MCM is ready to build new momentum in the post-pandemic age — just in time to celebrate its 45th anniversary.
The brand is unveiling two new logo designs to complement its classic “MCM” Cognac Visetos print, and is planning collaborations and global rollouts to grow its rapport with young shoppers.
In June, MCM unveiled a vintage jacquard logo in which fabric is purposefully woven to have a worn feel. And today, a new cubic logo — with an abstract distortion of the brand’s name featured in a Bauhaus typefont motif — will also launch. The new print has been applied to a wide assortment of MCM handbags and clothing designs.
“It’s a great departure into something more modern,” said Dirk Schönberger, MCM’s global creative officer. “We really thought it is time to evolve, and as a first step we started with the vintage monogram. It’s the same graphic logo but in a different material that is almost old-fashioned, we use a weaving technology that gives it a much different touch and feel than the coated canvas. It has a much younger feel and a touch of craft,” he said of the initial jacquard rollout.
Today’s launch of the new cubic monogram enlisted a more conceptual design process that saw Schönberger “really analyzing the codes and DNA of the brand and how to reshuffle them. Ultimately we worked on this cubic form and talked about Bauhaus simplicity and very clear shapes. I like this idea of perspective and infinity,” he said.
So far in Schönberger’s three-year tenure with the label, the designer says he is proud that he and his team, “have not turned the boat around 180 degrees and gone in a complete different direction.”
Rather, he has helped MCM streamline its handbag offering and built out a more recognizable apparel and footwear business that works in visual symbiosis with the brand’s core accessories offerings.
“My approach has always been to look at the DNA and codes of the house and evolve them and I think we have definitely built out the footwear and ready-to-wear collections and have been sizing the handbag collection down to give it more focus and a clearer message,” he said.
“We have had a lot to do in order to build a broader business foundation for the future, so I think we have come to a place now where we are really comfortable with the offerings and how they sit next to leather goods. Ready-to-wear has a clear look and when I came in it was more about single pieces. Now I think the look is complete and we are working on some great new sneakers,” Schönberger added.
MCM continues to work toward its goal of $1 billion in annual sales, which it says it has been within razor distance over the past couple years. In the past, the brand has heavily relied on travel retail — which saw some of the greatest disturbances during the pandemic.
The label quickly rerouted its business objectives in order to focus on local markets and e-commerce. “Honestly I think the company reacted pretty quickly. Of course this was a dramatic year for a lot of brands and I can only applaud the team across the globe for how quickly we were able tot change the business from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce. Travel retail is definitely under pressure and we have really been picking up in other areas,” said the designer.
While MCM struck up something of a quiet period during the pandemic and rerouted much of its marketing budget to drive traffic toward e-commerce, Schönberger says that the brand will now begin to have more of a public presence.
In July, that kicked off with a major feature in the Miami female rap duo the City Girls’ music video for their hit song “Twerkulator” — featuring a floor-to-ceiling backdrop laden with a pink MCM logo, as well as catsuits worn by group members Yung Miami and JT, as well as a cast of backup dancers. The video, which was directed by Missy Elliott, currently has more than 9.4 million views on YouTube.
“This was a great exposure, I really loved the video. It was so impactful,” Schönberger said, adding that MCM will take a strong stance toward building relationships with up-and-coming talent in the coming years.
“Today, young talents very quickly become big talent and expensive talent. I still believe in the energy of upcoming talent and that there is something extremely special about it,” said Schönberger.
“We also know that a brand like ours has to play in a different league and we need to look at it globally. There are a few talents of course that are known globally, but for me — I am looking at much more regional talents that are really powerful in their countries and to build something with them, whether it’s collaborations or just as a testimonial. I like a little deeper connection with those talents than just putting them in a dress — every brand is doing that and it’s easily forgotten,” added the designer.
Now looking ahead for 2022, Schönberger said that MCM, “will become more visible again, there will be big fun in the next year. This cubic monogram is the first step of us being more aggressive. Now after Corona you will see some collaborations coming up with different levels of talent and companies. What we are working on right now will definitely raise some eyebrows.”