The acclaimed French brand headed up by Glenn Martens will present its Autumn/Winter 2019 collection at the Italian trade show in January
FLORENCE, Italy — Pitti Uomo has announced the first special guest designer to show at the 95th edition of the Italian men’s trade show in January 2019 will be Belgian designer Glenn Martens, creative director of Paris-based men’s and women’s label Y/Project. As a result, the brand will not show its menswear collection at Paris Fashion Week.
It was Martens' "vision of combining streetwear and couture" that appealed to Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive of Pitti Immagine, which oversees biannual fashion trade fairs Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati. “Glenn has created a new aesthetic language that we really like," he told BoF, adding that the designer has "the right ingredients to be successful."
“Our womenswear has much more followers [but] the core of each collection is shown during men’s season [so] Pitti Uomo presents a big platform to put our menswear in the spotlight," said Martens. “If you see the list of designers that have shown before me, it’s great to be part of that family,” he continued, referring to Virgil Abloh, Raf Simons and Craig Green. "I hope it’s going to help our growth."
Martens, who attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and graduated top of his class, worked under Jean Paul Gaultier as junior designer for the brand’s men’s label G2 before launching his own namesake label in Paris in 2012, which was discontinued after three seasons.
He joined Y/Project shortly after, assisting the label’s founder and creative director Yohan Serfaty. Following Serfaty’s passing in April 2013, Martens took over the helm, transforming the Rick Owens-inspired menswear label into a more eclectic men’s and women's brand that merges youth culture with historical references.
The approach of marrying high and low culture quickly resonated with global retailers — Y/Project currently has over 150, up from 12 in 2013 — along with a celebrity clientele, including Rihanna, Chloë Sevingy and Gigi Hadid. The brand was also a finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2016, won the ANDAM Award in 2017 and is expected to reach €5.5 million ($6.3 million) in revenue by the end of the year, up from €3 million (3.45 million) the year prior. Recent collaborations with Diesel and Ugg are a testament to its ongoing appeal.
Martens says showing in Florence feels like somewhat of a homecoming. “It was the first city I ever visited without my parents when I was 17,” he says. “As a child I’ve always been intrigued by the artistry of Florence. Now that I have the opportunity to show there, I want to connect it with the historic background that makes up part of Y/Project’s brand DNA.”
By Christopher Morency for Business Of Fashion
A Runway That Reflects Our World: How 4 Brands Are Bringing Fashion to Life
There’s nothing typical about Gypsy Sport, Ambush, Y/Project, and Martine Rose. Each of these brands is not only helmed by young talents with a knack for disruption—Rio Uribe at Gypsy Sport, Verbal and Yoon at Ambush, Glenn Martens at Y/Project, and the eponymous Martine Rose—but they have found innovative ways to express a sense of the cultural, contemporary, and communal.
At a typical Gypsy Sport New York Fashion Week affair, you can find pregnant mothers and young drag queens modeling Uribe’s craft-couture pieces. Tokyo-based Verbal and Yoon have bridged the gap between street culture and the hallowed halls of Parisian fashion with Ambush, which turns staid luxury tropes on their heads. At Y/Project, nothing is too weird for Martens, from thigh-high Uggs to mashed-up velvet suiting—all of which reflects the way his friends are dressing now. And then there’s Rose, who took her London Fashion Week show this season to a cul-de-sac in St. Leonards Square, where street-cast models captivated homeowners who watched from their windows.
Street Casting Is a Must
From his first rogue show in New York’s Washington Square Park, Uribe has been adamant about casting his friends and collaborators in his events. “I wanted to express fashion, and I wanted to show body types and skin tones that are not often celebrated, so I got all my friends together and was like, ‘Hey I’m starting a fashion line and having a fashion show by the park,’” he told Nnadi. “It’s always about the people, for me. It’s about bringing people into the circle.”
Rose echoed that sentiment, explaining that her recent menswear show was entirely comprised of men from the neighborhood she held it in. “All of the cast for that particular show were local boys from the area, some of the residents had their grandsons [in the show] . . . I really identified with that feeling of community.”
