Munich/Florence. This year once again, MINI is unveiling a new Capsule Collection at the Pitti Uomo, one of the leading fairs worldwide for men’s fashion and lifestyle. For the MINI FASHION – BEYOND NATIVE collection, the brand is again collaborating with five up-and-coming international designers. The collection sees the designers highlighting the creative tension that exists between their cultural roots and adopted homelands.
“MINI has always been a brand for people who dare to do things differently, to stand out,” says Esther Bahne, Head of MINI Brand Strategy and Business Innovation. “In the 1960s the first Mini became a design icon, and this heritage inspired us to launch MINI FASHION. We really wanted to stick our necks out and join with creatives to bring something new and bold to the industry.”
“The idea of this collaboration is to give a platform to five creatives with different cultural backgrounds. They know how to take the unique energy engendered by fusing different cultural influences and translate it into exceptional products,” explains Sabine Ringel, Creative Lead at MINI FASHION. “The fact that these migrants have experienced and crossed national and cultural boundaries is the very reason for the richness and depth in their designs. And they have brought these perspectives with them into the MINI FASHION – BEYOND NATIVE collection.”
Five expressive fashion items for the urban traveller.
The collaboration with MINI has produced five fashion items for urban traveller who enjoys roaming between different cultures and ways of life, both in the city and beyond. The products from designers Diego Vanassibara, Edwina Hörl, Pronounce, Post Imperial and Perret Schaad combine traditional cultural cues inherent in their countries of origin with contemporary elements from their adopted homes. BEYOND NATIVE is inspired by one of the most diverse living environments of all: the city, MINI’s natural habitat.
Diego Vanassibara – Shoes for the urban traveller.
Born in Brazil, Diego Vanassibara now lives and works in the UK. The peaceful rural region of Brazil where he grew up couldn’t be more different from his present-day home of London. Diego blends his early influences with the urban, architectural and historical stimuli of London to create a brand new take on men’s shoes. His design for the BEYOND NATIVE collection is based on the classic British derby style, an elegant leather shoe that he interprets with Brazilian lightness and creative nonchalance. The laser-cut hole pattern gives the black leather upper a light and airy feel. This contrasts with a chunky corrugated sole, which catches the eye with its novel mix of vulcanised rubber and fabric. The blue insole, meanwhile, adds an extra splash of colour in familiar MINI style.
Edwina Hörl – A coat for the urban traveller.
Austrian-born Edwina Hörl lives and works in Japan. The self-taught fashion designer addresses current social issues with her biannual collections and seeks to stir critical debate in the process. For the BEYOND NATIVE collection, she drew her inspiration from the design of a traditional Japanese haori coat and teamed up with MINI to style a comfortably tailored, unisex linen coat. By incorporating some ingenious trench coat details, she has succeeded in completely changing the effect and function of this traditional item of clothing. Dyed pure indigo, the coat has a sumi coated lining, which has various properties, some reputedly antiviral. A separate bag can either be attached to the belt or worn as a shoulder bag by using the belt as a strap. Both variations offer plenty of room for all urban travel essentials.
Pronounce – A hoodie for the urban traveller.
Yushan Li and Jun Zhou, the two minds behind promising new label Pronounce, are originally from China but spend some of their time living and working in Italy. At Pitti Uomo 91 in January this year, MINI and Condé Nast presented them with “The Latest Fashion Buzz” award, and they are now embarking on the next leg of their creative journey with MINI through their contribution to the BEYOND NATIVE collection. Their oversized hoodie features a smart, contemporary design combining silk, denim and jersey fabric. The mix of materials is intended to represent the fusion of different cultures within the garment. The comfortable cut and blend of materials make the hoodie ideal for wearing almost anywhere and to a variety of occasions.
Post-Imperial – A scarf for the urban traveller.
Niyi Okuboyejo was born in Lagos, Nigeria but grew up in the US state of Texas. He now lives and works in the Harlem neighbourhood of New York. This is where he creates the designs for his label Post-Imperial, at the same time as maintaining close ties with his home country. The fabrics for his cheerful, colourful products are produced in Nigeria and dyed using the traditional adire technique before being sent to the US for finishing. This is how the double-layered silk scarf designed for BEYOND NATIVE was produced. It has been decorated with a typical image from Nigeria using the traditional dyeing technique of the Yoruba people. The indigo- and azure-coloured scarf measures 50 x 183 cm, allowing it to be used in a variety of ways. Made of 100% silk, this is a top-class travel accessory.
Perret Schaad – A pouch for the urban traveller.
Tutia Schaad comes from Vietnam but now lives and works in Germany. She has been running Berlin-based label Perret Schaad together with Johanna Perret since 2009. For the BEYOND NATIVE Capsule Collection, the designer duo have come up with an interpretation of the travel pouch – that indispensable accessory for every serious traveller – designed for day-to-day use in the city. The back is made of high-quality, burgundy-coloured leather, while the parachute silk front in a shade of coral has a white leather pocket sewn onto it with an embossed partner logo. The colour scheme is inspired by the landscape of Vietnam with its patchwork of earthy hues and vivid colour accents. The parachute silk is also a nod to Vietnam, where it is used for all kinds of purposes. A rugged cord fashioned on the sort of ropes used by Vietnamese fishermen encourages a firm hold, whether the pouch is carried by hand or attached to luggage.
Limited edition – on sale online from this autumn.
BEYOND NATIVE is the third MINI FASHION Capsule Collection and epitomises the MINI brand’s open and optimistic mindset. The five-piece collection will go on display at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence, Italy from 13 – 16 June 2017 and be available for purchase in limited numbers from this autumn.