Raheem Sterling is no stranger to the fashion world.
With several modelling gigs, brand collabs and campaigns under his belt, the football superstar remains high in demand on and off the pitch and now Raheem has collaborated with his friend Samiya Miah for a new line called Sixteen Ninety Two.
The two friends and now collaborators met through mutual friends and bonded over a love of fashion.
Raheem told GRM, “Samiya showed me some of her designs and I was so gassed off them, I was like, ‘Nah we’ve deffo got to do something.’
“Over time we just built a relationship, became closer and then we started to work on actually trying to do something. We got the right people involved and we are where we are today.”
Named after the year that an earthquake destroyed Jamaica’s former capital Port Royal, Sixteen Ninety Two represents the Earth but also strength, redemption and evolution.
Explaining the brand, Sterling said, “We were working on designs already at this time and then I did a collaboration with Clark’s, I was designing a shoe for Jamaica and the name just stuck with me.
“With Samiya really bringing about the Earthy vibe and the earthquake that took place in Port Royal that year that founded Kingston, it made sense and it connected.”
Making its debut at London Fashion Week, the first release from Sixteen Ninety Two was its Autumn/Winter 2021 collection that saw premium grade fabrics adorn diverse models for the two lines under the Sixteen Ninety Two umbrella – Main and Jersey.
Sixteen Ninety Two is described by the line’s creative team as embodying the spirit of Jamaica, a selling point that falls in line with Sterling’s heritage.
“It’s a happy place. A very chilled, easy-going place,” says Raheem, “In Jamaica, they don’t really care what anyone thinks. They wear what they want. If they think that something looks nice, you can’t tell them anything, that’s one thing I’ve learned.
“Being Jamaican is very important to me, it’s everyday life, that’s all I know to be honest with you. At the same time, I’m changing a little bit like now I’ve got a new chef. I’ve always had a Jamaican chef in my house cooking my food for me for football but I’m trying something different.”
Away from his plethora of pictures in his Man City kit, the Boy from Brent can be seen making bold fashion statements for editorial spreads and at events across his Instagram. Fashion is clearly important to Sterling and he wears everything with confidence.
“I feel like I’m not scared of trying stuff,” he explains, “I won’t try too much but I like to put different things together and I don’t just stick to one sort of style.”
Coming from humble beginnings, his first-ever item of designer clothing was a Roberto Cavalli suit gifted to him by his Mum on his 16th birthday. Now a trip to his wardrobe would find you shocked by the large collection of designer shoes.
“I’ve got a bit too many. There’s always times I’m just clearing out, giving to friends, sending them to Jamaica. Being lucky and fortunate enough to get trainers being sent to you, sometimes it’s a bit too much, you don’t want it to become a sin.”
His biggest style inspiration? Canadian pop star and music icon Justin Bieber.
“He can do anything,” says Raheem, “He can do the smart, streetwear, just anything, anything he puts together is fresh. JB is on the money, he’s number one. He’s fresh man. He’s the freshest guy on the planet.
“Do you know what’s the funniest thing? He wore something, he wore a peach suit in a music video but I didn’t see it and I wore it for a party in the summer. Great minds think alike.”
Raheem feels himself when he’s dressed up, noting that he enjoys the compliments and the personal pride that comes with it. Reflecting on some of his most unique fashion moments, he recalls one red carpet moment in particular that he hails as a favourite.
“I think it was the Usain Bolt premiere. I wore a turtleneck. I wore a suit and the suit had a built in scarf. It was the first time I wore the desert Clark’s. Yeah I felt good. I had a little hat on.”
Splitting his time between London, Manchester and the rest of the world as he takes in global culture through travel, Raheem has observed the differences in fashion at a regional level and a continental one.
“I’d say in London you find a lot more different styles and there’s more quirky looks which I think are important” Raheem explains.
Samiya notices the differences too, telling GRM, “I think in London the girls dress up a lot more so I feel very underdressed when I’m here. But when the girls that I work with go to Manchester, they say the girls in Manchester go all out. So I think it’s just how you see it because the style is so different.”
Inspired by the style of Bella Hadid and Rihanna, Samiya outlined the brand’s plans to move into womenswear soon and to continue to explore the elements through the collections. She said, “We’re already starting Spring/Summer 2022 and we’re going to try and introduce womenswear in.
“The second collection in Spring/Summer 2022 we will do water, so we’ll explore all the forms of water. The one after that we’ll do fire and then air so we have our ideas for the next few collections. We’re excited.”
Both collaborators have different opinions on their favourite items from this collection with Raheem choosing the marble two-piece and Samiya choosing the shell.
The pair do agree on how they want wearers of the line to feel when they adorn a Sixteen Ninety Two garment though, with both saying they want consumers to feel “confident and empowered.”
Samiya added, “I always go back to the craft of the garments like the cut and the shape and it’s quite slouchy as well so it makes you feel comfortable.”
Sixteen Ninety Two will be available via sixteenninetytwo.com from early October and prices range between £80 and £325.