Hackney couple launch clothing line inspired by African-Caribbean men’s hairdressing

Lakwena and Mark MacIver pose in the t-shirts they collaborated on

Lakwena and Mark MacIver pose in the t-shirts they collaborated on - Credit: Archant

A dynamic duo have launched a funky clothing and accessories line paying homage to African-Caribbean men’s hairdressing.

Fashion label Bros with Fros has been established by Mark MacIver, 28, and his artist wife Lakwena MacIver, 27.

It features drawings by Lakwena of popular haircuts that are regularly requested at Mark’s hairdressing salon, D&L’s in Hornsey Lane, Holloway.

Mark, who lives with his wife in Shacklewell Lane, Hackney, said: “I’m a barber and she’s an artist so it’s a collaboration of both our worlds.

“We both had different ideas. She came up with the name, which is a play on another business she was in called Girls with Curls.

“I had ideas about the haircuts and would take pictures of haircuts which are based on real people and their haircuts. She would then draw them.

“Because I’m a barber, I would tell her if something did not look right. I can’t draw but I would advise her to straighten lines etcetera.”

Most Read

Although the couple first started to brainstorm and put styles together last year, they officially launched in February.

And the end result is not just a fashion line, it is also a sociology project.

Mark says: “We’re documenting where these haircuts came from and who started them.

“We’re proud of the hairstyles and happy to express our culture through hair and dress, and be proud it.

“It’s much bigger than a clothing line, it’s a brand. It’s a movement. It’s about being happy with who you are and what you’ve done.”

Bros with Fros is made up of t-shirts, sweat shirts and bags and features three key styles – the ‘high top’, ‘juice cut’ and ‘skinfade.’

Mark said: “Black hair-cuts were really experimental in the early 1990s.

“Rapper Tupac Shakur had a particular hairstyle in the film Juice. People would ask for that haircut after the film came out which is why it’s now known as the ‘juice cut’.”

“The high top, on the other hand, became became popular in 1990s after hip-hop star Kid’s haircut in cult movie House Party sported it.”

Although this is their first creative collaboration, art was initially the reason the couple, who met at the church they both attended in Dulwich, got together in the first place.

Mark recalls: “I had a birthday party and I invited her to it. At the end of my party she was telling me about her art and how she was doing shop signs. So I asked her to do the shop sign for my business.

“When she came, she told me there’s so much more to do and the walls were really plain. So I gave her artistic licence to do what she wanted. She spent two or three months painting a mural in my shop. That’s how we got together. I was paying to get an artist but instead I got myself a wife.”

He tells me the clothing line, which is sold online, at festivals and through the barber shop, is “doing well”.

He said: “People want to be different and be trend-setters.

“There’s a movement right now in London where all cultures seem open to what’s happening in other cultural backgrounds. I’ve seen Caucasian women wearing African dresses a couple of times in Dalston. People are buying into different foods and clothes from different cultures.”

“We want everyone to enjoy it and celebrate. Anyone can wear it – male and female; black and white.”

n. For more information, visit www.broswithfros.com