After building an established relationship over the past few years, contemporary vintage brand Byronesque and London-based concept store MACHINE-A are linking up to present a new approach that combines their unique worlds. A blend of the two, MACHINE-B is the name of their partnership that fully integrates ‘carefully curated archival pieces into the same space as the current edit of emerging and established designers’.
The project has enlisted some big names in the fashion world, too. Launching on Thursday November 4 as part of MACHINE-A’s digital and physical retail space, Byronesque has selected archival pieces from five brands whose designs feel just as relevant today as they did when they were first presented. These are Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simons, As Four and Gareth Pugh.
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“It’s a process that started developing a long time ago,” explains Stavros Karelis, the founder of MACHINE-A. Through constant conversations, Karelis developed a relationship with Baronesque, who now work together in sync. “Primarily, it’s about two brands that appreciate creative integrity. The approach that Stavros takes in the contemporary buy is so similar to the way we sell contemporary vintage that it made complete sense that we do this together,” adds Gill Linton, the co-founder and CEO of Byronesque.
In a latest sustainability push, this radical approach to retail aims to change how consumers look at individual pieces, and encourages them to respect the garments’ value beyond their industry-imposed shelf-time. “The idea of seasonality makes the lifespan of a product so short which is unfair to both the designers and the stores. This feels like something that puts time to the side and the focus becomes on the design and the person behind it, which feels coherent with the rest of the collections” says Karelis.
When it came to selecting the designers to launch this project with, the decision came quite naturally to the pair: “if you think about it from a design or cultural perspective, those five brands have truly changed the creative history of fashion along with the norms and laws by defying their own eras. What they had done in the past is relevant to this day.”
The project houses rare runway pieces from Rick Owens (2002-2013), as well as pieces featuring the harsh lines of Gareth Pugh (2006-2015), the soft masculinity of Raf Simons (1998-2008) and the sculptural qualities of Martin Margiela (1988-2008). Despite being as at home on the shop floor as in a fashion exhibition, these pieces aren’t just for admiring – they are there to be bought and worn for years.
MACHINE-B, the partnership project and drop, launches on November 4 online and in-store at 13 Brewer St, London W1F 0RH.