Studio M.E.N: a perfect blend

Founded on a shared artistic vision and values, the M.E.N. collective boldly blends knowledge, expertise and individual strengths. Its designers combine craftsmanship with modern techniques as they blur the line between female and male garments.

Video about the idea behind the collection of M.E.N. and its transparency concept (1:49min). (Thumbnail) photo: Peter Stigter

Maartje Janse, Elysanne Schuurman and Nikki Duijst met at MOAM Collective 2016. And there you have it: M.E.N was born. Yet rather than creating just another catwalk show, they really wanted to put some research into it, explore new techniques and mix in a healthy dose of craftsmanship – and they did.

One of the collective’s strengths is its collaboration with innovative people in the industry, like ReBlend (a start-up that makes 100% recycled yarn), Master Tailor Institute in Amsterdam and Karlijne Opmeer. She dyes fabrics with bacteria. The fun things is that bacteria multiply fairly easily and while doing that, they produce a colour – each bacteria a different one. And the list of collaborations goes on. As for M.E.N themselves, they made zero-waste patterns for their collection.


The fair and innovative way the collection was created underlines its title: ‘ES TUT MIR LEID! Ich habe mich verwählt.’ Meaning: sorry for all the pollution that fashion generates. M.E.N. criticizes the role of the fashion designer in the current industry. “But we don’t feel this limits our artistic freedom”, says Maartje. Indeed, without knowing anything about the research, skills and story behind it, the collection just ‘wows’. Like the long, draped, yellow dress and the styles you could easily wear in daily life.


Photo: Team Peter Stigter

Photo: Peter Stigter

See now, buy now at X Bank

After Fashion Week, the collection immediately hit high-end retail store X Bank, which is where you can have a look and buy all the designs from the collection until 15 August. Here, M.E.N. also puts its transparency concept into practice. Labels show, for example, how many hours did it take to make the piece and what was the total cost of the materials used.  The plan is to drop by time to time and see how people respond to that.

Besides M.E.N., the collections by Bas Kosters, Amsterdam Makes Something Of It and a few other designers who showed at Fashion Week can be found there as well. Featuring Dutch design, X Bank blends art and fashion and is situated in a historic building. It’s worth your while to check it out.

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