The rules of work have changed. Gone are the blue collar/white collar days of the Industrial and Information Ages, and in their place is the collarless Conceptual Age. We’re in a realm where the creative worker is king - people who are able to interpret and extract meaning from abstract and vague elements or associations. They identify subtle patterns in them, drawing coherent connections between the uncorrelated to create new and original ideas.
This creative worker no longer considers leisure a privilege but a baseline. Thanks to the developments of the 20th century, life is leisure, and by association, so is work. We often hear about people’s ‘projects’ they are ‘working’ on in connection with what most once considered leisurely pursuits. 30 years ago there weren't pro skiers, 20 years ago there weren't social media managers, 10 years ago there weren't youtubers, 5 years ago there weren’t podcasters. Today anyone can become a media, an entrepreneur, an innovator, or even all three.
Work used to be considered a place but now has transformed into a cloud-based collaborative environment. Remote work - previously a niche - is the new normal. We welcome our colleagues into our homes virtually via video, and they catch us in whatever we have on that day. Our work lives at the desk and in our pocket. The *pings* keep us in always-on mode. Some see all this as a concession, or even worse an intrusion, but we see this as a new liberty. We have the freedom to work from whatever corner of the world takes our fancy, whenever we want, for whoever we want, wherever that is.
The above freedom to wander the globe and work along the way has led us to question the concept of home. Home is that sacred space we return to that feels like nowhere else. It’s that place that gives us a sense of warmth, safety, comfort and familiarity. Like work, home used to be a physical place, now, thanks to low cost travel and new ways to stay, we experience a sense of home in multiple locations. Living from our luggage has become a home-away-from-home for us, the creative worker, and we have become well versed in finding a sense of home wherever work takes us. To us, home is simply a known universe that we feel comfortable in.
Where there is home, there must be an away - simply the places we haven’t discovered yet. The idea of away is what we look forward to. It is an energy source that motivates us and keeps us optimistic. It is an imaginary castle in the clouds that houses our ideals and nourishes our naivety. Away is our source of wonder, of new experiences, and new perspectives. Pursuing the idea of away is how we stay foolish, open-minded and young at heart.
We have never been more connected, or faced more unifying challenges as a society than today. As social nomads, we drift intentionally between classes and constructs - up and down social hierarchies and along the cultural spectrum - finding connection with bums and seasonnaires as well as those with higher means and treating these connections with equal regard. When we express ourselves - it is not to communicate status or position ourselves as superior, it is simply our individualism coming to the surface.
The above changes in life - of work and play, home and away, self and world has brought with it a new, immersive and perpetual state of play.This new lifestyle is a liberty bound by nothing, and this liberty we think requires a new uniform. Something that is at home in any context and comfortable in any situation. It needs to be 24 hour wear: something that you can say good morning, good afternoon, and goodnight in, and something that looks as good after a flight or out of your bag as it does off the hanger.
We need something that supports this multi-context, hard-to-label, life on the move. It has to be something that makes you feel at home anywhere, but also something that helps you stay ready for anything. We need a costume that connects us with the physical and social environments we pass through. We need products that synchronise us with our changing climate and social codes. This uniform must therefore be essential and transversal, for example, a hoodie that can be elevated by the presence of a cashmere coat or paired back with denim.
Ænywear goes beyond product and beyond solutions. It is a movement - a sum total of who we are and what we see. It’s not about selling clothes, it’s about expressing what we want out of life through what we need to accomplish these ideals, and how we see the world by sharing our culture with it.
Convergence is the central theme of Ænywear. As articulated above, everything is converging and we need a uniform for that. By playing with the tensions that arise as a result of this generational shift on living, lifestyle, work, consumption and mobility, we can explore a new premium brand expression.