ELBA IS ALL SET: In the halls of Hollywood, Idris Elba is a premier force, but the ambidextrous actor has added fashion designer to his professional pursuits.
Building off the success of the U.K. launch of his clothing label 2HR Set, the Golden Globe- and SAG-winning actor, director, producer and musician has officially dropped his apparel collection. The name for the unisex line was inspired by his interest in music and the DJ culture. He polished that talent growing up in London’s East End. DJs generally have a two-hour window during a gig to do their best work. In a statement Elba spoke of riffing on that idea, “A two-hour set is the acid test for a DJ. But for me, I’ve taken this idea a step further. Whether I’m behind the decks on stage, in the gym, or studying a new script, I’ll give myself two hours and really get stuff done. It’s my window to go for it, get it done, and get it done well.”
The collection consists of hoodies, crewneck sweatshirts, long-sleeved T-shirts and other machine-washable basics. There are also collaborative styles with the British DJ, musician and record producer Fatboy Slim. Retail prices range from $49 for a T-shirt to $86.50 for a tie-dye hoodie or striped gray joggers. The latest 2HR Set collection will be released in two drops for men, women and children. The first drop will debut the brand and the second will feature collaborations with other brands, musicians, artists and photographers that have inspired Elba.
In response to the U.K’s national knife-crime crisis, Elba and his brand’s team have developed apparel imprinted with “Don’t Stab Your Future.” All proceeds from the campaign will benefit Faron Alex Paul’s organization. The British anticrime activist and his supporters has been out on the streets collecting knives. After being stabbed 18 times, he has been campaigning to prevent knife and gun crimes with a community-led effort.
The “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” actor reminded his fans of that initiative recently. Adept at cross-promoting, Elba wore a “Don’t Stab Your Future” shirt to a Vanity Fair interview for its August cover story. The actor has had an action-packed year, appearing in three TV series, releasing a music video for “Boasty,” his collaborative single with Wiley, Sean Paul and Stefflon Don; introducing his directorial debut “Yardie,” and marrying Sabrina Dhowre. Elba is on stage in “Tree” at the Manchester International Festival. He cowrote the play with Kwame Kwei-Armah. In the past week, Elba publicly disputed claims of plagiarism and discrimination by writers Tori Allen-Martin and Sarah Henley who were bounced from “Tree.”
But back to the fashion world, Elba and Dhowre have made the rounds at fashion shows such as Ozwald Boateng’s New York debut at the Apollo Theater in May, as well as at Roland Mouret’s London Fashion Week show and Versace’s Milan Fashion Week show earlier in February. Elba, who collaborated with Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller for the suit he wore to last year’s Met Ball, opted for Versace for this year’s gala.