Kiko Kostadinov

LONDON — Mackintosh, the Scotland-based heritage label known for its raincoats and performance fabrics, has announced the launch of a new designer line dubbed Mackintosh 0001 and the appointment of London-based up-and-comer Kiko Kostadinov, as its creative director.

Kostadinov, a Central Saint Martins graduate, launched his label at the beginning of 2016 and garnered buzz for his antidecorative, utilitarian approach.

Andrea Austoni, global commercial director at Mackintosh, said the company was drawn to Kostadinov’s aesthetic and innovative methods of constructing garments, which involve countless fittings in his North London studio to achieve functional yet interesting silhouettes.

“Kiko has the ability to merge his own modern vision with the luxury traditions of Mackintosh. We were first drawn to his work because of his innovative pattern cutting and intricate garment construction and look forward to the new contemporary direction he will bring to our brand,” Austoni said.

Kostadinov is looking forward to exploring the brand’s heritage while adding contemporary touches and new categories to the label. He also aims to push its reputation beyond the classic raincoat.

“I would like to push Mackintosh’s qualities into more modern areas of fashion and clothing. I don’t want people to see it only as a brand for luxurious raincoats. This collection will have its own voice and presence,” Kostadinov said. “Expect to see a complete unisex wardrobe. There are categories that Mackintosh is not directly associated with and those are the ones that I’m really excited about developing.”

The young designer said he was drawn to the brand’s traditional approach, known for producing handmade raincoats in Scotland, and the team’s forward-thinking mentality. He looks forward to exploring a new set of ideas through his work for the brand.

“The brand has allowed fantastic opportunities for me to express my vision across all visual elements, which was hard to refuse. My personal work is very much driven by my own experiences, while the initial approach for Mackintosh is based on materials, silhouettes and garment construction. Through the new collection, I have the voice to express ideas that I couldn’t with my brand,” the designer said. “The Arte Povera movement and artists such as Kounellis, Penone and Merz have always influenced me, but my personal research and experiences always dominated over them. Now I can channel the two streams of ideas into two projects in two different cities.”

While he doesn’t like to work by imagining fictional characters or creating mood boards, Kostadinov added that he likes to imagine the new Mackintosh 0001 customer as someone who appreciates both heritage and modernity: “I’d like to imagine the customer to be curious and excited about progressive design yet appreciate the timeless qualities of the craft behind Mackintosh products. The brand has been producing pieces for some of the best luxury and designer brands for many years, and it’s time for them to express their own contemporary vision of their product.”

Last year, while still a student at Central Saint Martins, Kostadinov also partnered with the American label Stussy on two capsule collections, which were stocked at the London-based concept store Machine A and at Dover Street Market. The latter also stocks his main line collection.

The presentation of the first Mackintosh 0001 line is slated for January during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.

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