Inclusivity Meets Awareness At Leave The Rest

Inclusivity Meets Awareness At Leave The Rest

Blending in the message of "fashion is political" with contemporary streetwear, Leave The Rest has been the latest brand to add a unique facet to the engaging conversation surrounding fashion.

An artist’s wilfulness to create his own path and the desire to manifest visionary ideas is always a force to be reckoned with. Spearheading a "make art, not propaganda" agenda in the Indian sphere is Harsh Patel, the founder of the streetwear label Leave The Rest.

Leave The Rest is a Surat, Gujarat based streetwear-sportswear inspired, ready-to-wear brand representing the “no effort is too small, no dream is too big” philosophy for the ever-growing culture and youth of India.

Talking about how the brand came into existence, Harsh revealed that the advent of high fashion magazines and digital forums heading the conversation surrounding fashion - namely Highsnobiety and Hypebeast - pushed him to first begin exploring his personal sense of fashion in his teen years.

Hailing from a quaint little town in the heart of Gujarat, Harsh ended up pursuing an engineering degree only to drop out once he felt unfulfilled and decided to take the leap of faith to pursue his knack of creating in the fashion arena.

After two or so years of toying with the idea of working on a brand that would stir up the existing notions, the creative decided to launch a label that aimed to engage a larger conversation surrounding how fashion could be a definite medium of expression - one that challenges old notions, makes the buyer introspect and contributes to the evolving era of the street culture take-over.

Starting-off in a makeshift studio in his father's factory, the gritty creative started from scratch and taught himself the know-how's of designing and developing his visual aesthetic into a personal take on the street garment.

While the pandemic and the young creative's inexperience in the testy waters of the fashion scenario conjured hurdles, Leave The Rest managed to seamlessly chart it's course of reaching the youth and building a connect with the average Indian trying to incorporate a dash of rebellious spirit and strong sentiment through their everyday wardrobe.

"I have always been a keen learner and never shy of questioning the unknown. In 2019, I taught myself how to screen print as it really wasn't a thing in Surat. I managed to become proficient at it while working a full time job as well!"

Harsh Patel

The designer's personal struggle in finding his true passion also had a flip side to it - an über cool brand name! When asked about the same, Harsh revealed that during his college years, a sense of disassociation from his surroundings gave way to a nihilistic approach and everyhting felt pointless to him. Eventually putting a name to discarding this stagnant regime into the bin lead to the name - Leave The Rest.

The ideation behind the label's garments are to produce a collection of accessible streetwear that is edgy yet message oriented and deriving relevance from the ongoing cultural and political climate. A further glimpse into the label's much talked about 'Idea of India' collection quips a dash of satire and edgy take on the political climate of the country which the designer has strong views about.

"We see the woke GenZ marching forward with a rejuvenated sense of activism and empowerment while the country grapples with the lack of basic rights. We as a nation are so immersed in political propaganda, with the media itself being a mere puppet in the hands of the ruling class. The need of the hour is not buy into the hoax and and fight for what we believe in. What better medium than fashion to send across a message?"

Harsh Patel

In terms of what inspires the designer and keeps him innovating, Harsh admits that the world wide web poses as a sea of inspiration that eventually blends in with his personal thoughts, developing into a relevant product that fits right in with the Indian customers' needs.

Personally, the creative looks up to the creative directors of Balenciaga and Maison Margiela. However, his take on fashion remains steady on making it inclusive and affordable - Leave The Rest brands its clothing as ready to wear, message oriented and accessible vetements for the youth.

"For me streetwear is all about a rebellious sentiment that mainly strikes a chord with the youth. Which is why pricing my clothing really high would be ridiculous and impractical considering the youth wouldn't be able to afford it."

Harsh Patel

From the initial ideation, designing the silhouette, finalising fabrics, screen printing to final touches, the designer does it all himself proving to be quite the epitome of a one man army.

When asked about his favourite personal collection or piece so far, Harsh reveals that the reflective striped pants with a touch of suede hold a special place as they infuse funk with utility making it the ultimate product.

On future plans and possibilities, Harsh reveals that the coming year will see the brand branching out in two segments- Made To Measure and Ready To Wear apparel. While the made to measure segment might be priced higher, the fit and quality of the garments are promised to be top notch.

Along with expanding the brand, the designer aims to hopefully one day go 100 percent sustainable with his label, a goal that is quite hard to match up to for small brands. However the creative feels quite strongly about reducing his carbon footprint and strives to achieve a wholly organic collection someday soon.

The Surat-based visionary's sense of preserving and persevering reflects in his vision for the culture as well. He elaborates,

"My contribution to the culture is to create quality art rather than just dishing quantity. Generating garments that speak for the youth and evoke a healthy conscience amongst one and all while also being ethical and deflecting the capitalistic trend of mass production is what my contribution to the culture is."

Harsh Patel

Head over to Leave The Rest's Instagram to catch cheeky street garments that are sure to turn heads!

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