Amid the boutiques in Le Marais, the heartland of what the French call “bobo” (bourgeois-bohème) Paris, Andrea Crews‘ shopfront stands out: mannequins with bumbags strapped across their chests, tracksuit bottoms, trainers and heavy gold chains. This hip Parisian urban label has named the collection “Caillera au grand coeur“, which translates to “thug with a big heart”. The slang term typically reverses the word “racaille” or “scum”, which has found favour with rightwing politicos eager to knock the younger multiracial generation in rundown council estates, especially in the much-maligned suburbs, known as banlieues.
The “caillera” fashion – a mix of sportswear labels and luxury logos – saw a golden age in the 90s with rap groups such as NTM (which stands for “Nique ta Mère” or “Screw Your Mother”), and Vincent Cassel’s 1995 film La Haine finding international success. The Parisian contribution to the rapper look included Lacoste polo shirts, Louis Vuitton bags and an extra attention to slick detail. Read more.