The untouched fashion category
In the recent post for the fall mood board, we mentioned Sundae School, an apparel brand specializing in an untouched cannabis fashion category known as smokewear. I couldn’t help but dive a little deeper into this fresh new space of fashion and apparel. Dae Kim, designer and founder of Sundae School, coined the term “smokewear” only five years ago when they founded their fashion company.
Cannabis branded swag is an industry staple nowadays. However, it is also true that individual provinces in Canada have illegalized clothing adorned with cannabis imagery and branding, as it could be misconstrued as advertising.
As a self-proclaimed fashion consumer who calls her closet a “collection,” I am always fascinated by new and untouched fashion categories that have yet to be picked up by the mainstream.
What is Smokewear?
In layman’s terms, smokewear is “clothing to smoke in,” which would be correct, but it’s not that simple in truth. Suppose I had to put it into formal terms. In that case, smokewear is cannabis education crossing over into fashion to destigmatize cannabis culture by penetrating dated cultural boundaries and communities surrounding cannabis consumption.
In other words, it serves a larger purpose than being fashion-forward. Its current fashion trends with an educational outcome. One could argue that it’s propaganda, but the ultimate goal is to educate and bridge the gaps between cultures and ideas of cannabis consumption rather than disregarding the previously existed misconceptions.
It may sound too good and loaded to be true, but the phrase “you are what you wear” is as simple and fulfilling as it sounds in the case of smokewear fashion and apparel. However, it is a way of challenging the status quo through a creative medium.
Smokewear is streetwear that meets loungewear with a hint of a cultural purpose beyond the fashion surface. It’s sartorial, fun and eye-catching but also has the potential to spark a revolution in communities and places that do not support cannabis. It’s also in the subtle details of the design. Dae Kim does this very well, as the graphics are quiet and loud enough for any cannabis consumer to know what’s smokin’.
It’s more than just slapping a logo onto a T-shirt and putting a marijuana leaf on literally everything. It is a creative process of identifying a critical visual in cannabis culture and recreating it in a satirical and graphic way that speaks to the community while challenging the status quo.
How is it worn?
If you ask any cannabis consumer, they would tell you that there is a method to our consumption rituals, whether that be fresh socks, a chunky sweater, or a particular cozy blanket. Cannabis and fashion have never crossed over beyond a Bob Marley and weed leaf t-shirt as significantly until now.
With the new world in which we currently live, a mash-up of comfort meets style has blurred the lines between office attire and loungewear. You have the freedom to get away with wearing almost anything, and comfort is currently king. However, we want to emphasize the loungewear for your cannabis rituals – comfort and warmth.
Besides graphic tees, hoodies, sweat pants and shirts, and not to mention; onesies, you can always upgrade this look with silk, satin and flannel pyjamas, teddy jackets and sweaters, or fleece-lined anything. And don’t forget to accessorize! Baseball caps, tuques (these are hats), chic eyewear, facemasks, the list goes on.
However, I figured that the goal of smokewear is not just to wear at home but also to represent your lifestyle when/if you can head out to town or hop on that important zoom call from your home office.
We’ve put together some #OOTD looks for three separate occasions; the “stay home club” look, the “on the go but can’t talk” look, and the “I’ve got a zoom call prep” look.
Smokewear, the new dress code?
I recall attending a zoom panel and the founder of 48° North stating that she was meeting with VCs to raise capital for her company. And when it came the day to her pitch, she wanted to make sure that she looked professional and represented the industry – I assumed in a creatively fashionable way.
Pre-legalization, the weed industry was never an industry. Still, I’ve found fascinating the critiques of many other cannabis solopreneurs that cannabis was once an incredibly chill industry where most entrepreneurs would wear shorts and t-shirts to industry events. According to some cannabis veterans, the atmosphere of the industry has become significantly more formal since legalization. This realization is also valid based on the location of the cannabis event as well. If there was any doubt or debate, the industry took a turn to suits and formal wear. We may have gone in the opposite direction since then.
Either way, new fashion trends dictate that fashion has taken on a method to educate and share information, and this trend is going nowhere. A graphic tee that sparks a 420-positive and appreciative conversation is everything for the people right now. And as a fun little call out to all of the cannabis swag I’ve collected over the little time I’ve spent since joining the cannabis space, I decided to ring in the new year via Beyonce 7/11 style, with a little dance video! Take a look at it!