Marine Serre’s rise has truly been meteoric. When she scooped the LVMH Prize last year, the designer was working out of her living room with a team of three: herself, her younger sister Justine Serre, and her boyfriend, Pepijn van Eeden.
Today, at 26, the fashion graduate of La Cambre in Brussels heads a staff of around 20 and has already outgrown her Paris premises, with around 10,000 pieces sold per collection.
“It’s like surfing, trying to keep on the wave,” said the designer, for whom success came earlier than expected. “I always dreamt of having my own brand, but I thought it would be in 15 years time.”
The designer’s runway debut for fall 2018, titled “Manic Soul Machine,” ignited a level of excitement in Paris not seen since the debut of Vetements in 2014. Already, Serre is known for crescent moon prints for bodysuits and dresses made from upcycled silk scarves. Her clothes blend futuristic, athletic and couture references.
Serre had interned at Maison Margiela and quit her job in the studio of Balenciaga in September 2017 to focus on her own label. Creating sustainable collections — a “coherent and ultra creative process that I love” — is central to her vision. Around 30 percent of looks from her first collection, and 45 percent of looks from her following “Hardcore Couture” collection for spring 2019 featured upcycled materials, with her “couture” pieces entirely crafted from them. It’s a painstaking process — from the meticulous selection of silk scarves, to perfecting the washing techniques and the placement of patterns. Serre said it brings added value to her work, and her clothes offer a narrative of transformation: “Making beautiful garments from fabrics that have no real value anymore.”
Serre has collaborated with Melissa, Converse and Nike on footwear, with a new Nike collaboration to launch next June.
The designer has a tight-knit relationship with Dover Street Market, and her first permanent space: its new Los Angeles outpost. She ships to more than 80 retailers, including Joyce and Barneys, and has just launched her own e-shop.