Marianne McDonald

A fresh face means a fresh perspective — and for Citizens of Humanity’s fall collection, that translates into flattering retro jumpsuits, destroyed denim and a welcome return of the cargo pant.

The collection drips with Eighties and Nineties nostalgia in the best possible way, and it’s a promising start for the brand’s new creative director, Marianne McDonald. Designing for men’s and women’s, McDonald’s debut collection is focused on modern simplicity and familiarity.

“I feel so fortunate to join as creative director of a brand beloved by so many,” McDonald told WWD. “Bringing my point of view to the collection has meant focusing on the concept of effortlessness, taking cues from things that are at once familiar while looking at them with a fresh perspective. Today more than ever, women and men are gravitating toward clothing that is comfortable and sophisticated, and I think we can all sense the collective movement toward a more relaxed feel.”

Several pieces in the collection are undeniably Eighties — or Nineties — and reworking past loves into easy, contemporary looks is part of what McDonald brings to the table. “In designing the collections, I’ve been attracted to opposing elements of masculinity and femininity, as well as modernity and authenticity. For instance, I love the way traditional utility influences look with an Eighties or Nineties inflected point of view.”

Citizens of Humanity

The Noelle cargo pant. Photo courtesy of Citizens of Humanity. 

McDonald continued, “This sentiment is expressed with something as simple as the neckline on a boyish shrunken T cut so precisely that it frames the face beautifully, or a traditional workwear jumpsuit with cargo pockets that remind you of Eighties dance tracks.”

And embracing modern aesthetics also means prioritizing efficiency and staying up to date with sustainable processes to keep striving for cleaner denim and circularity. “As a company, we are always evolving our manufacturing and laundry methods in order to reduce our global environmental impact. At Citizens, we control our production with as tight of a distribution as possible and always cut our product to order in the effort to minimize waste.”

“Within our laundry facilities, we have implemented processes such as recycled material stone washing, laser technology, ozone washing, e-flow, and high-efficiency dryers, dye and washing machines. These processes dramatically reduce our gas and water consumption as well as chemicals used. Moving into the fall 2020 season, we continue to increase our use of recycled fabrications and materials in the effort to close the loop and bring fashion into a more circular model.”

The Danika jumpsuit. Photo courtesy of Citizens of Humanity. 

McDonald said over recent years, the brand has increased its use of organic cotton and expanded its reach into other sustainable fabric categories, such as biodegradable polyester, recycled pocketing, Tencel and recycled cotton — and each material was incorporated into the new season’s collection.

“Additionally, here at Citizens of Humanity, we believe that part of sustainability is working toward a safer and more just environment. To help support this belief, we’ve been using our deadstock fabric to produce washable cotton face masks available for purchase,” to help in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

And for the entire month of June, the brand said it has donated 100 percent of the retail selling price from its e-commerce sales of cotton masks to a number of organizations fighting racial, gender, and social injustice, including Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, Rebuild Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, Los Angeles LGBT Center, National Women’s Law Center, Children’s Defense Fund, Real Justice and the ACLU.

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