Christopher Ræburn & MCM Team Up For Sustainability

Christopher Ræburn & MCM Team Up For Sustainability

Everything you need to know about the forthcoming climate-conscious capsule collection

Everything you need to know about the forthcoming climate-conscious capsule collection

Photography: Portia Hunt

Text: Maxwell Williams

There’s much to love about Christopher Ræburn’s new S/S '17 collection for MCM, which debuted at the Grand Connaught Rooms this weekend. The London designer put together a unisex collection of travel wear for the brand’s 40th anniversary. For the line, titled “Made to Move,” Ræburn offers up a new way to travel, using sustainable materials as a core to the collaboration.

MCM has been around for 40 years, but it’s become more of a player since Kim Sung-joo, a South Korean businesswoman that everyone refers to as “Mrs. Kim,” purchased the brand in 2005. Tapping Ræburn—a highly coveted designer—for the collection was a bold statement, and speaks to the brand’s recent commitment to sustainability.

“I’m very proud that MCM were interested in the work that I was doing around sustainability in my own line,” Ræburn said backstage after the show. “Everything you see here is underpinned by sustainability. We’re not on a soapbox saying you have to buy sustainable; we’re actually just saying, here’s a really cool jacket or a cool backpack. And then when you get that product home, you understand that it’s Bluesign approved, it’s made in the best factories in the world, the quilt has been made from recycled bottles.”

Ræburn came to develop the grey and blue camo polygons by breaking down several MCM bags, known for their “Visetos” logo. “The first thing I did was ask for ‘seconds,’ the bags that didn’t quite make the grade, then deconstructed them,” he says. “It’s quite a crazy first step that I don’t think many people would take, but what you’re looking at is so much detail, and it’s the start of camouflage.”

The camouflage pattern was transferred to bombers, trenches, parkas, pants, and shorts. The hoodies and T-shirts have MCM spelled out in a design that looks like soundwaves made with vape smoke. Ræburn, who also serves as Victorinox’s artistic director, said the collection took 9 to 12 months of work to complete, a bit longer than he usually works, “in order to get the right pieces ready. It’s for the global nomad.”

The presentation itself reflected that idea, taking place in the dimly lit ballroom on a rotunda with a screen surrounding it that displayed LED projections of weather patterns. It’s a bit ironic, the idea that a traveler will need such substantial outerwear as the camo trench when they encounter heavy weather patterns exacerbated by global warming—perhaps the sustainable initiative is coming at precisely the right moment.

It was also one of the most star-studded affairs of L:CM, with a front row that featured Will.I.Am, Lucky Blue Smith, and South Korean rapper CL (who said the show was “really cool”).


J.W.Anderson Spring 2017 Backstage