, if I had come from a fashion background, I’d probably be doing menswear. So it was very important for me that everything was unisex and slightly oversized”, she explains.
The Childsdraw tracksuits and T-shirts have palm tree prints, colours and fonts that take your mind back to Miami Vice, the American television series from the late 1980’s with the stylish Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas duo. At the same time, it’s pure British streetwear. It’s this mix of Miami with Deptford that characterizes “Terribly British Innit”, Childsdraw’s first collection. As Jess puts it, the collection is her “juxtaposition of what it is to be British, from the very deprived areas to Diana, which is a bit of a funny muse, but I think she is quite significant to modern popular culture”.
“I want the whole ethos of the brand to be multidisciplinary and essentially come from the influence of one project but to be branched out in different mediums”, says the creative. Inside her brand new shop in Deptford’s Market Yard, you’ll also find a ceramic collection with a Princess Diana print and other small accessories like palm pins where the famous British humour is always underlined. “I think being mixed race and queer, my age definitely has an influence on what I’ve come up with".
This small space in the historic Deptford railway arches is “a privilege” that Jess has every intention of taking full advantage of. During the next two years, the Childsdraw space will be host to several workshops, exhibitions and other events that are intended to make the most out of local talent. “I’ve been involved with the area for quite a while”, Jess explains. “I’m from a small seaside town in the south of England so despite my mixed heritage I’ve come from a very white area”. After studying in Kent, she moved to London and was inspired by Deptford’s “multi influenced vibe”. A diverse community that the new refurbished Market Yard celebrates through its vendors that include different heritages such as the African clothing stalls Gita’s Po, The English Flowerhouse or Frankie Goes to Bollywood street food stall.
But in spite of the hype surrounding the fresh new Deptford’s Market Yard, Jess wanted to make sure that her products were affordable to most locals. “I never wanted to be ashamed of my prices. In my head, if I want to treat myself once a month, I would spend £75 on something that I really liked. I don’t think that’s outrageous. They’re [the sweatshirts] good quality and made locally”. Prices start at £5 and go up to £79 and you can also buy online at Childsdraw’s website.