Apstrofi, and our icon of the apostrophe, is about a sense of belonging in who you are and what you wear. With the fast changing trends of fashion and the many options of style nowadays, one just can’t easily find something that truly defines them. Age seems to play a big role in the way people identify themselves and those around them: age is one simple way we automatically categorise people and determine their capabilities or inclinations. We were intrigued by the influence that age then has on how people feel about themselves and therefore their style, which -- in such a community-oriented culture -- dictates that the older you get, the more conservatively you dress. We’ve observed that personal fashion choices are somewhat reliable indicators of one’s age.. but, what does age really have to do with it? What does age really have to do with anything?
Our midsummer campaign is an entirely different spin on familiarising you with Apstrofi’s fashion philosophy, a departure from our debut with Pop Princess. Then, we wanted to show that because every individual is unique, everyone has their own style. We reintroduced ourselves as an online marketplace that encourages you to find what fits your personality and character best, and in continuing that, we’re now delving into the idea that in simultaneously learning about yourself and your sense of style, your age is no barrier. Just like it isn’t a barrier to anything else you aspire to in life.
To start our campaign we snuck a few teasers in on our social media, highlighting traditional views on age that remain common around us today. As a company, we’re always looking for talented and driven people to join our team, so when we advertised job postings on Instagram and Facebook we took an opportunity to throw in some pretty specific age requirements. People quickly picked up on the fact that there was a big emphasis on age, and those who voiced their opinions shared our views that age was an unnecessary threshold for meeting certain capabilities. Here in Indonesia profiling by age is still accepted convention, with job searches often specifying how old (or how young) you must be, while its an outdated practice elsewhere. Demographics are important in our culture but on Apstrofi, we’re challenging the idea that they are.
With an emphasis on being age-appropriate it’s common amongst Indonesians to think that once you reach a certain age there are things you can no longer do or clothes you can no longer wear. And while there’s value in maturing and leaving certain habits behind, we think that as you evolve in life your taste in fashion (and everything else!) does too, and that there should never be limits on how you choose to express yourself on a daily basis. Growing older is about growing bolder because to us, the years since you were born don’t measure the chances you have taken and the lessons you’ve learned as a result of doing so. There’s a misconception that the older you get, those chances dwindle. But in life, and most simply in fashion, those chances only grow as much as your confidence in yourself does. There isn’t always the opportunity to express yourself in big ways, but how you style yourself everyday is always a small chance through which you can make the choice to be authentically yourself. No matter how ‘old’ you’ve gotten.
Our photographs were taken in Pasar Asemka in Central Jakarta, close to Kota Tua -- itself an old area of Jakarta by photographer Irfan Faqih. In doing so we hope to show that the old can still be viewed as places of revitalising and renewal. We appreciate the history in the backdrop for our shoot but as we were out in the sun on a Monday morning we were also able to reimagine the ageing area of the city as a place more contemporary. Certainly, the characters we met along the way, behind every still you see here, on our website, or throughout the rest of our campaign, weren’t aged like their physical surroundings. Our talents, Setiawan and Eflintje conversed with store owners and passers by about what they currently do and each other’s lives. It became apparent to us, too, that as you grow older you meet more people through all walks of life and the more the lines between age blur. In the same vein, being young is no barrier either. It’s never too early or too late to start discovering who you are. Age is not how old you are but how old you feel, and we feel that growing older is about growing more confident in your choices.
We wanted to show the products we curate in a different light: styled on the unexpected. Old people aren’t thought of as fashionable and those who still indulge in fashion well past their middle age are boxed into much narrower options of clothing. But those options can remain as wide as they seemingly are for younger individuals now if you so choose. Fashion is more than just clothes and accessories that you’ve chosen: the choice you make is about what you want to say about yourself, and finding a way to communicate yourself to strangers or familiar people alike is a choice you don’t stop making as you get older. If fashion means something to you, there will always be something that catches your eye, something that speaks to you and who you are. A hat, or dress, the most ridiculous pair of shoes or the most unassuming t-shirt, that connects with a part of your personality.. especially one that you know but other people may not. Especially one that maybe you yourself have only discovered and hadn’t known when you were younger.
Style is not about age at all. It has always been and will always be about you. What is perceived as ‘young’ in these photographs may be the clothes and how we’ve put them together. However, it’s the genuinely young spirit captured in these photographs, especially when you feel good in what you wear, that embolden timeless style that doesn’t care for a number that indicates time more than anything else. Our photo series is about continuing in your authenticity as you grow older instead of shying away from the things you like most simply because of your age, that it’s the stories you live as time goes by that nurture your self-assurance rather than diminish it. Your tastes are ever-evolving but style is much more long-lasting than that. Get to know yours on Apstrofi, #DiscoverYourStyle with us today.