Some people get their nose from their parents, others get a stubbornness attributed to that side of the family. We are products of our environments and my world growing up was visually dominated by one thing: my Dad’s ice blue Maharishi Snopants. Despite being hailed as the ultimate utilitarian fashion trouser by my old man, growing up I was saddened to find Maharishi had faded from their 90s spotlight. Only a small section of the previous support still gravitated to the London label’s military-inspired streetwear, but Maha was always destined to return.
The Snopant resurgence began in the mid 2010s - press picked up, the London store became was packed whenever I would walk in, which is no doubt a result of the Soho Streetwear boom that coincided with this period. Rich kids on their way back from the latest Supreme or Palace drop would wander past the subdued yet attractive storefront, and the darkened lighting, incense, and general vibe of the store piqued interest. Since those days, Maharishi has generally been on the rise, yet has always operated on the cusp of worldwide renown, remaining a ‘if-you-know-you-know’ brand. Their end-of-season sales accommodate an audience unable to otherwise buy, and the quality of product season by season is prestigious.
I could wax lyrical about my personal love for the brand for weeks on end, yet this, dear readers, is not why I am writing for you all today. Maharishi have recently launched a collaboration in partnership with Stray Rats, the New York based streetwear label born out of Miami. You may know Stray Rats from any of their various New Balance silhouettes and general word of mouth. On the surface level, this collaboration is clearly well thought out, as all of the garments are of a similar ilk to Maharishi staples, whilst providing enough of an edge to not simply be Maharishi reskins.
The collection is wide-ranging, and has a piece for everyone, be it embroidered Snopants or just a simple tee. The finer details are tastefully done - instead of classic oriental iconography and embroidery, the snopants feature a rat, in homage to both Stray Rats and the Year of the Rat, which is the tagline, and basis, for the collection itself.
Maharishi have always created yearly collections celebrating Chinese New Year, and collaborating with a brand that already use the Rat as major imagery, albeit in a different manner, really give the collaboration weight and meaning beyond just the clothing. Obviously, though, the clothes are what is important. The standout pieces to me are the aforementioned snopants (obviously) and the long-sleeve tee. The tee has a rat’s silhouette front and center - the hazy line conjures up images of the NY graff scene, while simultaneously giving a nod to the brushstrokes of traditional Chinese Hanzi. Comes in a lovely olive, too.
The collaboration has now been out for around a month, and was received well, which hopefully opens the door for more collaborations between the two. I, for one, am excited to see what both produce next.