For Martens, who has been leading the wave of diversity at Y/Project, it’s the person in the clothes that matters most. “We do a lot of street casting, especially for menswear. For me, it’s really because we try to create diversity on the catwalk in a way that every single look is a different person. We really have to fall in love with a model, it doesn’t matter where the model comes from,” he said.
There Are Benefits to Being an Outsider
Yoon recently joined Dior as a director of jewellery and accessories for its menswear lines—but she admits that the differences between an iconic maison and her own brand, run with her husband, weren’t all that great. “We’ve always been the outsiders, everything was self-taught. The way we grew as a business wasn’t the way that a lot of people have gotten into those big houses, so to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect,” she began. “Once I went in and I realised that everything that I learned—starting the business from nothing and getting involved in every aspect of it—it’s the same principles. And I had so much that I could contribute to this big house that they didn’t realise. That’s the reality that we’re talking about.” She went on to explain that her from-the-ground-up mentality at Ambush—she is closely involved in the marketing, public relations, production, and sales of her brand—gave her an advantage when stepping into the Dior ateliers.
Don’t Get Hung Up on Catchphrases Such as Streetwear or Hypebeast
Streetwear as a catchall fashion term? “It just seems really dated, it feels like an outdated description of something that you can’t just describe very one-dimensionally,” said Rose. “There are so many other things that streetwear encompasses, it just feels too reductive. I think there’s a new and different attitude that has given fashion a new life, but it’s more complex than just streetwear.”
Yoon was quick to note that the idea of street fashion is far from new, name-checking the hippies, punks, and rebels of the ’80s. “Streetwear is nothing new. Every decade has its own—usually what’s happening in the society in the political sense, that’s what gets reflected in the street, and they manifest those ideas through what they wear.”
For Martens, the hypebeast economy of “more more more fashion” is antithetical to his vision at Y/Project—even if it’s a rethink of the fashion model. “When you’re too hyped, you burn yourself out,” he said. “The moment we sell too many denims, the next season we’re not going to have any denims anymore.”
Sustainability Is Cool
“Sustainability was not something at the top of my mind when I started designing, but as I made collections more and more often, I would have inventory that I was sitting on that nobody was buying and so many samples that never got to see the runway,” said Uribe. “I hated having that much waste in my life.” Since then, he repositioned his business to a made-to-order model. “What I’m trying to do is make it cool to be sustainable and actually appreciate slow fashion.”
Copying Can Be Flattering—When It’s Done Right
“It depends by whom and in what sort of context,” began Rose, on the issue of the rampant plagiarism in fashion. “When it’s students, it’s deeply flattering to me, to be honest. It’s resonating with people. Everyone is inspired, I was inspired by designers. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s an honor to be inspiring the next generation of people. It’s very different when it’s done by a big corporation or someone who’s making a lot of money.”
Uribe agreed. “When a corporation does it, it feels like rape. We made things that were sustainable . . . and right after the show, they have versions at [high-street stores].”
See the full article by Steff Yotka HERE
inclusive lingerie inspired by the world's last matriarchy
London-based underwear, loungewear and swimwear label MARIEYAT looks to China's Kingdom of Women for its latest collection, and adds men’s underwear for the first time.
From the moment MARIEYAT was launched in 2013 by Marie, its London-based CSM-grad founder, the brand has cultivated a world of female empowerment and its message has always been: inspired by women, created by women, made for women. For its fourth collection -- as they add men’s underwear for the first time -- MARIEYAT took inspiration from the Mosuo tribe in China, close to the Tibetan border. “They’re the world’s only true matriarchal society, where women raise women,” Marie explained at the intimate, on-schedule London Fashion Week presentation.
