It’s no secret that safety and utility gear is trending within fashion, a protective streak in clothing and accessories that can be seen as a hyper-functional mutation of the rise in workwear. It was only a matter of time until a line came in and went overboard by creating a design with an almost complete disregard to context. Enter: Bevza.
The Ukrainian line is historically minimalist and routinely plays with texture in a fun way. Over the past few weeks, it’s been rolling out its new collection of bulletproof vest-inspired wear. Bevza’s “bulletproof” top and the line’s cropped version — yes, a “bulletproof” crop top, which is a completely bonkers phrase in itself — feels opportunistic and tone-deaf toward the present harrowing cycles of gun violence and literal genocide.
That’s not to say all brands taking part in this trend are guilty of insensitivity. Pioneering hardware-heavy brand like ALYX released similar products, like chest rigs that feel distinctly military, but have the tact and nuance to not call it “bulletproof.” The focus on other aspects of safety gear — like heavy duty materials or endless pocket space — eases the edge, while Bevza’s focus is a blinders-on approach with only aesthetics in mind.
But perhaps the language around Bevza and the items of its contemporaries doesn’t matter. Naming the pieces with subtlety doesn’t balance out the jarring reality at its core — how in the end, capitalism will find a way to commodify everything, even the nearness of death.
Thumbnail via Bevza’s Instagram.