"Maison Michel was an obvious choice for us as they are a master of craftsmanship of hats, as well as being at the forefront of fashion and innovative design," Sophie Wright, special projects manager at Mackintosh, told us. "We felt that we share a very similar outlook on growing and developing our heritage brands and we love what Priscilla Royer has brought to Maison Michel as creative director - and of course it's always wonderful to work with a company that is associated with Chanel!"
The collaboration between the luxury ready-to-wear label, established in Scotland in 1823, and the early 20th-century French milliner looks set to show the power of reinvention for a 21st-century audience, taking on the classic rain-hat silhouettes and fabrics and giving them a youthful attitude - as captured in the project's images and a special film Royer commissioned Terence Conors to create (think a young Jane Birkin and her rebel British boyfriend skipping around town and you've got the idea).
"I am a big fan of Mackintosh and of what it has represented throughout the years: raincoats that can resist any kind of weather and that are indestructible," Royer told us. "It was such a great opportunity for Maison Michel since we do have 'the-weather-to-control' in common. It felt right from the beginning. I like to make things that make sense and it totally makes sense to imagine designs that could respond to Mackintosh technology with Maison Michel style."
Each piece in the collection - which consists of three unisex styles: a bucket hat, a fisherman's hat and a flap cap - was designed and handmade in France and features the signature Maison Michel saddle stitch and embossed branded rivets. Made from Mackintosh's signature waterproofed rubber bonded cotton fabric, they were finished by hand in Scotland.
"We are starting to expand our offering in to different categories, and we of course want to ensure that every garment or accessory under the Mackintosh brand is made with equal quality and care as our coats are," said Wright. "Collaborating with Maison Michel ensures this, while also bringing a sense of fun and introducing our, previously more heritage associated brand, to a younger and more fashion forward audience."