NCAPPED is the community strong, and culture-led clothing brand spearheaded from the streets of Birmingham, UK and propelling themselves into the global fashion space via several creative means.
The tastemakers of their cities’ creative scene and founders of NCAPPED Raj Mahal & Aman Johal are multidisciplinary creatives with a limitless mission for themselves and the brand.
Birthing life to the fashion movement in July ’19, a movement missing in the city of Birmingham, a part of the UK providing underestimated creative talent – NCAPPED impressively debuted themselves to the world having manifested what they stand for with a play on the word ‘Encaptured’ – ultimately the brand is a force to be reckoned with, an underdog rising.
Originally starting as an online gallery, the NCAPPED name developed into something of the likes of a creative powerhouse, producing video and digital content at motives in the city, for Birmingham’s like-minded creatives, exclusive SoundCloud mixes highlighting local, underground and well-known stateside artists, and eventually took the NCAPPED concept to the fashion realm.
Seamlessly done, NCAPPED’s first piece of clothing was championed with the aid of the one and only DRAKE, yes…DRAKE. Founders Aman & Raj, pre-brand, were already making moves in the creative scene enabling them to side-stage, point and shoot at DRAKE’s Birmingham performance – the iconic live set from the 6 God was captured exclusively by NCAPPED and later snowballed into a limited edition and debut NCAPPED T-shirt.
A Heavyweight, hand-washed vintage t-shirt was given the NCAPPED treatment, incorporating the original photos and artworks of Drake, and then was taken around the world with like-minded individuals and Drake fans tapping into the rising NCAPPED unit.
Adopting a fearless, and DIY approach to the creative lifestyle. NCAPPED exists to connect, build and flourish in all things culture. Curating a uniform for the dreamers + grafters representing unique individualism by producing quality, and lifestyle-led garments, seeding the notable NCAPPED logo into the minds, and wardrobes of thousands nationwide.
Since the momentous release of the ‘Drake Rap T-shirt’, the brand has developed a steady inventory of modern-day essentials and must-haves, repped by the likes of Brum town talent Ninioh (BRM), Jaykae, & infamous Grime producer Preditah.
Unveiling tasteful designs, matched with undisputed quality, NCAPPED aim to create statement pieces that their supporters can wear with pride and substance. Introductory styles saw NCAPPED take on a heavyweight and premium track set in black and heather grey. Sported by the likes of Celebrity photographer and like-minded creative Zek snaps & more, the debut track set had seeded the NCAPPED name, and quality firmly into the UK scene.
“Photography has always been a focal point for the brand and we celebrate the fact that all of our artist, studio and drop content are shot by NCAPPED. From its conception, its focus has never been to focus on one single aspect but to showcase a diversity of skill sets that not only we but also the current urban culture has to offer” – NCAPPED
For the first time, we connected with NCAPPED in person and got ourselves acquainted with brand founders Raj & Aman through an insightful and eye-opening Q&A, where we were given a sample of what new heat they plan on dropping across the summer, NCAPPED’s bigger picture and the brand attitude to it’s own mission.
How did the name ‘NCAPPED’ come to play?
When NCAPPED first started we didn’t even have a name, we wanted it to develop naturally through what we were doing. We were going through photos we took and talking about how we had encaptured important moments in the culture through our lenses, with a play on that word we developed our name, ‘NCAPPED’.
& What does it mean to you and your brand?
From just taking photos to then going on to making videos, mixing music and making clothes being NCAPPED has allowed the brand to be multi-faceted and it lets people connect with the brand more which means everything in this industry climate. Personally, it’s a representation of our journey so far, we didn’t have any experience, credentials or backing from anyone when starting so everything we did was out of passion and that has led us to pick up skills and the knowhow on the way, making the brand what it is today. NCAPPED is a creative outlet for us to experiment and express ourselves.
What would you say is the end goal for NCAPPED?
