Introducing Monse, the new label taking over the celebrity circuit
Before new cult label Monse had even presented its first collection at New York Fashion Week in September, Sarah Jessica Parker and Amal Clooney had already been spotted wearing pieces from the label. With a client list that even the most established design houses would be proud of, it's not surprising that despite only having a five-person team, Monse's debut collection ended up on Net-a-Porter.
Most start-up labels spend years trying to be noticed by mainstream press and buyers, but Monse is a brand on fast-forward. The one-year-old label has designed costumes for Selena Gomez's tour, collaborated with Sarah Jessica Parker on her Met Gala look, dressed Best Actress winner Brie Larson for the Oscars after-parties and has quickly become Amal Clooney's new go-to label. While Monse might only be in its infancy, its founders Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are certainly not new to the game and spent a combined 18 years working at American design giant Oscar de la Renta.
Image: multiway dress
"We met at Oscar de la Renta," Kim and Garcia tell The Telegraph of launching their label. "Because he liked a very small team, we got to know each other very well and work with each other's aesthetics. This became instinctual to check on one other's approval before showing an idea to Oscar. As soon as we found ourselves in a position of finding out who we were outside of a major fashion house, we decided to take the leap and explore that on our own which resulted in the creation of Monse."
Their label is understandably informed by their training at de la Renta, mainly with their focus on wearability. "Working at a revered house and with Oscar taught us many things, one of which was designing clothes that women can wear. Listen to those with experience and always have fun at work."
Monse's A-list fan club has certainly been key to the success of the label. "The fact that the most stylish women in the world prefer to put our clothes on their backs – this gave us an immediate validation," the designers say of the impact of celebrity dressing. "The few that have worn Monse, we have complete admiration for their work ethic and talent and are honored to be considered worthy of dressing them."
Monse made headlines around the world when Sarah Jessica Parker decided to defend the Met Gala outfit she created with Kim and Garcia. Parker responded to a fashion blogger who claimed her outfit- which was inspired by the musical Hamilton- didn't fit the tech white tie dress code, and wrote on Instagram: “Always welcome thoughts, but I’m a stickler for the theme and pay close attention to what it means. Every year with great consideration, research and conviction. The understanding of man and machine, how they intersect, when and why is what we considered. Perhaps you weren’t aware of the technology used in the details and embellishments of the design. Or perhaps you simple didn’t like that I wore which is completely fine but you can’t accuse me of not paying close attention and adhering to the theme. With respect and warmest regards, sj.”
"There was a lot of research and thinking of how to interpret an 18th century men’s wardrobe applied with today’s technology," Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia said of Sarah Jessica Parker's Met Gala look. As for Parker's decision to defend her outfit on Instagram, they add: "We thought it served its purpose because she didn’t look another silver robot."
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