Cult London-based brand Marques Almeida is a veritable veteran of the scene, having been on the circuit for nearly a decade. Its founders, husband and wife duo Paulo Almeida and Marta Marques, are an unstoppable force – their latest work, entitled “reM’Ade”, and comprising a separate brand under the MA umbrella, will debut with a documentary film on the first day of the digital schedule.
As the name suggests, sustainable practice is at the heart of their new mindset. “For us, it was looking around and seeing the waste we were producing. It’s very tangible, it’s very visible,” Marta tells British Vogue. “You walk through the studio and there are rolls of fabric everywhere, there are toiles and garments lying around that you don’t really have a plan for because things are so quick that normally you have to keep going, so you don't really get a chance to sit with it.”
Signature M’A shapes have been reimagined in a riot of patchwork fabrics; the brand’s recurring voluminous textures and recognisable colourful quirks are back for another season. Decade-old materials have been combined with those from more recent collections – a brocade from autumn/winter 2018 has been repurposed alongside netting from spring/summer 2014, for instance. Marta likens their new creative process to cooking-up leftovers, and remarks: “I was saying to Paulo that it’s this feeling of accomplishment when you have leftover food and you make a meal,” she laughs, “You didn’t let everything go to waste or generate more waste.”
The brand has a longstanding relationship with manufacturers in their home country, Portugal, and were keen to embrace the slow-down that fashion has experienced as a result of the pandemic: “We had time to go and sit with them, see what they were doing, what machines they had.” While past collections have boasted clear references, this season’s designs for the new label were led by the diverse range of fabrics. Continuous problem-solving and the development of techniques meant that the couple embraced new processes that they hadn’t previously explored: “This time, our creative processes came hand in hand with a practical process.”
They came with a large dose of community spirit, too. Dubbed “MA girls and boys,” the brand’s diverse ambassadors feature both in campaign shoots and catwalk shows, and number a community of creatives and forward-thinking young people of different colours and creeds. Marta and Paulo have called-upon their network to aid the growth of the label, and hope to release “re/M’Ade by…” collaborations in the future which would see the couple pass the helm to someone else for a season.
There’s more: in the summer, the brand plans to reveal a manifesto that will implement a sustainable ethos across the board, ensuring all future endeavours are approached with an ecological focus.
As for the latest collection, cool-girl, multi-tone jeans, a patchwork ribbed top and an asymmetric shirt are standouts pieces in the reM’Ade repertoire, all of which will be available to pre-order immediately after the collection debuts at 6pm BST on Friday 12 June. And looking ahead? As Marta explains, the possibilities are myriad. “When we’ve finished with our own waste, we can go round suppliers and manufacturers and check out what waste they've got and what we can do with it – it’s endless.”