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In conversation with Rezareez

“It really inspires me to bring out pieces of happiness for everyone, working towards a uniting future”

Streetwear is an ever-evolving, contemporary phenomenon taking on new shapes and silhouettes day by day. However, some brands are here to stay, and one of them is the upcoming Amsterdam-based brand Rezareez. After having started from scratch in 2018 and building the brand into fruition over the last few years, rising entrepreneur Reza proves that with a passion and sincerity, you can manifest magnitudes! Wanting to know more about his story, Glamcult had a talk with the Jakarta born and raised founder of the streetwear brand.

Hi Reza! How’s your day been so far?

Good! Can’t complain, we’re having some nice weather! That’s rare for The Netherlands, ha-ha!

Absolutely! You are currently one of the upcoming streetwear brands in The Netherlands! However, your roots lie in Jakarta. How did the start of this journey look like for you? 

I moved over here and that’s when I became interested in sneaker culture. I started collecting sneakers and clothes like Patta and Supreme, all kinds of streetwear. By the end of 2018, I started to realise, “yo, I might make it!” That’s how it all started actually. I went back to Indonesia, which is where I was born and raised, and started a small company there. Over time, it has become my dream goal to do this work! 

Was this path driven by intuition, or also a struggle? 

It’s always a struggle to create a brand, especially as an Indonesian guy who didn’t really have a crew of friends here. It takes work to come over here as a foreigner and set up something from scratch. I have a lot of friends here, but not in the sense of ‘childhood friends’. I know for sure that Rezareez will get bigger though, as I’m currently working with lot’s of other artists!

Exciting! Naturally, Jakarta has a whole different energy than Amsterdam. Do these alternate scenes spark different kinds of inspiration for you? 

When I created Rezareez, I just wanted to create something timeless and with a happy feeling. Every item has a different positive message. Between both countries, I do extract inspiration. For example, for my last collection I brought some of my Indonesian culture into the mix. But it’s more general than just these two countries, I use inspiration from everywhere!

How’s it been, living in Amsterdam?

Although my family and friends are still in Jakarta, I was happy to move! In Jakarta you have to drive everywhere by car. It’s a city of ten million inhabitants! I like biking, sitting on a terrace and of course the fashion and streetwear culture over here. 

Your clothing is for everyone! Your latest collection is all about uniting as family in order to help each other out through hard times, such as last year’s pandemic.

I believe integration is a big part of life, especially with all the racism going on, as highlighted in the last few years. My goal: if you wear Rezareez, you’ll feel joy. So in order to create happiness, I needed to create a family, it’s a super important factor to me. That’s why all my models are from diverse backgrounds. It really inspires me to bring out pieces of happiness for everyone, working towards a uniting future together.

Love is the message! I also really liked the look of the halloween comic collection! What enticed you to create this?

I love comics! So, I teamed up with another Indonesian artist to create cool graphics. I wanted to bring back childhood memories in creating my own comic covers. We worked on all kinds of the details. Soon I’m going to drop the t-shirts, posters included, as well!

Do you often collaborate with fellow artists?

I try to always work with my own house artist called Rosyad. He is also from Indonesia! He translated my whole idea into his art. 

A lot of your clothes are made in Indonesia and often produced with 100% organic cotton. Could you tell us more about this sustainable production link?

I’m working remotely with a factory, just like all other brands. But for me, as an Indonesian, I really know the workers and the management over there. The factory belongs to one of my best friends! I used to visit the factory three times a year even, spending time there from morning to night. So, I’m really open about the fact that I have good contact with my workers. The organic cotton is produced there, and even though Rezareez is not 100% sustainable yet, we are progressing! I want to be transparent about that. However, I’m proud to say my workers are well paid and treated well within a safe environment. My instagram is full of pictures of them chilling! I still use some plastic to keep the clothing dry and neat, it’s required for international shipping. But in The Netherlands we use paper bags, and inside of Amsterdam, we ship by bike! I am very conscious of my footprint.

Transparency over greenwashing! As you’re only growing and growing, are there any (big or small) dreams you would like to share with us for the future of Rezareez?

I would like to grow bigger of course, but not big into a corporation kind of big. I just want people to feel happy in my clothes. I would also want to have some international stockists! 

You really create clothes to make us all feel good! 

Yeah! For the next collection I would also like to share more about the purpose of the colours and patterns I chose, because I feel like people never hear about that information! I want to share a small story, the message behind the process. 

It’s a very conscious work, that people otherwise overlook. What is the story behind the brand name Rezareez, by the way?

It’s my nickname here! Everybody calls me Reezie, but my actually my name is Reza. People used to think my last name was Rezareez, and I figured it actually worked for my brand, ha-ha!

Get your Rezareez here!

Words by Brechtje Polman