FOUNDER, THE NEW ORIGINALS
THE CREATIVES BEHIND THE NEW ORIGINALS
Eben Badu is one of the founders of The New Originals, a cult Amsterdam streetwear brand making waves in the fashion community. Redefining the industry by merging fashion, music, and art. TNO's expansive collaborations and loyal community make it the perfect uniform for Amsterdam's vibrant culture.
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How did The New Originals come about? And do you feel like The New Originals has a uniform and has it changed over the years?
We started the brand with a ‘why factor’; why are we approaching the market the way that we do. Because we believe that the biggest and dopest companies have an important ‘why factor’. Instead of just being a clothing brand, we wanted to create a platform for creativity because, before we became a brand, we used to be a blog. Brands like Nike, Adidas and Vans really inspired us because they had some sort of purpose and for us specifically it was creativity. So, we wanted to make performance clothing for creatives. And at that time maybe 7 years ago it was quite vague, like who are the creatives? Someone that bakes, is that also creative?
What does a uniform mean to you? Do you feel like you have a uniform?
To me, a uniform is an identity, and recognising the purpose of an outfit. For example, when you want to exercise, you’ll need sports socks, a sports bra or anything related to sports. Also, for example, from a wedding's standpoint there are two uniforms; A uniform for the ones getting married and the guests. It’s a way of sharing codes.
And what do you think TNO does for Amsterdam as a community?
We just try to share things that we like and then see if other people like it as well. It’s a bit like Twitter; we do something, and you can retweet it, join or comment. All of our references come from growing up in the city, the countries where we're from and being from Amsterdam which feels like being in the middle of Europe. We’re next to the UK, Belgium, Germany, Denmark. We are almost in the centre of it all. Next to being a Ghanaian guy, now being in the middle of Europe also shaped me and my style. So, we try to do what feels right and the rest just follows.
You were born and raised in Amsterdam, from what neighborhood are you from?
I grew up in Amsterdam East, Dappermarkt, Oosterpark which influenced me big time, because growing up in Oost and going there to school I saw so many different nationalities and their wardrobes, from Moroccan, to Turkish, to Surinamese, to Indonesian. It’s like watching a movie, that’s what I thought. Having early memories of seeing other black people around me, that’s always something that has stuck with me.
For the final question, do you have a message or any advice, tips for young creatives who want to start their own brand or in the field of fashion?
Definitely. Stay close to your personal taste palette, stay very close to what you liked as a child. You can always re-interpret them and translate them into new things. I don't believe ideas can be overdue. You can always put them in the oven, flip it a bit, make it hotter. Don’t get demotivated if you put a lot of time and effort into something, and you only get a few likes. That's what I want to share.