DREAM TEAM: British designer Christopher Raeburn swapped his East London neighborhood for Mayfair on Thursday night to celebrate the launch of his collaboration with MCM, at the brand’s new flagship on Conduit Street.
The collaborative collection, which aimed to put sustainability in the spotlight, was first presented in June during London Fashion Week Men’s with a grand scale runway show, complete with light shows and a star-studded front row.
For Raeburn, seeing the collection on the shop floor was an equally special moment. “Even though the show in London really had that big ‘wow’ factor, ultimately we’ve been able to create good products. It’s all about making sure that things we produced are of the highest possible quality and are also sustainable through and through,” said Raeburn. “I’m really proud of the fact that the collection is not just in London, but in stores around the world, both MCM stores and big department stores, such as Selfridges and Lane Crawford.”
The collection focuses on the idea of modern traveling and offers unisex pieces such as parkas, sweatshirts and a range of casualwear from cotton T-shirts to bomber jackets and shorts. Among the highlights is a print used throughout the range, which incorporates the MCM Visetos canvas within Raeburn’s signature camouflage patterns.
Prices range from 195 pounds or $239 for a T-shirt to 1,150 pounds or $1,412 for a cape.
Raeburn said he was drawn to the company’s travel heritage and its newfound modern sensibility. He also found much room for creativity within the brief given to him by Kim Sung-joo, founder of the South Korean Sung Joo group that owns MCM.
“Mrs. Kim really wanted three things things: She wanted to wow in London, she wanted the collection to be fully sustainable and also unisex. That was the mission to begin with,” added the designer. “I’ve also traveled four or five times to Seoul in South Korea to really understand how the market works there and the Millennial customer.”
Raeburn’s modern, utilitarian aesthetic and concept of sustainability seem to be just what the brand needed to further lure its growing Millennial audience. “This is how we want to present the brand, as very modern. We call it new school luxury and Christopher’s work opened the brand to a new audience. His concept of sustainability is also important to our young customers who are much more sensitive to environmental issues,” said Sebastian Klever, the brand’s European managing director.
One of the biggest takeaways from the partnership for Raeburn is the importance of communication: “I’ve learnt so much about the way MCM communicates, from the show in London, to the huge amount of digital focus, their transparency, all the way down to the advertisement. Everything is holistically thought about and there’s a 360-degree iteration around the product.”
He said he plans to continue seeking such partnerships in the future. “For us as a company, collaboration is the norm. Christopher Raeburn is a very small company, we are growing but we’re still so small and having an opportunity to work with bigger brands and really make a difference on a global scale is what really excites me.”
Having moved to a new studio in East London’s Hackney, the designer has also been working on using his brand as a platform for a series of events and workshops on sustainability. “The move wouldn’t be a big deal but for me the space has been such a catalyst for business, we are now upscaling our Remade collection and hosting all these workshops to let people in and turn our process into a community.”