READ: K.L. FOR P.L. [THE COMPARISON THAT WASN'T]
For the last 3+ years I have come to fall into a deep love & affection for garments. Whether it’s the garment's cut, fit, style, seam, hem, design, color way, patterns, neck lining - just anything that has to do with the production of clothing I've come to admire & respect about fashion in general. One of my all-time favorite brands 'Public Label' also abbreviated 'P.L.' solidifies all those things. Perfect fit, comfort, simplicity and quality P.L. was the best because it just fit so well. It looks amazing on just about any of the traditional men's body types, the garments literally last a lifetime long & to be completely honest with you, it to this day is probably the most comfortable brand I have ever laid over my back. To me fashion is meant to be simple it's meant to be reachable & obtainable but at the same time exclusive & rare. That's why you have never heard of Public Label.
P.L. was a brand created under the umbrella of The Hundreds that Bobby meant to curate as more of the "grown man" & "high end" version of The Hundreds' current skate/streetwear brand. Unless samples were found in, lets say, The Hundreds' warehouse sales, there was never a P.L. item that was made with any sort of graphic, slogan, or logo. It’s either "T.H.P.L." as it was in the first P.L. collection, or it is the very discreet Public Label flag tonal embroidered. Either way the idea was for the quality and shape of the garment, not anything else. They wanted you to focus on just good clothing more than anything. Which is rare to find in today's view of what high fashion really is - this was affordable.
So outside of my rant for P.L. my real mission was to compare the discontinued Public Label to Bobby's new born project - Red Letter. The idea of Red Letter, according to Bobby, is The Hundreds creative himself getting back into designing the clothing in terms of material choice, functionality and garment fit. All conceptualized & designed by Bobby Hundreds. Now one thing I did not mention about P.L. is although it was a private label under The Hundreds umbrella, Bobby was only initially the designer before passing the reigns to Patrick Hill. Hill, who was not only the head designer & only designer for P.L. but is also head designer/ creative director for The Hundreds' cut & sew pieces as well. I explain that to say that there are two totally different hands designing each of the brands Public Label & Red Letter.
So if you ask me in my opinion if there can be comparison towards to the two brands, the answer is simple...FUCK NO! And though that technically doesn't make sense in terms of an answer to the original subject matter but that's literally how I feel. Bobby recently released the first Red Letter collection with the intention of producing his new ideas & looks in the collection - the plan is to, I believe, reactivate things he feels he missed in his time of not being the head designer of The Hundreds anymore. This is just Bobby getting back to the essence of that feeling of not only being the owner but being the creator. If you know Bobby you know he's a streetwear head, a true student of the game, has a natural respect for skate, hip-hop & limited edition culture. So his knowledge behind anything that comes along with the culture of streetwear Bobby is well respected & knowledgeable of it ALL. Now here is the true comparison - Bobby Hundreds vs Patrick Hill - now though I do not have the most knowledge about Patrick history in design or even aware of any other companies he's worked for other than TH I do know his level of design is unmatched compared to Bobby's. Pat is a designer, not a graphic designer, not a web designer, not a blogger, or photographer (not to throw shots at Bobby) but a pure artist to what we see as apparel design. He is the reason TH continues to excel in the cut & sew sector today. He's a reason TH isn't just considered a streetwear brand anymore, a large part is all Patrick. When being a true student of design it's a lot easier to dumb down your design ideas & product for the consumer. For instance, being that TH is still considered a streetwear brand he understands that the true TH customer doesn't know nor care about what cut n sew is or ever will be. All they want is maybe one black jacket, a graphic tee to skate in, a hoodie, one pair of cheap selvedge denim, and a snapback. So as a true apparel designer nothing he has to come up with is so complex. He understands the best of quality garments won't sell in a TH flagship, he gets that his true art isn't to be shown at the highest platform in terms of for The Hundreds. He even said in an interview via The Hundred's blog "The need for it came from the fact that we were doing all this loud cut & sew that wasn't necessarily what we wanted to wear. We wanted a cleaner aesthetic." which re-birthed Public Label.
To conclude this all, there is no comparison other than a ring to the names of each brand & if you asked me my opinion - Public Label no chance, no comparison. Just K.L. for P.L. is all you need to know. I am excited to see the collections Bobby has in stored because one thing I do know is that he is a genius, he may not be someone looked at as a great designer but his knowledge for good product is just as well studied as anyone else's in the industry. Also, I want to let some rumors I've heard recently be the real conversation, especially if it's true. Rumor has it that though I've been notified, warned & stated that P.L. will be discontinued - a valued source has also let me know that the end of P.L. is not ready to happen just yet. If this source is accurate, then lets have this discussion again, I'll let the product of both collections do the talking at that point.