It all began with Justin Bieber. In 2012 the global star wore a Local Heroes t-shirt with an ironic slogan “Doing Real Stuff Sucks”.

Local Heroes global

 Local Heroes Reality Sucks collection, 2014. Photo: Monika Kmita, courtesy of Local Heroes

Local Heroes Reality Sucks collection, 2014. Photo: Monika Kmita, courtesy of Local Heroes

It all began with Justin Bieber. In 2012 the Canadian star wore a t-shirt with an ironic slogan “Doing Real Stuff Sucks”. The girls from Local Heroes sent him the t-shirt with the remote hope that one day he would put it on, and when an image of the singer wearing the t-shirt appeared on the internet, the small company from Warsaw, founded by two friends for fun, became a desirable brand on all continents and a must-have in many celebs’ wardrobes.

Now, Rihanna wears a t-shirt with the slogan “Last Clean T-shirt”, Cara Delevingne with “wtf / Where’s The Food”. The words “yolo / You Only Live Online” appeared on Selena Gomez’s chest. Anja Rubik wears a hipster cap with the slogan “Bad Hair Day”. Rita Ora was photographed by paparazzi in a black shirt with white print showing the “fuck off” gesture. The list of celebrities who choose to wear Local Heroes is growing every year

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Areta Szpura and Karolina Slota, the founders of Local Heroes, were born in the early 90s before Bieber made the company global, Areta was a young blogger (doing real stuff sucks — aretaszpura.com) and Karolina an aspiring photographer. Slota, in an interview with i-D, admitted with a hint of shame that she was once a fan of Justin Bieber. In June 2012, during a breakfast television interview, she said that she had found Justin’s private address on the Internet. She showed viewers a tattoo on her bicep which read “Never Say Never” — the title of Justin Bieber’s hit song.

Areta admitted in turn, that she was a Miley Cyrus fan. “Hanna Montana Forever, I was Miley’s fan since I was born. I tried to get hold of her since she started her solo career. I went to the MTV Europe Music Award, concerts. I waited in front of her hotel, rode a bike in Brooklyn looking for a school in which she was recording a video clip, but I wasn’t let in. I sent her clothes once (I found her and her parents’ address, as Justin Bieber’s, on Google Maps), and then gave up a little — after all, not everything has to happen” — reports Areta to i-D. 

 Karolina i Areta at the Local Heroes third birthdayparty, 2015

Karolina i Areta at the Local Heroes third birthdayparty, 2015

One day in 2015, someone sent her a picture of Miley with a joint in her mouth. The singer was in a dress with a motif resembling a smiling emoticon—it was one of Local Heroes’ items. Also in 2015, Miley Cyrus was photographed wearing a blue, neoprene jacket by Local Heroes with a print showing white clouds. A delighted Areta Szpura was later able to join Miley at the legendary vma After Party at Beacher’s Madhouse Theater at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Local Heroes combines postinternet aesthetics with pop culture kitsch and the style of the 90s. Areta and Karolina think of the years of their childhood with nostalgia and this is apparent in their style. The brand’s third birthday was celebrated at an abandoned school — the party’s set design alluding to the kitschy us–style prom balls from the 90s, and the atmosphere resembling the first music videos of Britney Spears. Those behind Local Heroes are also fascinated by the American pop culture and the atmosphere, aesthetics and landscape of California. They have made sweet prints and catchy, humorous slogans, their trademark.

Today, Local Heroes clothing is now sold by asos.com, Urban Outfitters, Paris Colette and namshi.com in Saudi Arabia. In 2015, Reebok launched the x Areta ventilator — a shoe designed by Areta Szpura which features neon-candy rainbow design. 

Local Heroes is also one of the most famous and most frequently faked Polish clothing, accessories and gadget brands, which fake branded clothing being found both at markets and in global apparel chains. Local has suddenly become global.

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www.localheroesstore.com

 

Paulina Latham