Fashion Or Functionality? : Heliot Emil

Heliot Emil is a Danish luxury streetwear brand based out of Copenhagen. The brand got its name from the two founders’ great-grandfathers, as homage to him. Co-founded by the brothers Julius and Victor Juul in 2017. Julius being the creative director and art visionary of the brand. Meanwhile, Victor handles the business and operations of the brand. In recent years, the brand has become more popularly known for their innovative tailoring, rebellious approach to the fashion industry and their unique materials.

Heliot Emil became a brand known for pushing the limits of gendered clothing as they produce unisex clothing, while breaking the preconceptions of menswear. Menswear known for its “manly” tailoring and monotone cuts and fittings is challenged by this new era and Heliot Emil is taking the reins on this movement. Although, they are not the first to challenge the boundaries of “gender” in clothing, they are the first to do it in their specific approach. Heliot Emil is accomplishing this by using unheard of materials, oversized cuts, bizarre tailoring and questionable proportions to construe the image of man. “Liquid Metal”, a term for one of their more popular materials made into pants and a jacket released in 2020 that showcases the brands unique material creation ability.

Their ethos is one of innovation, supported by the belief that there will always be multiple ways to accomplish a task. They even went as far as to state that their work is open to interpretation by the consumers, leaving the final evaluation to us as an artist would do. 

A line that will forever resonate with me, stated by Julius, “The Heliot Emil universe is not linear”. Possibly the best description of their brand and fashion as a whole, their approach to their label, consisting of blurring the lines between streetwear and high fashion. People tend to forget that fashion is at its base art, in this retail world, prioritizing sales over art, they are the malcontent. They continually push the boundaries with each collection seemingly shifting away from streetwear and closer to avant-garde and high fashion. However, this shift can be interpreted in a singular manner, it is more than that. It is a move to industrial elegance, one where functionality and fashion coexist, something rarely seen in the past and a merge achieved by few. The most similar instance I could think of A-COLD-WALL*. 

In the first Fall Winter 17 collection we see the first collection by the Danish brand, straight off the bat we understand that it is a purely streetwear based brand. However, we progress to their Spring/Summer 18 collection and see military underlining’s and full military wear which changes our previous notion. Likewise, with their Spring/Summer 19 collection we see another shift to techwear, and a pattern emerges. The growth becomes evident. Fall/Winter 20 would be a defining collection as we now see the direction of the brand, the perfection of art in formality, “industrial elegance” arises. Now, Spring/Summer 21 we are fully immersed in this vision and moving with the Heliot Emil universe Julius Juul spoke of. It can be noted that with each collection, though the theme changed, the designs still improved and so did the tailoring and material. 

Heliot Emil is not only a brand, it is a mindset. I believe it is the perfect amalgamation of skill and effort for a sole purpose. This purpose is change. Menswear has become stagnant, to be honest, it has been stagnant for a while. The patriarchy dominates the perception and mindset of too many, preventing the growth of menswear. We see anything outside of pants and tailored fits as feminine and taboo, thus, keeping us in a box, unchanged and unproductive. Heliot Emil possesses the progressive thinking and unique approach needed to break these chains of monotony. To reiterate, this is not overlooking previous brands that have made this effort, it is a highlight of a current brand attempting the same. Similarly,  they possess the traits required to accomplish this feat, such as ; rejection of the retail, honesty, artistic mindset and experimentation. You seldom find a brand that possesses all these traits, now all they need is time and support. 

I leave you with this question, what is fashion without functionality? I am not only referring to utility, but the concept of fashion to us as humans and its use to us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: