My name is Ie Erlina, I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, but Sydney, Australia is my home town now. I studied Graphic Design in my mid-twenties, and when I graduated I was hired as an in-house graphic designer for a footwear branding house. They put me in charge of the men's & sports division, despite the fact I know little about sports. I've never regretted working there, however there were a few things that made me feel a bit unsettled. That's when the idea of Irrelevant Society was born. So when the time was right, I left my comfort lifestyle to make my vision into a reality.
I love your concept behind Irrelevant Society. Can you tell us more about your label
Thank you! Irrelevant Society is about men standing up together to end violence against women, and they do that through their apparel. I've noticed that these days people wear branded stuff to be identified as a certain type of person or to belong to a certain group of people. So why not using the concept of brand recognition for good cause.
Domestic Violence, especially against women, is an issue close to my heart. I've seen it happen in my family. I grew up in a household affected. It happened to my friends, in an ordinary household and to women in the sex industry. Irrelevant Society gives 20% of the profit to help ending the issue of domestic violence as well as providing relief to women facing violence. I know this issue is much more complex to solve than by just giving monetarily, but my hope is that if one person changes the way they see violence against women; if one man decides to stand up against that; then I'd say it's worth my savings and my time and effort. Because, bravery is a contagious thing.
I also wanted to use an ethical and sustainable approach to create the clothes. There's no point in trying to solve one social issue if you're helping the oppression of another. I've carefully thought out to be simple, leaving room to show more of the individual's personality. It's really refreshing to see men wearing Irrelevant Society tees, and yet each of them looks so different and unique!
It seems you have a penchant for menswear, how did it develop?
I'm not quite sure how I developed the love for menswear, but I think having a younger brother to play dress up with and my background in men's division footwear certainly contributed to it!
There is something timeless about men's fashion. It changes from time to time but the consistency is still there. There is also a generous presence of negative space within their style. I love the subtleness of it, not to mention a very specific colour palette.
What are your future plans for Irrelevant Society?
I started with a simple type of apparel for Irrelevant Society, but my hope is to have a wider range of apparel, including footwear. I would love to see Irrelevant Society not just for Australian men and women, but for men and women across the continent and different ethnic groups, young and old, to stand together with women against violence. It would mean that one day Domestic Violence is a thing of the past, and our concept will become irrelevant. I'm ok with that.