Fash­ion knows no bound­aries.

Esquire (Malaysia) - - ESQUIRE MINI -

MINI took the wraps off its new Cap­sule Col­lec­tion in Florence, at Pitti Uomo, one of the lead­ing fairs world­wide for men’s fash­ion and life­style. For the MINI FASH­ION—BE­YOND NA­TIVE col­lec­tion, the brand col­lab­o­rates with five up­com­ing de­sign­ers who riff off the ten­sion that ex­ists be­tween their cul­tural roots and adopted home­lands.

The brand has had the good for­tune of be­ing as­so­ci­ated with the­iconic car de­signed by the sin­gle-minded Alec Is­sigo­nis; an un­prece­dent­edly com­pact, roomy, eco­nom­i­cal and use­ful de­vice for post-war times that was so chic it was adopted by Swing­ing Lon­don.

“In the 1960s, the first MINI be­came a de­sign icon, and this her­itage in­spired us to launch MINI FASH­ION. We re­ally wanted to stick our necks out and join with cre­atives to bring some­thing new and bold to the in­dus­try,” says Es­ther Bahne, Head of MINI Brand Strat­egy and Busi­ness In­no­va­tion.

This year’s Cap­sule Col­lec­tion again at­tempts to cap­ture the tenor of the times, es­pe­cially the cre­ativ­ity of an in­creas­ingly cos­mopoli­tan world criss-crossed by new waves of mi­grants.

“The idea of this col­lab­o­ra­tion is to give a plat­form to five cre­atives with dif­fer­ent cul­tural back­grounds. They know how to take the unique en­ergy en­gen­dered by fus­ing dif­fer­ent cul­tural in­flu­ences and trans­late it into ex­cep­tional prod­ucts,” ex­plains Sabine Rin­gel, Cre­ative Lead at MINI FASH­ION. “The fact that these mi­grants have ex­pe­ri­enced and crossed na­tional and cul­tural bound­aries is the very rea­son for the rich­ness and depth in their de­signs. And they have brought these per­spec­tives with them into the col­lec­tion.”

The col­lab­o­ra­tion with MINI has pro­duced five fash­ion items for ur­bane trav­eller who en­joys roam­ing the lim­i­nal spa­ces where cul­tures and ways of life mix, min­gle and birth the new. De­signed by Diego Vanas­si­bara, Ed­wina Hörl, Pro­nounce, Post-im­pe­rial and Per­ret Schaad, they com­bine tra­di­tional cul­tural cues in­her­ent their coun­tries of ori­gin with con­tem­po­rary el­e­ments from their adopted homes. BE­YOND NA­TIVE is in­spired by one of the most di­verse liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments of all: the city, MINI’S nat­u­ral habi­tat.

Diego Vanas­si­bara shoe

Born in Brazil, Vanas­si­bara lives and works in Lon­don. The peace­ful ru­ral re­gion of Brazil where he grew up couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent from his present-day home. Diego blends his early in­flu­ences with the ur­ban, ar­chi­tec­tural and his­tor­i­cal stim­uli of Lon­don to cre­ate a brand new take on men’s shoes. His de­sign for the BE­YOND NA­TIVE col­lec­tion is based on the clas­sic Bri­tish derby style, an el­e­gant leather shoe that he in­ter­prets with Brazil­ian light­ness and cre­ative non­cha­lance. The laser-cut hole pat­tern gives the black leather up­per a light and airy feel. This con­trasts with a chunky cor­ru­gated sole, which catches the eye with its novel mix of vul­can­ised rub­ber and fab­ric. The blue in­sole, mean­while, adds an ex­tra splash of colour in fa­mil­iar MINI style.

ed­wina Hörl Coat

Aus­trian-born Ed­wina Hörl lives and works in Ja­pan. The self-taught fash­ion de­signer ad­dresses cur­rent so­cial is­sues with her bian­nual col­lec­tions and seeks to stir crit­i­cal de­bate in the process. For the BE­YOND NA­TIVE col­lec­tion, she drew in­spi­ra­tion from the tra­di­tional Ja­panese haori coat and teamed up with MINI to style a com­fort­ably tailored, uni­sex linen coat. By in­cor­po­rat­ing in­ge­nious trench coat de­tails, she has suc­ceeded in com­pletely chang­ing the ef­fect and func­tion of this tra­di­tional item of cloth­ing. Dyed pure indigo, the coat has a sumi-coated lin­ing, which has var­i­ous prop­er­ties, some re­put­edly an­tivi­ral. A sep­a­rate

bag can be at­tached to the belt or worn as a shoul­der bag by us­ing the belt as a strap. Both vari­a­tions of­fer plenty of room for all ur­ban travel es­sen­tials. Pro­nounce Hoodie Yushan Li and Jun Zhou, the two minds be­hind promis­ing new la­bel Pro­nounce, are orig­i­nally from China but spend some of their time liv­ing and work­ing in Italy. Their over­sized hoodie fea­tures a smart, con­tem­po­rary de­sign com­bin­ing silk, denim and jersey fab­ric. The mix of ma­te­ri­als is in­tended to rep­re­sent the fu­sion of dif­fer­ent cul­tures within the gar­ment. The com­fort­able cut and blend of ma­te­ri­als make the hoodie ideal for wear­ing al­most any­where and to a va­ri­ety of oc­ca­sions.

Post-im­pe­rial scarf

Niyi Okuboyejo was born in La­gos, Nige­ria but grew up in Texas. He now lives and works in Har­lem, New York, where he cre­ates the de­signs for his la­bel Post-im­pe­rial, while main­tain­ing close ties with his home coun­try. The fab­rics for his cheer­ful, colour­ful prod­ucts are pro­duced in Nige­ria and dyed us­ing the tra­di­tional adire tech­nique be­fore be­ing sent to the US for fin­ish­ing, such as the double-layer silk scarf de­signed for BE­YOND NA­TIVE. It has been dec­o­rated with a typ­i­cal im­age from Nige­ria us­ing the tra­di­tional dye­ing tech­nique of the Yoruba peo­ple. The indigo and azure-coloured scarf mea­sures 50 x 183 cm, al­low­ing it to be used in a va­ri­ety of ways. Made of 100% silk.

Per­ret schaad Pouch

Tu­tia Schaad comes from Viet­nam but now lives and works in Ger­many. She’s been run­ning Ber­lin-based la­bel Per­ret Schaad to­gether with Jo­hanna Per­ret since 2009. For the BE­YOND NA­TIVE Cap­sule Col­lec­tion, the de­signer duo have come up with an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the travel pouch—that in­dis­pens­able ac­ces­sory for ev­ery serious trav­eller—de­signed for day-to-day use in the city. The back is made of high-qual­ity, bur­gundy-coloured leather, while the para­chute silk front in a shade of coral has a white leather pocket sewn onto it with an em­bossed part­ner logo. The colour scheme is in­spired by the land­scape of Viet­nam with its patch­work of earthy hues and vivid colour ac­cents. The para­chute silk is also a nod to Viet­nam, where it is used for all kinds of pur­poses. A rugged cord fash­ioned on the sort of ropes used by Viet­namese fish­er­men en­cour­ages a firm hold, whether the pouch is car­ried by hand or at­tached to lug­gage.

BE­YOND NA­TIVE is the third MINI FASH­ION Cap­sule Col­lec­tion and will be avail­able for pur­chase in lim­ited num­bers from this au­tumn.

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