Evolution : aereMEN x RUFFEDGE

10:03:00 PM

The aereMEN x Ruffedge collection is a collaboration between two branches of art; fashion and music. The perfect complement to each other, to me, this collaboration really is the best of both worlds. 

Both are branches of art which I've fallen in love with since I was a child, and combined, it's just explosive! 

I grew up listening to different kinds of music but one of the genre that I fell in love with is R&B and Hip Hop. My first CD that I bought on my own was Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart which I bought in Mexico and the second CD I bought in London in 1996 when I was 12 years old was the Score by The Fugees. The first cassette I ever bought with my own money was One in A Million by the late beautiful Aaliyah. I first fell in love with hip hop and then the multi talented Lauryn Hill when I listened to The Fugees record the whole flight back from London to KL. I have my father to thank for the portable disc player that he gave as a gift for me. Music accompanied me through some of my most difficult, painful moments as well as the good and happy ones growing up and throughout my search trying to understand my own self and identity.

When I started to write this post I wanted to go back and look at the root of this collaboration between fashion and music. It is the first time aere is collaborating with musical individuals or a musical group. Before this aere has collaborated with two luxurious and premium brands, the scarf brand dUCk and an ice cream brand Haagen Dazs.  Now, here we are collaborating with a band no less luxurious and premium, Ruffedge. 

To be honest, we had other exciting opportunities for collaborations this year but I had to be selective and chose to pursue this one and continued it through despite my recent conditions. Why?

There are some pretty obvious reasons but I was in search of something deeper.

So while I was pondering about it, I went on and searched my blog and found the "music" tag on the right side of this blogpost. I then re-read my first few posts on this blog in April 2009 and was a little surprised that they were mostly about music or more like my music influences when I was younger. In fact, in my very first post I mentioned that I'm a music addict first and foremost, a musicaholic, I labelled myself. But of course, a lot of things have changed since 2009. I mean, a lot! Slowly I stopped sharing about music and have just been writing about everything else. However, even if it wasn't shared here, music never really left me. It has always been with me throughout my life's journey, either me listening to them or singing to them. I also realised about how I haven't been writing about some of the things that I used to share, love and enjoy as much as I would want to 3 years ago and wrote about it in Persistence of Memory

To know more, read some of my previous writings on music : Music When I Was Younger l about the music influences which shaped my love for music, Music When I Was Younger ll about Aaliyah and Music When I Was Younger lll about my first 2 CDs and favourite tracks from Lauryn Hill's all time fav album of mine the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, POLITIK about questioning and reflecting on our own personal identity through music, Scenes and Sound of Music about some of my fav movie sountracks since my childhood days. There was also a time many years ago when I said music was like my medicine in my post My Weekend with Music in Bed where I also shared some lyrics and songs I was feeling at that moment. The best thing about music is that we all have our different influences, and these different influences can some how merge together and form and showcase a part of your personality, and, yes even style.

I realise that fashion and music is something that you can't really separate. Have you ever been to a fashion show without music to set the mood? I haven't. Have you been to a concert where the performers didn't wear any stylish clothes? Nope. For most people, fashion is also related to your favourite music performers. Personally for me, what are the two things that these two branches of art have in common? Both are forms of self-expression. Both evoke feelings and emotions. We choose what music we want to listen to to set or correct the mood or what we want to wear based on how we feel at that time or what occasion. It is sort of intertwined and I realised it even more throughout the period of this collaboration with THE Ruffedge. The talks about this collaboration started in April 2018, 6 months ago and our first meeting was actually on the day of aere Eid fashion show just after we got back from London and Dubai for our fashion shows over there.

Ruffedge and I go way back. As I mentioned I grew up listening to music, I also was brought to musicals and concerts as a kid by my parents. I do remember though my very first concert where my parents allowed me to go without them for the very first time. It was at the All-4-1s concert, I think I was about 13 and the opening act was by another world-class Malaysian band, Innuendo. After that, I remembered during my high school days I did go to a number or R&B and Hip Hop underground gigs. Yeah, you might not have known that part about me when I was younger but I was really just so into it at the time.