By being a multidisciplinary creative brand really gives us no limit to what we want to do and where we want to go. As NCAPPED grows so do we and our community which is definitely the focal point of our brand. The main purpose of NCAPPED is to create a platform for the community that is heavily invested in the culture and resonates with our content.
Where does NCAPPED call home?
Everything started in Birmingham, going to shows and live events wearing our merch helped us get our name out and meeting people which eventually led us to go to other cities like London but also abroad to places like Amsterdam and Belgium and connecting with other creatives there furthering our community. This really showed us that even though this whole thing started over a conversation in Birmingham, people worldwide are getting the message and understanding us as a brand. Since we’ve started we had orders from places like Toronto, New York and Milan and we’ve never stepped foot in those places.
NCAPPED has a notable affiliation with the underground and creative culture in Birmingham, and wider regions like London & Manchester. How have you managed to champion these regions?
We really made a name for ourselves in the photography scene after snapping artists like M Huncho, AJ Tracey and A$AP Ferg, we even got hit up to be the sole photographer for Drake at his Assassination Vacation afterparty in Leicester and him posting our photos. By focusing on what we enjoy and doing it to a high standard the affiliation and attention came naturally as what we were doing stood out to a lot of people and aligned with their ethoses, we came into contact with so many creatives that we would never have even thought of before and that helped us diversify into video, music and clothing. When we further developed into these areas it showed that we don’t want to be known for just one thing, and we were able to push that through the brand. We also use our platform to showcase other creatives such as photographers, rappers, graphic designers and producers, this strengthens our community even more and allows people to get more involved. We’re never afraid to try new things either, we did a skate shoot in Amsterdam last year which was something we’d never done before and we kept that same mindset and since we’ve done BTS videos in the studios with artists and collaborated on fashion films. By just being open-minded and willing to learn we’ve expanded and grown naturally.
Who is NCAPPED designed for? & Why?
If we had to say we couldn’t really put a name or face to who we design our products for. One thing that is personal to us is that every piece we make has to make a statement, we build from the bottom up so we know that the entire piece was made by NCAPPED, whether that’s a custom blank garment made abroad or experimenting with printing styles we make sure everything is done to specification. Individuality is a huge thing for us and for every product we ever release we aim to create statement pieces that we know when our supporters acquire them, they are surprised by not only the attention to detail that we put into every drop but also the quality that we ensure our products have. If we had to say who it was for it would be for the people who aren’t afraid to stand out. We support creativity in all forms of art.
If you could describe the spirit and ethos of the brand in three words, what would they be?
Individuality, growth and community
What is the end goal for NCAPPED, & what we can expect from you, and the brand this year?
This year we really want to continue covering the strong bases of photo, video, music and clothing that we’ve already set up but develop them further. We’ll still be making content and making clothing but on a better scale with better quality, we had a lot of interest when we did our Amsterdam pop up so one in the UK is definitely on the horizon. We’ve been working a lot with local talent and underground artists and pushing ourselves to do things like wardrobe styling and shooting music videos. We want to be a self-sufficient hub where we have the means to do everything in-house and build a team and community, not just for us but for other upcoming creatives
How can people get acquainted with NCAPPED in today’s climate?
To get acquainted with us and understand what we do and why we do it, the best method is definitely seeing it with your own eyes, developing your own opinion and deciding what you resonate with. There is so many ways to get involved whether you have one of our prints or stickers on your wall, watch one of our videos, listen to one of our mixes or wear some of our clothes NCAPPED can be implemented into your lifestyle at ease. We’re working to develop an environment in a physical space showcasing what we’re known for which will give the people that extra dimension they need.
The NCAPPED brand and direction is growing ever stronger and richer. The lifestyle brand will announce an exclusive release of a much-anticipated highlighting a graphic-led new logo – as previewed on their Instagram on the 23rd July 2021 & will be made available exclusively from www.ncapped.com – one of the brands most wished upon by the label’s soaring online and cultural community. WW