“Women from the Mosuo tribe do not marry, take as many lovers as they wish and have no word for ‘father’ or ‘husband’", Shahesta Shaitly explained in an Observer feature back in 2010. In the Kingdom of Women -- as it’s known across China -- the Mosuo women make the key decisions. “There are parallels to how we work as a team of women, we are all working towards the same goal and we’re all equal,” Marie explained. That’s a powerful message. At a time in which fashion critics are contemplating the industry’s reactions to the toxic masculinity pandemic across society, the need for labels that truly respect women is greater than ever. As we exclusively share frequent MARIEYAT collaborator and regular i-D contributor Ronan McKenzie’s visual documentation of the creative female-powered launch, it should be clear to see that MARIEYAT truly respects women.
With each yearly release the label listens to the needs of its women and the range evolves accordingly. “We began by offering an alternative style of underwear that just didn’t exist in the market,” she explained. “We wanted to create styles that were comfortable to wear everyday, while being unconventional and rich in interesting details." With its growing family of women in mind, this balancing act between comfort and sensuality has been the continuous thread between each of the brand's first four collections.
“I’ve always wanted to take it slow, to grow organically so we pace ourselves on the process of making, creating a new collection once a year instead of seasonally," Marie explained. "By doing so we are able to get feedback and utilise this to develop our range of products." It's this desire to satisfy the needs of the women who continually inspire them that quietly and steadily drive MARIEYAT forward. After introducing swimwear last year and new styles of underwear and knitwear this year, MARIEYAT has listened to the pleas of men and expanded into men’s underwear for the first time. After showing the collection earlier this month, it’s dropping in-stores now. A new business model for a new generation.
“Since we started, we’ve had men approach us on emails and socials because quite rightly, they assumed we could transform it into menswear. We held off because we wanted the women’s to be where we wanted it to be. We wanted its signatures to be recognised and then branch out. I don’t want the men’s to be that different from the women’s, so that’s why we created this set-up, the idea of a family.”
Centred around the idea of an empowered community, they worked with with London-based casting agency 11casting to ensure that alongside MARIEYAT muses, the new collection was worn by friends, friends-of-friends and an actual family. With the launch of men’s, the brand’s family has just been extended.
See the full article by Steve Salter HERE
Molly Goddard is our kind of girl.
All good vibes and inner confidence, she dresses to please herself. Just listen to how Goddard describes her SS19 muse as “slightly flush… unsure whether it’s down to sunburn or the cevezas, but she doesn’t care it becomes her.” It certainly does.
Frills, created by gathering tens of metres of cotton into architectural volumes were the name of the game here. It’s what Goddard is know for, but she injected plenty of newness. How about a pair of Molly Goddard culottes with an explosion of ruffles at the hem, or an unstructured tulle housecoat? There were fully sequinned options too including a teeny tiny skater dress which conjoined the bad girl attitude of Tonya Harding.
Speaking of bad girls, Goddard introduced a vamp element, with slashed-to-the-waist frilled party dresses. There was plenty to please the Goddard super fans, who tuned up in their voluminous smocked finery but it was also great to see Goddard push her aesthetic with new shapes and structures. We raise a glass of ceveza to that.
Words by Claudia Croft for 10 Magazine
Her Accessories and Streetwear Are All Over Rihanna and Kanye, and Paris’ Runways, Too. In Tokyo, the Dior Homme Jeweller Shares Her Path to Success.
I catch Yoon Ahn exactly one week after the debut of her inaugural jewelry collection for Dior Homme Spring/Summer 2019 at Paris fashion week. She was back in her home base of Tokyo for just eight days and was scheduled to leave for London to start work on next seasons collection the following morning. On this, the sweltering last day of June, we meet in Shibuya, at the AMBUSH Workshop—Yoon’s jewelry turned ready-to-wear label.
Like a growing number of her peers, the 41-year-old designer wasn’t formally trained. She started out making jewelry for fun with her husband Verbal, a member of the Japanese rap group the Teriyaki Boyz who gained popularity in 2005. Back then, rap had yet to become the new pop. Japanese streetwear was mixing with 90s hip-hop style—full-zip Bape hoodies, varsity jackets, stunner shades, baggy denim, and LA Gear high-tops. Their work channeled the “golden era” of rap with whopping gold chains and Slick Rick rings. Picture a thick gold chain with a medallion the shape of Beethoven’s bust, wearing diamond-encrusted shades and a studded leather jacket. Kanye and Pharrell were two of the first American rappers to embrace this scene, spending lots of time in Japan, collaborating with the Teriyaki Boyz, and wearing Yoon and Verbal’s designs. Nostalgic extravagance was in, and thanks in part to perfect timing and high-profile co-signs, the jewelry took off.
