Luke Maritz is the creator of Not Seen Store, the Cape Town based brand, locally hand crafted and inspired by counter culture, youth culture, streetwear and graffiti. On edge and not on hype.
Not Seen has recently launched its online store that is designed exceedingly well. Navigation is easy, the typography selected for the overall feel is wonderful and so is the logo design. Of course what mostly drew my attention was the actual design of the products and their superb lookbooks.
In conversation I had with the creator and owner of the brand he mentioned that his branding concept was created initially as an idea to provide an online platform to buy and resell products like analogue cameras. Maritz continues by saying that due to continuous positive reaction his brand quickly developed into what it is today.
What I find so undeniably intriguing about Not Seen is the fact that Maritz not only designs the products which consists of roadmap bags, fanny packs and rain ponchos, he also does all the styling and photography of the lookbooks himself. His label is a personally directed branding concept. Maritz is an incredibly talented individual with not only the gift of a photographer’s eye but a key sense of design and color combinations. He is bringing out an extremely vivid edginess in his brand that has become his signature. Maritz is not just an entrepreneur. He is an artist.
Not Seen focuses predominantly on the roadmap bag and fanny pack, which has been making its way back onto the streets and the runways of the fashion world since 2015 as a unique way of carrying essentials.
What all Not Seen’s products have in common is their minimalist design using primary colors and black. The products are durable and well constructed. These designs can be used to customize quite a number of different ensembles as can be seen when looking at how Maritz styles his lookbooks. What is striking about this branding concept is how Maritz keeps it proudly South African by using Cape Town’s natural environments as well as cityscape as the backdrop for his lookbooks.
His choice of models subtly reminds me of the type of models American Apparel often steered towards; they fit the “street brand” image incredibly well and have an edgy, rebel teen look to them that is setting the tone for this off beat brand.
The most important thing to recognize about Maritz’ brainchild is that it is intended to add value to the consumers daily experience. In Luke’s own words, his brand is not hype and is here to stay. Not Seen Store is already making waves and I look forward to seeing the vision grow.