As a rule of thumb they say statement t-shirts (jumpers, bags, you name it) should be part of a much simpler outfit, I say wear them as you wish, but just be mindful that if you add too much to the rest of the outfit, then the statement itself can become lost in the look.

In essence, I think it’s best when the rest of your clothing and accessories do not detract from what you are trying to say – statement pieces, to me, are about starting a conversation not ending one. I have been a vegetarian for a few years now and am constantly moving towards a plant-based lifestyle and so when I met Janie of Sub Urban Riot, known for designing Beyonce’s famous KALE t-shirt, I was excited to speak to her about the movement behind this genre of design. This KALE t-shirt goes far beyond a fashion statement for me, and speaks to a conversation about a more health-conscious way of life, about making eating well and living well, something cool and important to talk about. I know that Kale is not the only green leaf ‘happening’ right now, but when seasoned the right way, it is a personal favourite for me!

The now famous original Kale sweatshirt has been worn by Rihanna, Beyonce in this dope 7/11 video. Suburban Riot is a California lifestyle fashion brand for men & women. You can pick up the KALE t-shirt here through Urban Outfitters. I asked Janie a few questions about the rise of the statement t-shirts, you can read below what she had to say. Whilst the skirt I styled my look with was from Stoke Newington I have suggested some similar matches.

WEAR THE LOOK: Skirt – Ralph Lauren Alternative Acne Studios | T-Shirt – Sub Urban Riot | Vegan shoes – Opificio V Milan | Cap – Pine Valley Golf Club

S: Why do you think statement shirts have become so popular?

JM: I think that documenting our lives visually has become the standard, and with that comes the desire to express yourself as an individual. Statement shirts are a way to do that. I also think that a cool statement shirt is a very disarming, fun way for us to connect with other humans. It immediately presents a chance to start a real conversation and connect with someone. On a less esoteric note — I like mixing graphic tees with high fashion pieces. We have a very coastal, laid-back, on-the-move style ethos that is very much about being comfortable and creating a cool look to wear all day into all night in your new busy on-the-go life…. We like to do this by mixing dope high end pieces with our favorite graphic tees.

S: What makes suburban riot unique in its approach to statements?

JM: Suburban Riot is all about the good life, redefined for a new era and a new age and a new global way of living and traveling. To us, “the good life” means that you are eating well, traveling well, thinking well, exploring what’s important to you. We are always positive – no mean girls here, please! We are always laughing at whatever in the culture we think is funny, and we love any statement that sort of turns things upside down and has fun with everyday things we all love or that we all eat or we all say to each other all time. We like documenting those. One of our most important goals though is to create a really classic design with these text clothing pieces…. Something that you can wear over and over that becomes your favorite. We work really hard on our fit and fabric quality so that it seamlessly just becomes a tee you want to wear again and again. And we LOVE when we hear stories about our shirts inspiring, hilarious conversations between strangers!

S: How do you choose your your statements/what is the criteria?

JM: Well, there’s not much in which we don’t find humor! Food, friends, travel, phones, technology, space, cats, exercise, nature…. it’s all fair game! We definitely exist in a positive sphere of living. We are inspired by people that are having fun and creating new things or new experiences. I would say the criteria is that it’s funny, cool and expresses some kind of statement that mirrors something that a lot of people can connect to and that will make them laugh. And we are not afraid to be super nerdy or weird. We embrace the uncool, nerdy side of people that a lot of “fashion” brands work really hard to hide. We think that side IS the cool part!

Take a look at our latest Statement T edit, a tribute to Martina Luther Queen, right here.