What did 2016 mean for The Basement?
2016 might have had its downsides, but for The Basement it was a time for evolution. Collaborations and involvement with brands including Nike, Adidas and Converse just to name a few were central to The Basements progression this year. The Basement proved that it is far more than a facebook group when the UK’s most active streetwear community was brought to life with a pop up shop tour of the UK, visiting London, Glasgow, Manchester and Brighton. The growth the group has seen in terms of members has been insane, going from 20,000 odd members in late 2015 over 60,000 members today the group has more than tripled its population. More people in the group can only mean more creativity, more opportunity and more collaboration. Dan Hawksworth spoke on the influx of new members, saying “A real expansion of the group to well over 60k has been big – it’s always good to freshen things up and to share the love of streetwear and our wonderful community with more people.”
We asked admins on their views of the year, and any highlights they had. When asked about his favourite memories of The Basement in 2016, Tayler Prince-Fraser mentioned the London pop up, saying “We just wanted a place for the family to get together”. Jake Hartwell also spoke on the importance of the pop up shop tour, he thought that “Seeing people come together to share something special” was fundamental to the pop up shops. It is clear that the tour provided the perfect location for the members of the basement to gather not just to buy clothes, but to socialise and collaborate. Jake Hartwell said the shops provided the space for “People who never met in real life coming together to enjoy themselves and share creativity”.
Photo credit: Tom Kille
The Basement’s involvement with other brands has been a great display of how the group’s influence has grown as a brand and community. Milo Black spoke on the effects brand collaborations have had, he said “the two adidas campaigns and converse campaign which The Basement put together were a sign of the power of community and hard work.” The Basements takeover of Niketown for the release of the Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit and the Adidas campaigns which featured members of the basement are a testament to the evolution of The Basement. The Basement x BDL collab was another exciting move for The Basement, who teamed up with grime MC Big Narstie to make a collection not to be forgotten.
“From when there’s unity in man’s community, man can’t tell man stop” – Big Narstie
The Basement’s own clothing is better than it has ever been. The Basement
closed 2016 with its final release of the year: The Uniform – featuring cut and sew tracksuits and quality materials, the final collection of the year is a sign of good things to come for The Basements own clothing range.
Milo Black thought that the strong sense of community that The Basement contains should not be left out, mentioning the post where “A girl called Evie Amber Shisler posted a WTB for clothes for her disabled brother and was sent tonnes of stuff, so much that she donated clothes that didn’t fit him to his disabled school”. It is events like this which separate The Basement from other communities and prove that a group with over 60,000 members can still keep to its values.
Dan Hawksworth spoke on the social impact of the Basement, saying “The many guys and girls I’ve met at various raves throughout the year, whether that be dnb, 140, or garage/bassline, there’s always a friendly face in a Basement tee to share a little love for another mutual interest with.”
Words by Aaron Holden