The quest for the perfect hoodie is an arduous one. But nonetheless, we persevere. When I texted fellow ONE37pm style guru Max Paek about an article I was putting together on the best hoodies, he eagerly sent me a few brands. In the list he sent me, one stood out above the fray. Rarely are you able to absorb a garment’s caliber and feel through a digital representation, but the folks over at Seventh have managed to imbue every visualization of their products with a sense of quality. After immediately slotting the hoodie into the list’s top 5, I knew I wanted to learn more.
So I connected with the brand’s founder and creative director—Bukki Ojo and Emmanuel Duru—to discuss the genesis of Seventh, the unifying ethos behind their pieces and what’s to come for the Lond0n-based designer.
The Seventh products have a minimalism about them, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t represent the culmination of a myriad of traditions and styles. Bukki comes from a vintage background; she ran a small vintage store for the first 5ish years of her foray into the fashion world, reselling classic sportswear pieces in a store on High Street while finishing up her Masters Degree at the London College of Fashion. She eventually decided to pivot from reselling, entering the design world. But she brings into her design process the various silhouettes, materials and structures that drove a lot of her curation.
Around this time in 2019, she brought in Emmanuel Duru, who is now the brand’s creative director. He too had an incredible eye for cultivation, running an IG page dedicated to curation. “I wanted to go back into design; the first person that came to mind was Emmanuel for creative direction,” she tells me. So they teamed up and launched Seventh at the end of 2019.
“The idea of the products basically came from what I was selling before,” Bukki tells me, referring to the pieces’ constant reference to vintage sportswear—whether it be the drop shoulder silhouettes or the heavy materials used. “I wanted to use those silhouettes, but create a very minimal and contemporary version to simplify it,” she remarks. Her vintage store also emphasized minimalism in the actual layout and design of its interior, and she wanted to carry that love of the simple over into the garment.
That’s how they settled on the original V1 hoodie, which eventually snowballed into the V2 you can see on site today. “Now we’ve got our pinnacle pieces,” Bukki tells me, referring to the roster you can find on site now: a collection of simple pieces that emphasize form and quality over flash.
We’re all about innovating, but keeping the core and foundation.
For how simple the pieces are, Emmanuel and Bukki have put so much thought into each and every garment. “We wanted to not just be a fashion brand that looks nice, but to innovate and inspire people,” Emmanuel tells me. This ethos has certainly resonated with their consumers, as such a vast portion of their buyers are creatives themselves, drawn to the simplicity of their work.
“I want to stimulate creative’s minds,” Bukki tells me, adding that they often use members of their following in their shoots and lookbooks. “A lot of the content is really candid and real,” Emmanuel chimes in, adding: “Us not being perfect is what makes us, us.”
“Comfort is our base,” Bukki tells me, regarding how they construct their pieces. “If it’s not comfortable, it’s getting chucked in the bun,” she cheekily jokes. Bukki and Emmanuel both note how techwear can be comfortable, but sacrifices aesthetic, while visual-first clothing can often deprioritize comfort. “We’re finding that balance.”
I personally love the colors in the Seventh’s roster; everything meshes together so perfectly on their site. That’s no accident. Bukki and Emmanuel tell me that they want putting on an outfit to be as easy as possible: “simplifying peoples’ lives with purposeful product.” So when they select colors for a collection, the symbiosis is paramount. “Every single tone has to blend with each other. We do all the thinking for you,” Bukki says, revealing why all of the pieces fit so well together visually. This is part of their commitment “to the busy person,” as they put it, making getting dressed easy.
This also contributes to the brand’s name: Seventh. “The name ‘Seventh’ comes from the Bible,” Bukki tells me. The name is an homage to the day of rest; getting dressed in Seventh shouldn’t be a trial. It’s easy.
“Color, silhouette and quality are the three main pillars of our design,” Bukki tells me, going on to add why these pillars are so paramount. “We have no branding, so the only way you know the brand is through the shape, silhouette and quality.” And it’s absolutely true. I could identify a Seventh hoodie from, say, an Aime Leon Dore hoodie just by its structure; no branding necessary.
When we dive into the nitty gritty of they design their pieces, Bukki pans the camera down to reveal a table littered with vibrant swaths of fabric. So far, they’ve primarily relied on more muted palettes, so I was surprised to see such a kaleidiscopally diverse selection of colors strewn about, but Bukki tells me it’s part of their ongoing color selection process for the summer line.
They rely on a lot of unique colors, muted variations of a lot of traditional hues. “I always like when people don’t know what to call it,” Bukki notes. “Sometimes our colors are so weird that you can’t really put a name on it,” Emmanuel adds, a phenomenon which I love in my own wardrobe as well.
For the summer, they’re challenging themselves to incorporate some more vibrant colors than the usual. “Trying to do something loud, but not too loud,” Bukki tells me, adding that they’re looking for something like their current Chemical Blue.
As far as the future goes, Bukki and Emmanuel have a lot planned. They intend to re-release the V1 of their hoodie, a lighter variation more suited for the warmer months. Additionally, they’re toying with launching their first graphic tee shirt, but the details are under wraps for now (keep an eye on their IG for up to date info).
Based on this experience, Bukki tells me: “We want to do more collaborations as well with cool creatives in our scene.” Seventh also has a big following in the US, so they’re considering doing some pop ups in the year to come, hopefully in the UK and the USA.
The quest for the perfect hoodie seems never-ending. But at Seventh, they’ve come as close as we could ever hope to find on earth.