Brand 101: maharishi
We’ve been carrying maharishi for a minute now, but we have to admit that even we can be surprised by some of the things that we’re constantly learning about the London-based brand. For starters, the most important bit of knowledge you need to know is that if ever you’re in London, it’s an obligation to pass by 2 Great Pulteney Street in SoHo. Their store is a marvel of retail. Like, you can buy a t-shirt next to a $16 000 samurai armour suit. Name me one other store where that’s possible… we’ll wait.
While we’re waiting, we might as well start dropping some knowledge. The now-legendary brand was founded in 1994 by Hardy Blechman with an ethos of creating environmentally sound, fair-trade produced, long-lasting, high-quality, utilitarian clothing. That’s like everything you could possibly ask for from a brand. Over the last 20+ years, maharishi has stayed true to that, carving out a reputation as one of the most forward-thinking streetwear brands, while also being recognized as one of the most conscious brands out there. We’ll be honest, we love the clothes first and foremost, but the thought that goes into the brand and each piece is what brought this brand to a level of endearment that borders on obsession.
It’s easy to get lost in the camouflage and military-inspired pieces and come to the conclusion that the brand is promoting war and conflict. That conclusion couldn’t be further from reality. In fact, Hardy and the maharishi team aim to reappropriate camo, and upcycle military pieces to remove the violent nature that people so often associate with them. Taking it a step further, the upcycled military pieces undergo a rigorous spiritual cleansing before being altered and incorporated into each collection.
What’s fascinating is that Hardy and maharishi have consistently been ahead of the curve on a number of fronts. First and foremost, their late-90s era Snopant became one of the decades most influential designs and catapulted them into the upper echelons of streetwear. Today, there are few (if any) brands that are as synonymous with camouflage as maharishi is — not only that, Hardy penned a 900+ page encyclopedia on all things camouflage. So yeah, these guys aren’t following the herd, they’re leading it. maharishi’s also been one of the leaders in pioneering ethically-made, responsibly-sourced clothing, a badge of honour that’s becoming more and more important for brands today. Since we’re laying it on thick with the compliments and accolades, let’s not forget that maharishi’s been a pioneer in developing the see-now buy-now approach to unveiling their collections. We’re taking about tackling a centuries-old fashion formula.
So now you’re thinking “okay, okay, these guys are wild, but what about the actual clothing?” The answer to that is simple: maharishi blends technical, functional designs with the right amount of streetwear swagger. We’re talking articulated cargo pants, embroidered kimono/M-65 hybrid jackets, oversized t-shirts, and up-cycled parkas, to name a few styles that the brand is best known for. Couple these well-designed pieces with eye-catching military-inspired embroideries, and flawless colour palettes (whether it’s a new DPM pattern or seasonal colours) and you get one of streetwear’s best collections, season after season.
To this day, maharishi remains a privately owned company. Its clothes are produced in India, albeit in a factory that is owned and operated by maharishi to British standards. That’s something you can’t overlook.
What's amazing is that every season there are new customers that come into the shop and get a briefing on the brand from one of the staff members, and there's always a few who become enthralled with the brand. There's a reason it has a cult following. If you're still unsure, come by our Downtown location and check out our new maharishi pop up space. We're willing to bet you'll be the newest fan.
our picks from maharishi ss17