At the front and centre of the new age streetwear movement, lies God Bless Da Trap, in a constantly evolving urban fashion scene, the brand, born from a revived teenage dream, unites contemporary, mainstream trends with references to the true underground roots of streetwear, and it’s the breath of fresh air we’ve been longing for.
The brand couldn’t be more in touch with the streetwear shift, we have watched its movement from subculture status to dominating youth fashion. Following a long stretch of high-fashion-streetwear-collaborations, it appears the wave of luxury streetwear has finally landed, and God Bless Da Trap is at the forefront, uniting the two, often estranged, worlds. “We try to make the shopping experience complete by providing luxury shopping bags to people who purchase. For our last collection it was a plain white bag with our logo, for the most recent it’s a graphic renaissance type image on the background with our logo which coincides with the collection.”
Established in 2016, God Bless Da Trap grew from an idea originating from Founder, Dammy Alaka’s college days “I attempted to make a clothing line, but it fell through due to my lack of knowledge at the time. Fast forward to 2016 when I finished uni, putting my entrepreneur skills I gathered over the years and my passion for fashion together, I decided to revive my teenage dream and start a fashion brand.”
With a rapidly growing clientele, God Bless Da Trap slots right into youth culture, ready for the heat of packed-out raves or the avant-garde nature of urban city streets. With a resounding message to “respect the hustle” built right into the brands background, even the name is drawn from the creative hub that forms London’s artistic community, “Da Trap” used as a reference to the hardships of work ethic. “The messages we try to portray through our clothing is that anyone can do anything. No matter your upbringing, no matter your past, no matter what you learned in education, if you truly believe something is for you, then go for it. Stick to it, hustle hard, have faith and don’t give up”.
Contributing to the very culture that forms the brands identity, every collection is infused with substance, a fusion of concepts, inspirations, mood boards and an inimitable flow of uninterrupted creativity. With God Bless Da Trap, every piece is designed with purpose, acting as a wearable story, statement artwork you may say. “The creative process is first getting some inspiration; all ideas have to start from somewhere whether or not that thing falls on you or you go out to look for it. Each collection, there is a story and reason behind it, everything is really thought out and visualised before anything is created physically.”
The brand’s latest collection delves into ‘Eschatology’, a branch of theology questioning life and death, the destiny of humanity, the last Judgement. References to this concept are clear across designs. Scattered, edgy, graphic prints offer a sense of confusion relating to the array of unanswered questions surrounding the topic, whilst a cohesion of prints across the collection draws us back to the clarity and finality of an afterlife. “The ‘Eschatology’ collection came about at 3am in the morning lol. I was putting together mood boards of different ideas I had in mind. Fashion is art, and art is an expression of one’s imagination. At the time my imagination was all over the place, thinking about heaven, hell, peace, love and during putting the mood board together, I came across the word eschatology, did my research and it was a go from there.”
Featuring classic denims and acid wash fabrics, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, jeans and joggers display thought provoking artwork, lush silk patches and bold printed text. Accessories of caps, socks and facemasks unify the collection, each piece finalised by the brands distinguishable logo.
Showcasing the keen artistic eye and creative direction behind the brand, God Bless Da Trap taps into our anthropological history, the ‘Eschatology’ campaign visuals taking us on a journey of the human experience, set in the encapsulating location of the London science museum.
Adding a personal touch from the brand to the wearer, God Bless Da Trap’s casual-with-an-edge aesthetic is drawn directly from the personal taste of GBDT’s creative director Kay Gasei and Founder Dammy Alaka, the creative minds behind each design, if they wouldn’t wear it, they won’t design it. “The aesthetic of the brand is just how I like to see clothes on myself, so I design according to my taste. We also try not to do what every other brand is doing, we try have our own styles, e.g., the patch work stuff, not a lot of brands are doing that, they are mainly focusing on graphic print tee/hoodies, which isn’t a bad thing, but we just try to be in our own lane with a different style”.
Moving away from the overwhelming hub of bucket hats and puffers isn’t the only transformative action from the brand, each design offers an inclusive, non-binary design, a movement set to propel God Bless Da Trap into the realm of forward-thinking streetwear. “We design for the youth. However, it’s not limited just for the youth, we’ve had people of all ages, races and nationalities wear our clothes and style them in their own way.”
With God Bless Da Trap pieces spotted on Tion Wayne and Nadia Rose, the creative concepts, and progressive designs have set GBDT ahead to become a cult streetwear favourite, with a huge hype beginning to surround the brand.
The exciting news is that another collection is in the making and avid God Bless Da Trap wearers are in suspense for the next drop. “As we’ve been in the game for a little while now, we know we have to progress from each collection. So, we take all the mistakes we’ve made previously and try to correct them going forward. Our collections will have more substance behind them and constructed better. Quality of fabrics is only going to increase, employ more sustainable practices and just try to get better.”
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Founder: Dammy Alaka
Creative Director: Kay Gasei
Photographer: Negus Jin
Stylist: Melody Rawles
Make-up Artist: Elisa Papa
Hair Stylist: Kifayat Oshiyemi
Models: Jamel Ventura and Eva Leigh
Words: Lorna May