I grew up listening to Ruffedge as well as watching them perform at gigs and admiring their talents. I’ve known Ruffedge as multi-talented musicians and creative individuals since my teenage years and they even performed at my 16th birthday party. I used to go to their gigs around KL with some of my best friends. I even remember recording Zain, Sein & Unc Azan with my cassette recorder while they were sort of jamming impromptu outside my house during my teenage years. I also remember doing my matriculation assignment for one of my law courses while I was studying and I interviewed members of ruffedge for the topic that was something about "faith & music" the controversies, the conflicts and how both can merge together. I had so many questions at the time and as always, their individual responses to the questions were very interesting at the time. With Ruffedge, each member has a distinct personality that you can tell from far off. Each have their own voice, their own rhythm, their own groove. They are not some manufactured boybands but deep individuals who each bring something unique to the table.

My point is, with their unique perspective and talents, they’ve been around for more than two decades and as a fellow Malaysian I’m proud to see how far they’ve come. To see them evolve from young artists starting from the underground, then making their way through the industry, establishing their presence and achieving major successes to now seeing them juggling all that as working family men while doing what they are passionate about. More matured, more grown up and wiser insyaAllah. I'm also inspired by their brotherhood and friendship throughout the journey.  I'm glad to witness them evolving to the men that they are today. Ruffedge represents something more than just their music. Their image transcends beyond their fashion sense. They carry a positive message and story too. They aim at spreading goodness, love and family values. That is something that I myself and aere as a brand, admire and relate to. When they were asked in an interview for aere’s IG of who they really are behind ruffedge, their most common answers were all family related: a son, a brother, a father, a friend, a husband, a student, an architect and someone even answered orang biasa biasa je (just a normal guy). They aren't primadonnas, divas but humble superstars without any airs.

So, with that, I'm happy that this collaboration is actually happening. Partnering and working with them has been really easy and smooth sailing on the creative side as well as the execution side. In terms of style I thing we just get each other and in terms of cooperation they have been really great too and have gone above and beyond!

aereMEN  started 3 years ago, slowly over the years we’ve come out with more and more designs. We’re excited for this even bigger expansion to casual and work wear with the Ruffedge collaboration. 

This collaboration is equal part Ruffedge and aere. Their vision of this collaboration is the "Modern Gentleman", or as Amer puts it, "Lelaki Budiman". These fine gentlemen have had a rough ride to reach the top, but they have stayed at the top for 20 years and all that roughness have made them very smooth.

Below is a behind-the-scenes video of the collaborative journey from discussions, meetings, fittings to the campaign photoshoot for the collaboration. 

After a decade long hiatus, homegrown vocal group Ruffedge is back with a bang. The #aereMENxRUFFEDGE collection was debuted on an international musical stage recently, marking their 20th anniversary in Singapore. Having grown in their career and personal life, the six members of the group; Amer Munawer, Azan Addin, Cat Farish, Mode Abdullah, Syed Hussein and Zain Hamid  and  has taken on a multitude of roles since. This also marks a revolution in their style. Clean, sleek pieces with ease and comfort is at the centre of the collection. From casual to formal wear, the #aereMENxRUFFEDGE collection is perfect for any occasion. Asked to sum up the collection in one sentence, the band put it aptly, “This is the wardrobe of a modern gentlemen.

aereMEN has previously been part of aere’s Eid collection. The collaboration with Ruffedge marks a new embark for the brand as it expands to a wider range of workwear and casual wear. Working with Ruffedge was an easy decision for aere due to their versatile nature as a band and individuals. Known for their timeless hits and stylish looks, Ruffedge has always pioneered sleek styles for men both in their more formal stage wear and cool street wear. This identity is injected seamlessly into aereMEN’s very own modern, clean aesthetic. 

The #aereMENxRUFFEDGE collection was debuted on stage by Ruffedge on 6th October 2018 in Singapore. The first drop of the collection will be launched TOMORROW on 16th October 2018. 

The collection is available exclusively on FashionValet. Click HERE now to watch the full behind the scenes video, our journey from meeting, discussions, fitting to the campaign shoot and click HERE again the first thing tomorrow morning to browse and get yours for yourself, your spouse, your father, your brothers or your sons! Oh, some of the pieces are unisex too so do check it out~!


Below are more photos from the campaign shoot but to see more photos and video stay tuned to aere's IG account which you can click on the right side of this blog!

I have the #aereMENxRUFFEDGE Blazer on me

The crew and the team that made the shoot happen!
Thank YOU guys! xx

Everything from aereMENxRUFFEDGE collection
Photos by Farid Rosli
Video by Kery


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