Manchesterâ€™s history of division and unity is what makes the city special.
When discussing music, Mancunians will favor one of Oasisâ€™ Gallagher brothers over the other, while when it comes to football, the City bleeds the red of United or the blue of City. Despite these world-famous divisions, the 0161 is unified by its industry and graft, with a close-knit community of like-minded creatives that want to win together.
Throughout the 0161, creativity is at its core. Over recent times, the city of Manchester has opened its doors to various moments that have put the city on the map. Aside from the cheeky-chap rhymes of Mostonâ€™s Aitch and the real-life traumas shared by Bugzy Malone, Manneh often showcases the best of the best in creativity; from Habitat club nights hosted by AK Gramm and co. to the art installations held by Tomas Gittins, and the opening of the Clints flagship store.
Now, the city is celebrating something huge. Drama Call, founded and launched by Mancunian native Charlie Bows in 2017, has recently presented a brand-new collaboration with Manchester United Football Club and adidas.
For years, the city of Manchester has been associated with low-riding bucket hats and breathable cagoules, however, the city now has a new uniform: the tracksuit. And while this may not seem much different from the rest of the UK, Drama Callâ€™s raised stitched logo is the only thing youâ€™ll tend to see on a cozy co-ord throughout the Rainy City.
DCâ€™s â€œTrackeh,â€ which is also dubbed as â€œthe heaviest in the game,â€ is often reinterpreted into different color schemes, and has already dipped its toes into international waters with high-profile campaigns with U.S. rappers such as Swoosh God, but itâ€™s back home, in Manchester, where the noise is at its loudest.
â€œItâ€™s a landmark for the city. Itâ€™s something that people will talk about many years after my mates and I arenâ€™t here anymore.â€
So much so, Drama Call has recently unveiled collaborative work with Manchesterâ€™s favorite rhymer, Aitch, who stands by Charlie Bowsâ€™ imprint being his go-to brand amidst the high-end and luxury garments that fill his wardrobe.
â€œDrama Call is definitely my favorite brand right now, and Iâ€™m sure it will stay that way for a long time,â€ Aitch told Hypebeast, â€œI think the Drama Call and Manchester United collaboration is massive.
â€œItâ€™s good to see Man United collaborating with a local brand and itâ€™s great for the city. It shows unity, it shows that the city is united â€“ no pun intended â€“ and I canâ€™t see to see what more theyâ€™ve got to come.â€
When Hypebeast spoke with Drama Call founder Charlie Bows, it was clear that he likes to keep things under wraps. Heâ€™s never been one for interviews and instead, he markets his clothes through off-the-cuff drops, guerilla marketing, and word of mouth.
These tactics from Bows have created an undeniable sense of exclusivity around Manchester and the rest of the UK. Now, following a slew of almost-instantly sold-out drops over the past few months, Drama Call has been tapped by Manchester United and adidas, making it a move that is bound to lead to further global recognition thanks to a co-sign from arguably the biggest football club in the world and a culture-shifting sports brand.
The collaboration welcomed its first installation at Old Trafford last weekend, causing mass hysteria and a different buzz that hasnâ€™t been seen around the stadium before. Jam-packed with fans waiting to watch the Red Devils play their last game of the Premier League season â€“ as well as other followers from the blue side of the city â€“ Dramaâ€™s installation at OT emphasized the sense of community around the town, proving that if Mancs can celebrate work with one divided opinion of Mancunian culture, then the rest of the world will catch on soon, too.
â€œItâ€™s a landmark for the city,â€ Bows told Hypebeast. â€œItâ€™s something that people will talk about many years after my mates and I arenâ€™t here anymore.â€
Keeping things close to home is whatâ€™s made Drama Call so favored in the City of Manchester. Those wearing it feel a part of a community and a movement that is proud to be Manc. â€œIâ€™m here to represent Manchester and put us on the map,â€ Bows continued. â€œIâ€™m also here to send a message to any other kids out there who have started or starting brands, that the skyâ€™s the limit.â€
For Manchester United, this collaboration with Drama Call marks a new age for the club as a whole. Itâ€™s no secret that since Sir Alex Fergusonâ€™s exit from in 2013 â€“ after winning 38 trophies over almost 28 years â€“ United has been enduring a slow rebuilding process â€“ both on and off the pitch â€“ as it works back towards its level of dominance in European and domestic football.
â€œIâ€™m here to send a message to any other kids out there who have started or starting brands, that the skyâ€™s the limit.â€
This move enshrines how global conglomerates are now tapped into grass roots movers and shakers, who are informing their cultural touch points like never before.
With this in mind, it could be argued that Manchester United needs Drama Call just as much as Drama Call needs Manchester United. Why? The Red Devils have endured somewhat of a disconnect from its loyal fans over recent years. Seas of yellow and green scarves are often seen protesting outside Old Trafford in protest against the clubâ€™s Glazer family ownership, with fans desperate to see the return of the glory days that seem so far away since Sir Alexâ€™s departure.
But now, United have found their feet again â€“Â securing a league Cup, Champions League football and the chance to beat arch rivals, Manchester City, in the FA Cup Final this weekend. Unitedâ€™s season ended with the atmosphere better than itâ€™s been for years at the club â€“ with the Drama Call pop-up cementing this feel good factor now emanating out the club. United supporting a local brand off the back of a successful season just felt right â€“Â a true act of unity from global powerhouse to burgeoning talent with the help of adidas.
Now, with the likes of Corteiz having such an international presence with global campaigns and collaborations, why is Drama Call poised to be the next UK streetwear brand to take its steez global? Besides its globally-recognizable shirt in collaboration with Manchester United and adidas, DCâ€™s wider garment collections can be easily applied to communities outside of Britain.
Its deep-rooted connection to the world of hip-hop, skate, and overall American culture is applied to styles such as trucker hats, beanies, and tees, with the latter often reinterpreting bootleg designs from franchises such as Toys R Us, Grand Theft Auto, and referencing blockbuster movies such as Adam Sandlerâ€™s Uncut Gems.
But, aside from the overall aesthetic of the brand, Drama Call offers a representation of the â€œdramaâ€ that occurs within todayâ€™s global society. DC stands up for things that matter â€“ with its â€œSilence Killsâ€ T-shirts in support of the Black community in Minneapolis, for example â€“ and in turn, continues to build a community of like-minded people that want the same change.
Drama Callâ€™s collaboration with Manchester United and adidas hasnâ€™t changed the ethos behind Manchesterâ€™s go-to brand, itâ€™s just opened a bigger door for the world to see it. And while we wait for whatâ€™s to come next from Charlie Bows and the wider Drama Call team, you can expect to see plenty more Trackehs posted far and wide across the globe in months to come.