Embodying a Past and Present Culture, While Creating a New Genre

New Genre models featured wearing ‘For My People’ collection, Photo: Courtesy of New Genre

Black cultures’ distinct trends in fashion have always become a major influence for designers of all different backgrounds. The unique styles and characteristics of black fashion have been known to truly make statements on and off the runway, and continue to do so everyday. Brands like New Genre have become a part of the new black culture, showing consumers not only their love and dedication to fashion, but their heritage too. 

Following back to 2018, Kadeem Spencer gradually grew the idea of New Genre for a year and eventually released his first pieces in the beginning of 2019. Spencer discovered that his mission would be “to inspire the current and future generations to create an innovative, conscious, and purposeful future through their means of creative expression” he explains. Within the duration of developing his brand, Spencer also recalls reading an article on music artist Bryson Tiller and his ability to create a ‘new mix of trap and soul music’, all while initiating a ‘new genre’. “The idea of creating an entirely new genre of music by using elements of two pre-existing genres was so intriguing to me” Spencer shares. Here is where he discovered that this style intermeshed with the mentality and processing  he often uses for his ideas and creativity. Even stating that it has essentially become the “backbone” of New Genre. 

BTS featuring Kadeem Spencer and models for New Genre‘s ‘Basics’ Collection, Photo: Courtesy of New Genre

“I want to create a community of people who share similar values to the ones that New Genre stands on” Spencer states. Throughout collections, you’ll notice his main inspirations come from ‘elements of black culture and contemporary culture’. Spencer admits components of R&B music, black entertainment and history, architecture, art and more, have all played a role in inspiring the outcomes of New Genre. He’s also a fan of ‘nostalgia’, offering this feeling to his brand’s community piece by piece. 

“Whether it’s meaningful because they know me personally or because they connect with the message behind the clothing or the collection” Spencer shares. Consumers should know that New Genre truly wants its wearers to have pieces that are worthwhile.

What New Genre also strives to make sure of, is that each and every sold piece holds a valuable place in someone’s closet, flattering a wardrobe like a ‘collectors piece’. Spencer adds, “They should get the same feeling that you get when you secure an exclusive pair of Jordan’s.”

Photos: Courtesy of New Genre

Ironically, fashion was not always in the plans for Spencer. In his younger years his passion involved interests in airplanes and fighter jets, and he even considered becoming a pilot. However, he slowly transitioned down a different path. “I used to draw my own Streetwear designs in my notebooks during my sophomore year of high school when I was bored”. 

Now, his latest sketches have turned into a successful clothing line. Going strong for just about 3 years now, Spencer celebrates never giving up on his vision and continuing New Genre strong. “I’ve seen a lot of people start and stop brand ideas in that little amount of time” he expresses “and I’m just grateful that I’m still going and that it brings me the same amount of joy as it did when I first started”. 

Photos: Courtesy of New Genre

“I want the brand to extend beyond fashion and enter other artistic spaces in order to give us a platform to speak to more creative individuals” Spencer shares with us. He even adds in wanting to build from Streetwear, into a more contemporary fashion.  He takes the time to educate himself more on designing and to understand how his influences incorporate into his future plans. He plans to convey this within his upcoming spring collection and possible summer and fall/winter campaigns.

Spencer mentions that he did not initially imagine that New Genre would become the entity that it is today. When starting out, he was convinced that his brand would be more of an ongoing art project, that introduced himself to new skills and collaborations with professionals to create different types of content. Nevertheless, he is proud that the brand has evolved into the fashion space. “I think I ended up going down the route of fashion because it’s an industry that brings a lot of disciplines together to achieve one common goal.” 

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