Eight years after the birth of AMBUSH jewelry came a full AMBUSH ready-to-wear collection, an LVMH nomination in 2017, a Tokyo fashion week presentation in 2018, and announced last spring, the appointment to jewelry designer for Dior Homme, courtesy of its newly-minted creative director Kim Jones, a long-time friend of Yoon’s.
The AMBUSH Workshop in Shibuya is comprised of two stories, doubling as a retail location on street level, and an office on the second floor. I wander into the retail space and there are at least 10 shoppers inside, two are studying a binder filled with images of AMBUSH jewelry offerings, one is glued to a rack of graphic tees with unicorn and wolf illustrations that read “Euphoric Oblivion” and “Traces to Nowhere." Yoon’s designs are a hybrid of soft and hard. She’ll take a pop can and crush it, turning it into a purse. Or she’ll take a fitted hat with a generic sports insignia and give it an exaggerated romantic brim, creating a sunhat. A lifejacket becomes a puffer jacket, or a matching fleece sweatsuit gets fitted and tailored to become a viable going-out look. There’s a poetic nature in her work that comes not from subtlety, but from grand gestures.
I’m escorted upstairs by a very friendly and unassuming assistant dressed in an outfit that skews more corporate than AMBUSH, into a small but bright lobby. It’s minimally decorated with a table and chairs, and a small rolling rack of AMBUSH clothing in the corner. I’m resisting the urge to touch when Yoon emerges promptly through a white door, calmly sipping on a Starbucks iced tea. In this 40 degree Tokyo heat, staving off my immense jetlag, I’m dripping in sweat and she’s dripping in jewelry—the crystals in her rings making her look Ultra HD like she just stepped out of the screen on a 4K television. On each hand, huge aqua blue and violet purple square crystals encased in gold and silver. There’s more. On almost every finger and knuckle, at least 10 thin diamond bands, two of which have diamond-covered teardrops dangling off of them as if they’re crying. Her long talon nails match, gleaming in a shade of champagne silver.
Yoon grew up in Seattle “before it was hip,” she says. Pre-Starbucks, pre-Amazon, the Seattle that birthed the grunge-era. The overcast sky made it an easy place to get depressed, Yoon says, and she didn’t want anything to do with that. Born in 1977 in Korea, Yoon is the oldest of two—her father in the U.S. Army and her mother a homemaker. Her dad’s job took them to Hawaii and California before they settled in the Seattle suburbs in the 80s. “I was obsessed with Eddie Vedder,” recalled Yoon of her West Coast adolescence, a telling comment that makes sense of the grunge-inspired details often present in her work. “I can appreciate Seattle, but back then I used to hate it so much.” Yoon grew obsessed with New York City and London and the world she saw in the pages of i-D, Vogue, and The Face.
After high school, instead of heading to New York or London, she ended up at Boston University to study graphic design, a move that turned out to be pivotal in her life. It was here, in the late 90s, that she met her husband Verbal at church. “Christianity and going to church is big in Korean culture, and I grew up in a Christian family,” says Yoon. “So when I went to Boston I was looking for a church and that's where we met.” This chance meeting—call it God’s plan, or the law of attraction—would become a pattern in Yoon’s life. It was 2003 when she made the jump to Tokyo, and things kept clicking. Kanye wore their AMBUSH ‘POW!’ pendant—an XL diamond rendering of the classic comic book speech bubble— and suddenly they were fielding calls from international fashion buyers. She also met Virgil through Kanye, back when both guys were interns at Fendi. Kanye introduced her to Kim Jones too around this time, backstage at a Teriyaki Boyz show. This was ten years ago. Pre-YEEZY, pre-Virgil mania, pre-Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton.
"FASHION IS POP CULTURE NOW, SO YOU HAVE TO BE THE JUGGLER, IN THE FRONT."
