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Carl Gillam and Will.i.am launch new trainer brand MCCVIII

By Firgas Esack on 21st November 2015

Will.i.am and his brother Carl Gillam have extended their ubiquitous personal style to creating a trainer brand which they have named TWELVEOEIGHT (MCCVIII) after 1208 Glenfield Court, the Projects address where they grew up.

“Despite living in impoverished conditions, we were rich in values, morals and ethics, and spirituality. These principles were instilled in us through our ancestral pedigree and we made do with what little we had. We couldn’t afford the riches, to compete with the riches, so we turned our rags into riches and the riches followed us. We were as original as our thumbprints, we created our own fashion trend AND WE OWNED IT!,” said Will.i.am.

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Made in Italy, the TWELVEOEIGHT collection features 3 ‘Pharaoh’ styles in a number of colours including white, grey, tobacco, olive, bordeaux and black. Made from soft Italian calf leather and Italian Nubuck the shoes are lined with luxurious sheepskin.

The ‘Pharaoh High’ style is characterised by a heightened ankle length, lace-up front and Velcro fastening whilst the ‘Pharaoh High Gold Plated’ shares the same shape but is adorned with a gold plated side panel as well as gold plated branding on the tongue of the trainer. The younger brother in the collection, ‘Pharaoh Low’, sits lower on the ankle with a slightly paired down design, and features a subtle side zipper and lace-up front.

The collection is currently stocked exclusively at Liberty and the brothers are working together with the quintessentially London department store to create a unique collaboration of shoes using paisley print from the Liberty archives which has never been previously seen.

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TWELVEOEIGHT will be available to buy exclusively in store and online from mid-December. The collection will retail at £640 for the Pharaoh High Gold Plated, £560 for the Pharaoh High and £520 for the Pharaoh Low.