It’s only been three years since Unravel Project launched and already, it’s made so much impact in the fashionverse. Everyone from Hollywood stars to A-list models to the Kardashians are all over it and it’s only because its talented founder and designer, Ben Taverniti, began everything off on a solid vision.
“Destroy and rebuild”
The brand was founded for the reason that everything in fashion was starting to morph together and look the same. The fast pace and close proximity of seasonal collections only made the numbers increase but did little for innovation and freshness of designs.
This is why Unravel Project’s mantra from the beginning was to “destroy and rebuild.” What needed destroying was compromise in the realm of fashion. Taverniti wanted to deconstruct the way fashion was moving towards big business, leaving creativity on the sideline.
The dream was to bring back the atmosphere of fashion in the ‘90s when brands and designers were all just starting out with the new technology and new innovations. There was a movement of expression through clothes and no underlying intention or motive to gain massive profit.
That raw and candid quality was what the brand wanted to emulate, so pieces were literally destroyed in the form of distressing and frayed details. The brand rarely takes into consideration the current trends and doesn’t conform to fashion’s seasonal limitations.
Unravel Project resembles Jimmy Taverniti’s sportswear line in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Ben Taverniti grew up seeing those clothes being designed and made that it pours out into his collections now. Aside from that, he has a Parisian education backing him up as an alumnus of ESMOD fashion school and experiences as head designing assistant for Jeremy Scott and creative director for Hudson Jeans.
Though it started as a solo venture, the brand now runs under the powerhouse duo, Ben Taverniti and his fiancée, Joyce Bonelli. Bonelli is a Hollywood makeup artist in LA whose frequent clients are the Kardashians. And she has a killer style to boot. The two met on a plane during Kimye’s wedding week, no less. She’s been a big muse and collaborator as she helped the more old-school Taverniti get Unravel Project a wider audience and an impeccable reputation through social media. She taught him the importance of making the clothes look good on photo.
The brand is more casual streetwear than trendy sportswear, but it crosses the line from time to time with the items that it considers basics: hoodies, bomber jackets, sweatpants, and basic tees.
The androgynous aesthetic manifests in the lace-up leather pants, distressed knits and denim, raw hems, and frayed textures. More often than not, the brand also incorporates experimental fashion with huge cut-outs and sexy silhouettes with masculine materials or moods.
The pieces serve a perfect purpose for achieving the model off-duty look, and the Kardashians, Jenners, Hadids, and even Rihanna are sampling it on social media and paparazzi shots. Kendall Jenner was particularly spotted wearing the notable lace-up leather pants in New York, styled by Monica Rose, who saw the potential of Unravel Project early on.
Elyse Walker collaboration and current collection
Unravel partnered with FWRD by Elyse Walker, who Taverniti says was the brand’s first customer, to create a capsule collection that includes some edgy staples: flared leather pants, velvet bomber jackets, raw-hemmed sweatshirt with oversized sleeves, and a moto bustier dress.
Signature distressing is present wherever possible on denim jackets, knit dresses and sweatshirts, basic tees, and cut-off shorts. The collaboration further widened the brand’s following. A recent collection for spring last year offered a diverse color range through its inspiration of the scene in ‘90s Venice Beach. Neon hues and reversed denim were dominating the collection and unconventional bombers zipped down the back instead of the usual way.
When the brand was just an idea and Ben Taverniti’s vision seemed too big too soon, he was told off for having a crazy ambition. Upon presenting Unravel in a Parisian suite, he immediately achieved his goal of getting the top five best luxury stores in the world to sell his clothes. Just as fast as he got them on board, the clothes stunned the fashion world as quickly.
The brand is only going into its fourth year, and judging by its successes so far, there’s more to come and expect. Many people have wanted to invest on Unravel or on Taverniti’s talent but there are other ways the brand can grow that the designer wants to focus on, which doesn’t involve a mass market immediately. For now, we can just brace for what Unravel will do next. The goal is for it to become a lifestyle brand and maybe in the future we’ll see models wearing it from head to toe and have its products all over their homes.