A fashion collective inspired by the notorious clubbing scene of Berlin, GmbH is accustomed to using their platform to raise issues in a political and cultural standpoint — this time by solely casting second-generation immigrants to model for their spring/summer 18 campaign.
“We wanted to see brown men and women like ourselves in a campaign like this, something we never saw growing up.”
Launched in April 2016, the founders of the brand, Serhat Isik and Benjamin Alexander Huseby continue to acknowledge their roots; one of the main sources of inspiration for the fashion collective relied heavily on their heritage as Middle-Eastern and South Asian descendants and their upbringing as German nationals.
Titled Europe Endless, their latest collection paid tribute to not only their heritage but also those in the GmbH family. By featuring children of immigrants with various ethnic backgrounds, Huseby and Isik not only raises awareness on the fashion’s diversity issue but also emphasises the importance of their community and their working lives.
Their definition of family extends further than blood and race, selecting models and friends who they thought could embody the idea of their newest collection in various ways.
“Wether Jeenu, who is from Oslo with Sri Lankan parents, Sahar from Copenhagen of Azerbaijani heritage or Moses from London who is part Jamaican and part Indian.” The duo named a few of the featured models in a statement. “We wanted to see brown men and women like ourselves in a campaign like this, something we never saw growing up.”
The designers also commented that the collection itself is inspired by the German word ‘Gastarbeiter’ an expression commonly used in Germany which translates to ‘Guest worker’ and refers to foreign and migrant workers. “As visitors, they were expected by their host countries to only stay temporarily, but they never left.” The designers explained. “We, the children, are at once European, but also told we do not truly belong.”
It’s this very sentiment that children of non-natives are familiar with, Isik and Huseby included. By casting models of second-generation immigrants the designers counteracts the foreign feeling of belonging, celebrating and accepting the ethnic origins and national identities of second-gen migrant workers in this powerful and political fashion campaign.