Farid Zeria talks fashion and creating his debut brand – Futura Youth

Phoebe Walters | 9th April 2018

Manchester is the home of many big fashion brands. From Pretty Little Thing to Missguided, the city is full of creative individuals making their mark on the fashion industry.

New clothing brand Futura Youth is all about individuality, diversity and fun, allowing people to showcase their uniqueness through fashion – created by 19-year-old student Farid Zeria.

Farid, who is of Kenyan and Asian descent, has lived in Manchester his whole life. He found his passion for fashion, whilst studying health and social care at A Level and working part time.

VIVA asked Farid how Manchester played a part in inspiring him to create his first ever clothing line.

What does Futura Youth mean?

Futura comes from World War 2 and was an old mathematician. He tried to solve an equation and called it Futura. He was very misunderstood, and it was very complex to handle. If you think of the youth today, the youth of Manchester, you go Cheetham Mill, where I’m from, then you go Radcliffe, teenagers are totally different to one another.

We’re very misunderstood by the older generation, we’re very complex, they don’t understand much about us, why do we do this, why do we dress like this. Coming from a half Asian and Kenyan background, it’s hard for parents to understand, why doesn’t he dress like a normal Asian kid? So together, Futura Youth came along.

What inspired you to start a clothing brand?

I’ve always been into fashion, my passion for it has grown and grown and grown. Seeing people that have always inspired me like A$AP Rocky, seeing how they dress, I want to be like them- not even like them, I want to be better than them. Brands like Supreme, Palace and even high-end brands like Balenciaga, Gucci, inspires me to be my own.

How has being from Manchester and being Manchester based help you start Futura Youth?

A lot of people have helped me, especially my friend Tara.

In what way have they helped you?

Moral support definitely. I’ve met a lot of people on the way, even through college, meeting people who have been able to model for me and just talking to them about it, then meeting more people at a photoshoot and networking with more people. It just keeps growing and growing.

The thing about Manchester is that we’re so unique and there’s such a vibe over here compared to every other city I’ve been to. I’d say we’re completely different to other cities, everyone gets along, and a lot of people will help you out. Compared to London for example, it’s much more competitive – if I had my brand there it would be so much more competitive, people would hate on me. Whereas here, all I get is love.

Did Manchester inspire you?

Manchester did inspire me. Especially Norther Quarter, where Afflecks Palace is cause I’m into a lot of vintage stuff. The way I dress is kind of vintage. The way people dress around there and in Manchester in general – you go Market Street and I see people who I think, you’re outfits bangin’.

What was the process like starting your own brand?

It’s tough, very hard. First thing is, you have to find the perfect name. It took me a year to find Futura Youth. Have you listened to Frank Ocean? His album Blonde, the last song on that album is called Futura Free. The name Futura just stuck with me, but I didn’t want to choose it just because he did – I had to research what it meant. And I always wanted to incorporate Youth into the name.

It’s difficult as well because there aren’t enough opportunities for us, especially being from an Asian background, there’s certain things that parents would want you to do, like become a lawyer or doctor. You rarely see half Asian kids, like myself, out there doing photography, or designing because their parents don’t agree with it. However, my parents have supported me through it, but just saying for the other people out there who don’t have the opportunities that I do.

What role has social media played in helping build your brand?

It’s played a huge role. Advertising on Instagram, helps a lot. I have over 1,000 followers on my personal account, advertising Futura Youth on a post, people will pop up about it, people will see it no matter what. Sometimes it ends up on the explore page. If you’re consistent with it, you’ll get those follows and people will want to know more about it. When you’re passionate about something, people like to take interest.

What has your favourite part been about designing Futura Youth?

The photoshoots I have. I’ve never been to an actual, professional photoshoot and I want to keep it that way. I want to keep it spontaneous. I’ve kind of directed them. Even though I’ve done shoots in Paris, Australia, London – directing them to the way I want them. Also going to fashion events and having people talk about my brand. Mainly designing the tops, I just get in my zone. Especially at three in the morning, I work my best, I can’t work well at this time in the day.

Futura Youth in Australia

How do you want people to feel while they wear your clothes?

Any type of way. They can wear it to bed, to the gym – I want people to feel like themselves. I want people to feel young, I want them to enjoy it.

What makes your brand stand out?

It’s very vibrant and new. Right now, it may look simple but I’m offering something new to the world. I’ve always wanted to give opportunities and hopefully in the future, I want to help teenagers who are into creative stuff, whose parents won’t allow them. I keep going back to family but they’re one of the main causes of people not following their true dreams, I want to give them the chance to come to me and enjoy what they’re doing.

What are your plans for the future with Futura Youth?

In the next year? Well in June I’m dropping my second drop called Bright Colours and Sunshine. I’ve got my own runway for the high-end part of the brand. So, you have Futura Youth then Futura Youth by Farid Zeria. So that’s all in the works right now. I’ll be showcasing the high-end part of the brand which starts at £75 for a t-shirt and then it goes up to £300.

With Futura Youth now, you pay £15 and get good quality, it’s not bad material. Whereas the £75 clothes will be 100% Egyptian cotton, you’ll get your quality worth, more embroidery, not just printed. That won’t be sold until next year, I’m just showcasing it this year. I don’t want to give anymore away but Bright Colours and Sunshine will be better than this drop.

Futura Youth is available to buy now at: https://futurayouth.com/shop/

Instagram | Futura Youth: @futurayouth | Farid Zeria: @wavysimba

Photographer: Tyrone Pynor | Instagram: @tyronepynor

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