LYC. SKATE-CREW. STREETWEAR. CANKAR. DOMAĆICA.
Nejc is wearing one of LYC designs, a grey SATURNUS hoodie, and he’s carrying his skateboard. “I would’ve brought the boys with me but it’s so hard to get us all in one place at the same time.” He says, because LYC isn’t just Nejc, it’s a crew of guys who skate in front of Cankar and make movies and cool streetwear. “It’s not just about me, don’t make it about me. It’s about them too. I want to thank the boys for helping me with everything, can you put that in?”
»When I started studying fashion and textile design, I didn’t even know the word streetwear existed. I mean I guess it was all out there already but when I was trying to explain to my professors what it was I wanted to do, what I was interested in I just kept saying clothes, that I wanted to make clothes. They kept talking about female runway fashion and I don’t know, silhouettes and artistic expression and I just kept asking ‘well who makes the clothes?’ I didn’t know how to say it; I tried to call it skater clothes, but it just didn’t seem like it was enough. And skate shops were quite separate from design and fashion anyway. The LYC crew, we all met here in Ljubljana, skating in front of Cankar and they wanted to know how you print and sew stuff. I moved to Ljubljana and they came over to my place and I showed them how it’s done. The Instagram profile already existed at the time, so we just threw those three letters on it all. I had some time later, like two months or so when I didn’t have anything to do so we just made a collection and the streetwear carried on from there.”
Is LYC a brand, more than a brand – how would one describe LYC? Where did the name come from?
“I don’t know, I’ve never described us in a way that was good. I’d say… Fuck this is a good question, I mean it’s hard. I don’t know – what makes or doesn’t make something a brand anyway? It’s a classic skate-crew DIY mentality. That’s the easiest way to put it. And we’re not the only ones out there that are also making clothes. I’d say skating connects people, that’s how you get creative on the scene. LYC was just a play of words I didn’t come up with that. It started as a joke. Compared to New York City Ljubljana’s so small so we just switched out the letters. So, when you said you were going to the city centre to skate, you’d say you were going to LYC. It was just a dumb joke at first, but I guess the name just kind of picked itself.”
“We’ve got a system, maybe a little dishevelled one, but luckily we see each other a couple of times a week, most of us anyway. I’ve got a huge mood board at home and they come over to work on it or they come over to try stuff on. They all look at designs and give feedback or give feedback on the samples and the guys run the Instagram account and then Čoro’s good at maths, so he helps with the business stuff sometimes. They also organise our events, make movies. I make the clothes. I’m also not the one to do the promo, it’s them; they talk about it, spread the word, skate, wear the stuff, post it online.”
“I mean we’ve got short-term and long-term plans sure, one of them is also to make the brand more sustainable in the future. I’m fully aware that I’ll never know enough about sustainability to make every right decision but it’s easier if you partner up with people who know how to do it. We have a plan, we just need an opportunity to implement it. And yeah of course we’d want to target a wider audience. A little bit of the Balkans, so we can take our brand forward. I think there’s so many ways to present a brand other than just fashion weeks, and I mean we can use the lack of alternative ways of presentation to our advantage. A deviation from the norm. There’s other ways and I’d leave that up to the boys, they’re the focus group and if they don’t like something it’s pointless to do it or to make it.”
“It’s important that the clothes have simple tailoring which can be improved over time, over the seasons. We stick to pants, shirts and jackets and we improve them or do textile variations to the point where we can still stick to our base of sizes and functionality. Visually it’s a lot of Yugo-nostalgia – can you write that in a cool way though?” If you were born in Slovenia or any other ex-Yugoslavia country, you probably grew up drinking Cedevita, eating Domaćica and having Čokolešnik for breakfast, motives of which you can find on some of LYC’s designs. “I was sitting on the couch, we were eating Domaćica, drinking Cedevita, I mean it was pretty obvious, and the cookies are shaped like flowers, you know, so I decided to try and embroider them on a suit.”
“Do you wanna to know about the Žene collaboration? We’ve had some interest from the female audience, they kinda challenged us to make female pants and then Čoro suggested we collab with the Žene skate crew, they’re really cool. So, the first step was to make pants that they could skate in. Žene are like a girl version of our crew and they were the focus group of this collab, they helped a lot. Katarina took over the t-shirt graphics and they all helped with the colours and testing. I added zippers on the sides, womens’ bodies are a bit of a tailoring challenge for me, as we usually do menswear, so it was fun… And it was their idea to make overalls, I never would’ve thought of that.”
“We’ve had a few pop-ups, three actually. What we try to do with these pop-ups is have everything in place, all the sizes and prices on the day it all happens. We want that day to be the first day people can try on the clothes. I mean we put out photos before that, but we try to have as little delay between when we present the collection and when people can buy it. That was the general idea behind starting the pop-ups. If nothing else, it’s where people can try on stuff since we don’t have a physical space where you’d be able to do that. We’ve got a website, so we sell through that now as well. And then yeah, we’ve got premieres and parties, movies and DJs and stuff. We’ve had a couple of skate video premieres here in Ljubljana, one at Metelkova, one at Kino Komuna.”
Thanks to Čoro, Gal, Mrks, Deš, Jan, Arh, Pia, Eva, Matevž, Jerry, Luka, Tao, Enzo & Žene skatecrew for all the help with making lyc a ting.
If u wanna meet the crew come to Moderna 6.12 for the latest garments.