Paris men’s fashion week Spring/Summer 2018 was historic for the aforementioned group. Kim Jones presented his inaugural collection for Dior Homme with Yoon, Virgil Abloh held the most hyped fashion show of the year for Louis Vuitton, and Kanye West showed up to support. Friends for a decade that are all finding themselves on top at the same time. Like the Antwerp Six for the insta-generation. Together, they’re redefining what a designer can be and simultaneously sparking a massive cultural debate. Is it simply friendship, or design codependency? Would the new breed of fashion designer/creative director be successful on their own, without a hyped crew to back them up? “As a designer today you have to be the best marketing person, the best PR person, you have to do everything,” says Yoon. “It's not about designing anymore, because there's more expectation on you than ever before. Fashion is pop culture now, so you have to be the juggler, in the front.”
With her appointment to Dior Homme Jewelry designer, Yoon balances two jobs and is responsible for twice the amount of output, a reality that she admits worries her without preoccupying her. Her working relationship with Kim Jones is particularly fruitful because of their long-term friendship. “He sets the tone for the collection and what he wants to do, and it's my job to come up with ideas to complement the directions he's taking.”
Much has been written about high fashion’s current changing of the guard, and Yoon is undeniably a key player in this new luxury establishment, but surprisingly, early into our conversation, she expresses that she isn’t sure of that herself. “I don't know if I'm a key player or not. I'm not trying to be that person, but I do feel responsible, in a way, now that I've been given this platform to exercise my philosophy.”
When we meet she’s wearing the AMBUSH tee that says “Euphoric Oblivion” but it’s tucked into a pink pleated skirt so that only the word “Euphoric” is visible. There’s a fluidity to the way she styles her own designs, accentuating their meaning. Her fans follow her lead, call it aspirational-Yoon. It becomes obvious to me why she's referred to by her brand, Yoon AMBUSH, instead of Yoon Ahn. Her selfies are magnetic, too. KiraKira, the faux sparkle app, even looks different on her—it’s shining out of her eyes. Bella and Gigi Hadid, Simi and Haze, the Kardashians, and the Jenners all want to wear her clothes. They want to be friends with her too. “I’m obsessed with you,” Bella comments on a selfie that Yoon posted in June, depicting herself and her cat both glowing like cosmic deities.
Yoon’s early days of peacocking on the Tokyo club circuit have primed her for the realities of the industry. “Sometimes, when people don't know you, they judge you by what you post, and how you seem to appear. That's why you also need to understand that surface is surface. Once someone opens that lid, they're going to be seeking depth. I might look a certain way on social media. I'm a girl, at the end of the day, and I like to have long weaves and wear lipstick, but I make sure I work my ass off, and my results are there. Everything in life is a balance. Especially as a creator, you need to lead with results.”
When AMBUSH held their first presentation at Tokyo fashion week in March of this year, the crowd was indicative of Yoon’s natural ability to draw like-minded people into her world, especially in a city like Tokyo where fashion industry elites don’t usually make time for up-and-comers. “All these different people from different industries came out. Chitose from Sacai, to Jun from Undercover, to Hiroshi Fujiwara, to J-Pop idols, to Kiko Mizuhara. I don't think there was an event where all those types of people gathered in one place before, and I think that surprised a lot of people, too. That's a reflection of who we are. We’re not just one specific scene.” Yoon proves that non-traditional design credentials are no longer a barrier to entry, even in the most conservative of arenas.
Seven days before our interview, Yoon was jogging down the Dior runway in Paris in pink sequinned Comme des Garçons Homme Plus shorts hand-in-hand with Kim Jones. While she might not be sure of her place in the new canon of luxury design, she’s embracing her newfound responsibilities. “It’s weird, all those people that I used to read about in i-D, Vogue, and The Face—I'm working with them now. I didn't imagine that. Now that I'm a little bit older and wiser, I'm really starting to believe [in] the law of attraction thing. That if you want it so much and work towards it, it does come to you.”
Interview by Romany Williams for SSENSE