“I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death. Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined.” – Nas (“N.Y. State of Mind” – Illmatic)

Beyond the limits of its lifespan and any theme explored, beyond its East Coast hip hop influences and its homage to the Punk/ Hardcore scene, Cousin of Death (COD) the clothing line is continuously being defined by up and coming designer, Evan Shaw.

With approximately ten collections under his belt, progress and ingenuity is easily identifiable in the soaring street wear line. Shaw holds a humble opinion on the brand. “We may have been around for four years,” says Shaw, “but I still think the brand is in its infancy stage.”

Unassuming in his stance, the rap enthusiast’s preference for East Coast rap over West Coast rap combines his deep love for the punk/hardcore movement, and uses these as strong influencers for his unisex line. “Hardcore and punk defined a lot of who I am today,” says Evan, “and this collection was [created] to show my appreciation for the hardcore scene.”

COD’s movements are subtle, yet packed with vigour. Sharp cuts, lead to sharp decisions and it’s clear to see what makes this a chosen brand for the likes of Lil B “The Based God”, Joey Bada$$, up and coming rappers such as Ghoulavelli and various members of the hardcore/punk scene.

Unlike the normal route for streetwear lines that usually attach themselves to big celebrity star power (Rihanna x Puma or Kanye West x Adidas), COD stands sturdy on its own. According to Shaw, it might have something to do with the thought and depth that went into the clothing. “It came mostly from emotions – what I was feeling right before I created the collection.”

Little did he know that this somewhat lonely process of self discovery would eventually lead to a sold out Fall/Winter ‘16 collection within minutes of being released to the public. With a full house of COD enthusiasts at its launch party and a re-launch in January for a second round of Fall/Winter ’16, the pieces were high in demand.

“Growing up I found myself immersed in multiple different subcultures be it athletics or hardcore/punk or skateboarding or hip-hop and within each of those subcultures, people dress differently. From that I looked at my favourites […] and tried to bring everything into a perfect balance, which would be Cousin of Death. COD is always changing and always improving, as I grow, the brand grows.”

With a mood greatly affected by the weather, and a clothing line that Shaw paints with an emotional brush, the difference between his Fall/Winter ’16 collection and upcoming Spring/Summer 2017 THE BRAND, THE LABEL, THE POWERHOUSE collection will be vast. “In Calgary, winter is a rude, unwelcoming deep-freeze and then summer is a warm breath of fresh air.” Explaining that his collections embody this. “The Fall/Winter 2016 collection was cold, dark, and depressing. Spring/Summer 2017 is going to be the exact opposite.”

Rapper Nas is quoted as saying, “With age comes common sense and wisdom.” Despite only being established in 2013, Cousin of Death the brand, the label and powerhouse, seems to have gained much sense and much wisdom on the road to retail success.

Website: www.cousinofdeath.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/csndth
Tumblr: www.csndth.tumblr.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/csndth

KIMBERLEY (KIMLEESTAR) JEV

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