LONDON — Fashion boutique Machine-A is partnering with Byronesque, an e-commerce brand that specializes in contemporary vintage clothes, on a vintage-focused retail concept called Machine-B.
Launching on Nov. 4, it will feature a curated selection of around 80 vintage pieces sourced by Byronesque from Rick Owens between 2002 to 2013, Maison Martin Margiela between 1988 to 2008, Raf Simons between 1998 to 2008, As Four between 1999 to 2005 and Gareth Pugh between 2006 to 2015. These will go on sale alongside the seasonal offerings from emerging and established designers inside the store.
Stavros Karelis, founder of Machine-A, said the Machine-B concept marks the first time the retailer plays around with its name for a project. “A symbolizes the beginning of things, as we work with so many emerging designers, and B stands for Byronesque,” he noted.
The purpose of the project is to extend the life cycle of a product and focus on the design, instead of seasonality. He believes that the current system, which favors a one-season lifespan, is neither fair for the stores, nor for the designers.
“We always mix emerging designers with high-end brands, and we never separate men’s wear to women’s wear,” Karelis said. “Now the next layer is to add those archival pieces, and fully integrate these selections with the actual selection that we have in the store.”
According to him, the five brands chosen for the launch “have truly changed the creative history of fashion along with the norms and laws by defying their own eras. What they had done in the past is relevant to this day.” More pieces and even more brands will be added over time since Machine-B will be a recurring project.
Gill Linton, cofounder and chief executive officer of Byronesque, stressed that Machine-B is not “just another vintage section,” as it comes from “two brands that appreciate creative integrity.”
Many of the pieces in the selection are sourced directly from the designers’ own archives, such as Gareth Pugh and As Four.
“Gill had full visibility on my buy and what we find for the whole season. She would come back to me with different selections and her curation in terms of archival pieces from those five brands, and then we would make the selection together in terms of how it is going to fit with all the rest of the aesthetic and the direction we were taking with our buy,” Karelis added.
The Machine-B partnership also includes a selection of items curated by Byronesque from emerging designers that Machine-A is carrying, such as Kiko Kostadinov, GoomHeo, Stefan Cooke and Kwaidan Editions, to form its Future Vintage category.
Linton said, “When you understand fashion history, you can predict its future, too — and many of the things that Stavros buys are pieces that people will be asking us to source in 10 to 15 years, either because of their financial or emotional value.”
For the launch, Machine-A and Byronesque worked with photographer Katja Mayer and stylist Harry Lambert on creating the visuals.