Long live streetwear

Pestle & Mortar Clothing takes streetwear up a notch with AirAsia

19 Feb 2020 / 10:44 H.

STREETWEAR was predicted to die down in 2020 when Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, artistic director for Louis Vuitton menswear and the ‘King of Streetwear’ announced: “Streetwear is gonna die, you know. Like, its time will be up.

“How many more t-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies, how many sneakers?”

The radical declaration, published in DAZED in December, came as a shock to many, no one saw it coming.

Once perhaps, streetwear was slowly in danger of losing its influence and idea of what it represents with the rise of mainstream culture’s obsessiveness towards brand behemoths such as Supreme and Stüssy.

Regardless, the essence of streetwear lives in the streets. It’s meant to be comfortable and accessible, styled, worn and defined by the wearer.

Entering a new decade, homegrown streetwear label Pestle & Mortar Clothing (PMC) has helped shape and influence the local streetwear scene since its inception just 10 years ago, bridging youth from every corner to define the cultural zeitgeist. It’s safe to say that streetwear is here to stay.

As the brand puts it: “PMC isn’t just about what you wear, but also a projection of our personal lifestyle, culture and homeland.”

Needless to say, the local streetwear powerhouse continues to push the envelope, and will be commemorating its 10-year milestone with a lineup of exciting launches throughout the year.

The celebration starts with a collaboration with AirAsia to create a capsule collection that celebrates and champions Southeast Asia, its culture and its people.

PMC co-founder and creative director Hugh Koh shares: “We’re a storytelling company first and a clothing brand second. At PMC, we use our apparel as a canvas for stories, and we aim to spark conversations through our designs and ultimately show the world what Southeast Asia is capable of.

“This collaboration really speaks about that, it intertwines stories from Southeast Asia itself, and at the same time highlights the region through the eyes of seven different storytelling artists.

“PMC turns 10 this year and a project of this significance is a great way to kickstart the decade as we celebrate our year-long anniversary.”

The PMC x Airasia: S.E.A Pride collection was designed by seven different artists from around the region, namely Pestle & Mortar Clothing (Malaysia), visual artist Sam Lo (Singapore), street artist Mamablues (Thailand), urban and graffiti artists Lisa Mam and Peap Tarr (Cambodia), streetwear label Headless (Vietnam), and clothing brand Don’t Blame The Kids (the Philippines).

They were given full creative freedom to express the essence of Southeast Asia, ultimately showcasing to the world what Southeast Asian artists have to offer.

AirAsia Group head of brand Rudy Khaw says: “There are about 655 million people in Southeast Asia, a decent amount of them being the youth, so we thought what better way to engage with youth culture than to do a collaboration with PMC.

“This partnership has opened up opportunities for regional artists and designers to collaborate and showcase their work on our extensive network as well as online. We hope this will encourage more young designers in ASEAN to find new ways to express themselves and their rich heritage.”

The PMC x AirAsia: S.E.A Pride collection is available on selected AirAsia flights, Major Drop concept stores, and online on and

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