Gnocchi is family owned and run Created by RassTokyo and Sianon -who runs the Gnocchi baby brand- the two share the journey of bringing up their 1-year old twins together. This beautiful black family unite with creativity and they plan to keep it that way. It’s truly is a family thing indeed, using themselves as prime examples of the black family, owning and controlling the ever-producing creativity of the black mind; which tends to be stripped and exploited by the rest of civilisation. The black lives matter movement brought to light more than ever before, the number of fashion brands which profit off of the backs of black people and our culture, with a lack of diversity in their head offices and crickets in response to the black plight. It’s important we continue to uplift amazing black creators who are talented and deserve to take up space.
I asked RassTokyo; What inspires his creativity as a musician and a fashion designer?
“Growing up I was definitely in awe of people like Pharrell, P Diddy, and Kanye West…3 Black men who refused to be boxed and created brands larger than just good music. (Is that a pun? coz Kanye’s label is called Good Music…anyway).
Also, I’ve just released a new single called ‘Rubber Bands’, it’s a basey song with melodic tones that describes the hardship of being young and black in London.
Growing up, I looked to my older brother for approval when it came to producing, it forced me to push myself, then when it got to writing, I’m around so many sick artists I just had to ‘bar up’. Now with fashion…I just look in the mirror I guess…”
Gnocchi Jeans ascension is a lot to celebrate, the authenticity of the brand is easily recognisable. This streetwear brand was born in the age of lockdown where the battles of the world, were sure to either hinder or embrace one’s productivity. The brands ethos is to break the rules and represents a true form of dominance because to overcome the hardships of 2020 is a battle won in itself. It is a family brand, it is community, and what are family known to do? Help each other be better. Gnocchi was born to overcome a problem many face whilst integrating designs which represents their family and unite the brand.
“My close friend Chiara Casali is the dedicated painter. We have no outside investment or help. Just a black family creating, it’s beautiful and the connection resonates in our pieces, our shoots and the customer service. Everyone who gets a chance to shop with us is considered as part of the Gnocchi Family.”
The Brand is Packed with lavish detail that draws from RassTokyo’s encounters with black women and their non-reciprocal relationships with fashion brands inability to cater to the curve. Gnocchi was idealised as a brand that took initiative and the brand name explains it all.
“Funny story actually, it was kind of around the lockdown ‘House party’ phase. My cousin, Aba Amoah’s, friend called me Fusilli because my hair was blonde and wavy, it looked like the pasta lol. She wanted a pasta nickname as well, so we googled ‘short thick pasta’; she was kinda short and thick (private banter). I was trying to create jeans for people like her who struggled to find jeans that fit well. Next day Gnocchi Jeans was born, it had such a ring, I felt like it already existed, but it didn’t. Now it does. Something so organic has grown beautifully into a rule breaking brand.”
The collection is made up of a diversity of different prints, including my favourite the monogram puffer essential for the winter days. Many of the pieces offer a vintage esc feeling, featuring the Gnocchi teddy bear and the signature Gnocchi cupid, throughout the collection. There is a selection of different sophisticated and soothing brown and green warm tones, and denim painted pieces. The diversity within this unisex brand is what opens it up to the tastes of many. Thankfully all your wardrobe essentials can be fulfilled. You want it, they got it. You get a puffer, you get a jumper, you get a hoodie, you get some shorts, you get a jean jacket, you get some jeans!! And there’s plenty more to come so continue to stay locked on instagram @GnocchiJeans.
In an industry where change is never ending and trends constantly fleeting, monogram prints have always known to withstand longevity for many brands. These prints are essential in fashions evolving allure stemming from a kind of tribalism. Gnocchi’s GJ monogram print is sure to demand its place on the mantel, it will overcome shifting trends and infuses itself throughout the Gnocchi brand. Allowing consumers to represent the brand from the outside as a subconscious way of connecting with the family. The G and J combined symbol makes room for possible beckoning of new repurposing and reimaging into future pieces.
Gnocchi listens to the people and that’s why they’re the people’s choice. The brand saw that people gravitated towards the cupid jumper – so they did what they do best – they responded with a new cupid piece combined with the GJ monogram to remind us all that cupid is a black woman.
When asked who the people are RassTokyo explains:
“I’m still designing with curvy women (especially black women) at the forefront of my mind. I really feel my people lack a brand with heritage to represent them. That will never change for me, it’s really about heritage (I know I keep saying lol). With that being said, my target audience is pretty broad, it’s a unisex brand and we hope there’s a piece here for everyone, but we believe we’ll sit comfortably in the designer streetwear market for sure. We want to stay affordable”.
Some pieces from the collection, with much more to come