Fashion is not always about ready-to-wear, trends and catwalks. Some pieces of clothing are made to be a statement.
That’s the case of the first suit made from mustache hair: POLITIX’s Mo-Hair Suit.
The two-piece suit was a unique first for POLITIX, created from a blend of contrasting shades of donated mustache hair.
It was made in Australia thanks to the joined efforts of visual artist and photographer Pamela Kleemann-Passi, Bullfrog Creative Agency and well-established menswear label POLITIX.
First presented on Australia’s The Today Show, the unique garment was created to celebrate Movember 2021 and designed to be a conversation starter on men’s health issues, both mental and physical.
“The suit has just won Gold at the Spikes Asia award for Health,” Andrew Vance, Social PR & Events Manager for POLITIX, declared. “In the second week of March 2022, the ‘Worn to be heard’ Mo-Hair Suit Showcase was an official event of the Melbourne Fashion Festival.”
“POLITIX menswear is incredibly proud to further raise awareness for men’s health and Movember through the prestigious appointment of the Guinness World Records title.” – Andrew Vance, POLITIX’s Social PR & Events Manager
The POLITIX x Movember campaign “Born to be Heard” placed a particular focus on cases of testicular and prostate cancer and suicide, some of the most widespread – and most underestimated – causes of death in men.
The suit was created to give voices to those who suffered the consequences of a social narrative that often neglects men’s health, and actively encouraged men to reach for help if needed.
“Get tested, talk openly, and listen to your body,” prompts Pamela Kleemann-Passi in her message embroiled in the suit’s lining.
Since 2003, Movember encourages men to grow mustaches to raise awareness and in order to “change the face of men’s health”.
In the past, Pamela Kleemann-Passi had often expressed her art through the use of human hair.
“I find it fascinating how hair can go from something so normal and identity-defining when attached to the body, to something so intriguingly disquieting as soon as it’s removed or shed,” Pamela Kleemann-Passi writes on her website.
Raising awareness towards men’s health is a subject particularly dear to the artist after, in 2016, she lost her late husband Passi Joe to prostate and colorectal cancer.
The loss influenced Kleemann-Passi’s artistic vision, and the Mo-Hair suit project resonated with her on an artistic and personal level.
Of course, creating a two-piece suit made of mustache hair also presented its own challenges.
“I’d made two-dimensional garments from head hair before, I’d never worked with ‘mo-hair’. I knew I was going to need A LOT of it,” said Kleemann-Passi.
Widely used in tailoring, Mohair is a warm yet breathable blend of soft Angora goat undercoat and sheep wool.
Mohairon the other hand, is a record-breaking show that fashion can and has to be a conversation starter.
The suit, in particular, is made thanks to the help of men who have lived these issues on their skin.
First, collaborators who had been affected by mental health or physical issues autonomously mailed their hair for this project.
Then, the remaining amount of mustache hair used for the ‘Worn to be Heard’ 2021 campaign was sourced from Sustainable Salons, an Australian social enterprise that reuses 95% of the hair that would otherwise be tossed in salons’ bins.
However, men’s facial hair wasn’t the only thing included in the fabric – the contributors’ quotes have been included, too.
Quotes from the donors have been printed into the suit’s lining, together with a message from Kleemann-Passi herself. The use of the quotes and hair created a unique piece ‘born to be heard’.
On the other hand, the process of creating the outside of the record-breaking suit consisted in layering contrasting shades of hair between panels of black cotton and fine tulle.
“This is a unique record to hold and we are delighted to be awarded this title. POLITIX menswear will continue to raise funds and awareness for men’s health into the future, and if we break records doing so then all the better!” – Andrew Vance
The black cotton contained the hair, finely pressed together and stitched with the label’s signature windowpane pattern.
The unique fabric blend was then refined with a blind hemming stitch.
“My husband, Passi Joe, passed away from prostate and colorectal cancer in 2016. He loved a snappy suit, and often grew an impressive mustache,” writes Kleemann-Passi on her message inside the record-breaking Mo-Hair suit.
“The fabric of this suit was made from the mustache of many men but, for me, this is for him. I want this suit to challenge, intrigue, amuse and start difficult conversations.” – Pamela Kleemann-Passi