NEW TO LN-CC - Mackintosh 0001 – Technical Modern Uniform
Mackintosh has a prolific history dating back to the 1800s when the brand’s founder Charles Mackintosh patented a method of rubberising cotton to create a waterproof fabric, the simple idea became a significant innovation which has led the brand as a front runner in men’s outerwear ever since. The fly-front garments and simple silhouettes remain modern thanks to fabric innovation and minimalist design. This season see’s the launch of something entirely new for the brand in Mackintosh 0001, a new designer focused line led by Kiko Kostadinov. Working as the creative director of the project Kostadinov has brought his contemporary design drive to the project’s debut collection, highlighting Mackintosh’s timeless innovation and simplicity and the sense of uniform synonymous with it whilst also bringing an entirely new energy of his own. Working with the brand’s factories in Scotland and Italian based Loro Piana, the collection offers a distinctly modern designer driven output for the heritage menswear brand.
Recently graduating from Central Saint Martins University in London, Kostadinov was inspired by the Arte povera movement and artists such as Jannis Kounellis who are known for their singular use of techniques and materials which are repeated to create their work. Incorporating these ideas into his first collection for Mackintosh the collection is rendered entirely in black and features a number of classic silhouettes and the brand’s rubberised cotton fabrication. Traditional rubber tape lines emphasise the cut and finish of many of the pieces, a nod to the time-honoured construction techniques, each look is also designed to have matching trousers, continuing with the idea of uniformity which is continued in the designer’s personal collections.
We spoke to Kostadinov ahead of the launch of the highly anticipated Mackintosh 0001 collection below;
LN-CC: HOW DID YOU FIRST CONNECT WITH FASHION GROWING UP? WHAT ROLE DID IT PLAY IN YOUR UPBRINGING?
Kiko Kostadinov: I had no connection to fashion while growing up so it was not part of my upbringing. I was interested in personal style but never fashion.
HOW DID YOUR COLLABORATION WITH MACKINTOSH COME ABOUT, HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE FIRST COLLECTION, WHAT INSPIRED THE COLLECTION?
K.K: The first collection was approached as an introduction. I focused on pushing very traditional techniques of applying rubber tape in a newer way. Also introducing a complete ready-to-wear line with modern fabrics such as Loro Piana storm system. Pushing the hand-made process was important and it's something the factory in Scotland is really excited about.
USING A SORT OF MODERN UNIFORM AND SIMPLIFIED TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS HOW HAVE YOU RE-INTERPRETED THE BRAND IN MACKINTOSH 0001?
K.K: The techniques we use might look simplified but are actually quite laboured. The materials we use are picked with consideration and balanced to match Mackintosh’s own rubberised bonded cottons.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION WITH ARTE POVERA AND HOW IS HAVE INSPIRED YOUR WORK?
K.K: I was always attracted to artist involved in this art period. It was never right to use them as an example in my own work. The Mackintosh project gave me the perfect reason to indulge in an area close to me. Using materials as starting point for collection and core principles of the movement link very well with the craftsmanship of Mackintosh. Repeating their use of single material to create a vast range of products.
WHAT DOES THE RE-INTERPRETATION OF CLASSIC MENSWEAR BRANDS SUCH AS MACKINTOSH REPRESENT TO YOU? HOW DO YOU THINK SUCH COLLABORATIONS WILL EVOLVE IN THE FUTURE?
K.K: Mackintosh, in particular, holds very special techniques and products. Every company is in need of fresh energy that helps them utilize the resources they have into newer products in newer times.
WORKING WITH A BLACK COLOUR PALETTE HOW DID YOU PLAY WITH TEXTURE AND SILHOUETTES WITHIN THE COLLECTION?
K.K: We focused on black as colour for the first season as we wanted to show newer silhouettes that are not originally associated with Mackintosh brand.
WHAT MATERIALS ARE YOU PARTICULARLY FOND OF WORKING WITH, IS SUSTAINABILITY A FACTOR IN CHOOSING THESE?
K.K: It really depends on the story of each season. Material is usually a starting point for the concept of the collection, which also reflects directly into final selection of the fabrics. We try to work with companies such as Loro Piana, which are very conscious of how they source the raw materials.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK PROCESS FROM DESIGN TO COMPLETION?
K.K: We focus on sourcing first-hand research early on during the season. This research is then processed along with endless fittings along the way. Once we have final samples from the factories, we complete the story with casting and styling. All elements assure that the story is completed.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU AND YOUR COLLABORATION WITH MACKINTOSH?
K.K: Expanding Mackintosh into more ready-to-wear world with highly considered design process.