The Birthplace of Street Art
During the 1990s, New York’s Lower East Side was transformed to become the ultimate destination for style icons and young artists. Since the arrival of creative individuals in the 1980s, the district has grown up, and fully cemented its place as a cool, influential neighbourhood.
The LES is known as the birthplace of street art, and even today visitors quickly discover the creative energy that draws people to this part of town. This district became known for its rebellious, youthful and bold nature — qualities all reflected in the graffiti art popular locally.
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The evolution of the graffiti art-form is synonymous with Lower East Side since the movement grew alongside the beginnings of hip-hop culture. This movement has created whole streets full of unique and colourful pieces, of all sizes and types, that include political messaging, social slogans and just pure creativity.
It was in late 1980s and early ‘90s, the creative residents of the neighbourhood could be found gracing numerous street corners, the top of the buildings, hidden back walls, and even the frontages of coffee shops, bakeries and other venues. Other people doubted the movement and didn’t like the colourful streets, but the movement was free, powerful and creative – and would not stop. The artists lived to express themselves creatively and what better place to do it than on the street where everyone has a platform, and you could get maximum exposure. They played with size and form, using massive murals and traditional graffiti styles to communicate their messaging. Although it’s one of the oldest areas in the city, the LES has always had the ability to attract the newest and most creative people who pay attention to the details. In our Autumn 20 collection we get our inspiration from the Lower East Side and the people enjoying life there. The freedom to express yourself and bring people together through colourful street art is something that has inspired us greatly.
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The collision of different cultures seen on the LES, from foreign immigrants to musicians to artists, is exactly what happened when Les Deux was established. The refined tastes of North Zealand joined with the darker roots of Nørrebro and made us put together various seasonal influences, meaning we always keep our aesthetic DNA and style up-to-date. The LES has obvious similarities to us and our central brand ethos. For each collection we’re inspired by an event, a special time in history or a community. We focus on the stimulating and exciting things happening in the world and we are inspired by the diversity of people.