Every once in a while a T-shirt line suddenly appears and proceeds to take the fashion world by storm. This is exactly what happened with the Dutch luxury, printed T-shirt brand Zoe Karssen a mere 18 months ago. The label is a creative partnership between Quince and Zoe Karssen, built on the foundations of cool, easy to wear fashion with a playful, rock n roll twist. The collection channels laid back chic and is an obvious hit.
I personally first came across the brand six months ago whilst on a trip to the ‘t-shirt capital’ that is Australia – well, they have the weather for it! I was enjoying a stroll down the very cool Chapel Street in Melbourne, when I came across a T-Shirt only boutique, called Black Books. Their selection of Karssen tees took pride of place along one wall, and it was love at first sight. Not only was I drawn to their irresistibly understated tongue-in-cheek slogans and bold imagery, but the detail that came with it – even though they initially seemed so low-key and well…simple.
There was the topstitching details, unfinished edges and drop hems to the reverse of some, the pared down colour pallet and my favourite touch – the use of screen printing on the front inside of the garment. This gave a wonderful subtle, almost preworn look to the designs. Each design felt different, carrying its own selection of quirks with it. I had great difficulty in whittling my choices down and not immediately walking out with every single style they had.
It’s no wonder they’ve been picked up by big retailers like Liberty, Net-a-Porter and Harrods. The collection delivers a healthy injection of super-cool “I just threw this on” to any outfit.