Right from the get-go, you can tell that Ludwig is not your usual clothing brand. The name and logo are not what you'd expect from a streetwear label, but the combined image of Beethoven and 'A Clockwork Orange' perfectly sums up the brand's philosophy of innovation through updating classics in unexpected ways. Take their M-65 Hoody for example: a heavyweight hooded sweatshirt with the pockets of an M-65 army jacket and a bright colour pop in the hood and pocket lining for good measure. So simple you wish you'd thought of it first. Other products carry on in this same unique vein - rugby shirts with the cuffs and waist ribbing of a sweatshirt and a hoody-style front pocket, long-sleeve tees with a faded check print on the sleeves, plaid shirts with denim shank buttons and jackets with magnetic clasps and contrast eyelets. There's a lot of talk at the moment about streetwear growing up, but too often this just seems to consist of brands making plainer products at a higher price. So it's unusual (and extremely refreshing) to see a brand genuinely ignoring temporary trends and focusing instead on making interesting, detailed, timeless and supremely wearable clothing. The name 'Ludwig' is a nod to Beethoven, who continued to compose beautiful music in his later years despite going completely deaf. Similarly, Ludwig concentrate on creating original products without listening to what current trends are playing (or being played out) around them. When they do refer to streetwear trends, they do it on their own terms - see the classic 'Listen to Beethoven' t-shirt for instance... Back to that logo: in the novel of 'A Clockwork Orange' the ultra-violent Alex uses a statue of Beethoven to deliver the fatal blow to an old lady he burgles, thereby setting in motion a train of events that leads to his brainwashing by the state. In fashion it seems that we're brainwashed into following ludicrous new trends on a daily basis, so it's good to see a brand that has the courage not to fall into the trap of worrying about what's cool for this week. As the Ludwig guys themelves put it, "The future will no longer be found through the Xerox key: it's time to innovate'. Here's a look at the A/W '08 range - the current Spring/Summer range is available now at Digital Gravel and other stockists. Thanks to Sane Communications for the images. For enquiries, contact Sane Communications.
Posted June 13, 2008