YMC: BASICS CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Byline: James Fallon

LONDON — YMC aims to create clothes for an individual to translate into her own style.
“The letters stand for ‘you must create,”‘ said designer Fraser Moss, who owns the denim and streetwear company here with Jimmy Collins. “What a person does with the clothes is up to her.”
Now in its third season, the label has gained a following for its minimalist takes on current fashion trends for men and women. YMC has been called an affordable Helmut Lang or APC, descriptions that are fine with Moss.
“It’s the same feeling as those other labels, but we’re not copying what they do,” said Moss, 31, who previously designed the British clubwear label Professor Head and worked with Vivienne Westwood before that. “We’re trying to do casualwear that’s more interesting. We started YMC to get away from that label-of-the-moment. I hope the clothes are timeless.”
For fall, YMC takes its inspiration from underground Sixties and Seventies music, action comics, toys and graphics. The line includes tops, pants, jackets and coats in ring-spun denim, cotton, synthetic fleece, rubberized canvas, leather, wool and cotton resin. Colors generally are muted, while shapes include zip-front leather dresses and jackets; loose or fitted pants, including denim pedal pushers; knee-length straight skirts; sweatshirts, and chunky knits. Many of the styles are unisex, and shapes carry over from season to season.
The best-selling items for spring include knitwear, cotton and cotton Airtex shirting, canvas pants and dresses and denim pieces.
“I’m obsessed with denim,” Moss said. “I’m a big Levi’s fan, and I like good old-fashioned ring-spun denim like they used to do.”
Wholesale prices average $21 (13 pounds) for T-shirts; $51 (32 pounds) for knitwear; $56 (35 pounds) for pants; $112 to $184 (70 to 115 pounds) for jackets, and $248 (155 pounds) for a zipped leather dress.
YMC reported its spring-summer wholesale volume came to $320,000 (200,000 pounds). Its accounts include the new Browns Focus store, which targets denim and streetwear, as well as Liberty and Duffer of St. George. It also sells to retailers in Japan, where it has an agent, but has not yet sold to U.S. retailers.
The company would like to do a runway show in London within the next year and also expand into such areas as footwear. YMC already manufactures its own jewelry, bags and sunglasses.
“We want to create a lifestyle,” Moss said. “Our influences are Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin of the late Sixties. I admire the way they totally created their names as brands. That’s what we want to do with YMC.”

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