Luxury lifestyle and fashion house MCM consistently stays true to its rich German heritage, whilst remaining aware of the developing shifts in our cultural zeitgeist. The driving force behind MCM centers on revolutionizing classic design with futuristic materials, and it’s delivered on just that with the unveiling of its latest endeavour.
To celebrate its 45th anniversary, MCM released its new Vintage Monogram Jacquard clothing collection. A reimagination of its iconic Visetos Monogram, this line has more of a classic aesthetic, using a weaving technique traditional of The Bauhaus Textile School. A nod to the brands past and future, this collection focuses on craftsmanship through this new type of material treatment. In collaboration with Highsnobiety, MCM teamed up with Berlin-based creative collective Sucuk & Bratwurst to produce a 3D animated monogram for this collection, a first in the brand’s history.
Renowned for its bold, otherworldly imagery across 2D and 3D realms, Sucuk & Bratwurst is the perfect partner to conceptualize the metamorphosis of MCM’s monogram. Praised for its polished esoteric renderings, the-five-man team behind the collective consists of David Goenner, Alessando Belliero, brothers Lukas and Denis Olgac, and the most recent addition, Josephine Kinsey.
The majority of the team met in kindergarten where they were all part of the ladybug school class, and ever since this creature has been their lucky charm. A symbol of luck and diligence, the ladybug has followed the team throughout their lives, solidifying its place as Sucuk & Bratwurst’s logo and even being produced as a chain pendant in 2019 for one of their founders.
Drawing inspiration from MCM’s 45 year history, Sucuk & Bratwurst’s custom 3D monogram animation features a ladybug with the well-known MCM logo on its body. The ladybug reference is closely connected to MCM’s timeless laurel and diamond logo, with the underlying forms bearing close similarity. The animation is also representative of the transition from MCM’s classic Visetos Monogram to the launch of its first new monogram.
We chatted to the Sucuk & Bratwurst team alongside Dirk Schönberger, Creative Director of MCM, to find out more about the merging of their two worlds, how 3D design is infiltrating the fashion industry at such a fast pace, and how they got to where they are today.
"When we started, but even before that, everything was very 2D-heavy. We began with 3D work, like modeling, working with plasticine, or making some kind of sculpture, but creating them in a digital space. That played hand-in-hand with our background in typography," explains Belliero, who mainly works in the 3D and creative side of the collective.
Denis Olgac, who, similar to Belliero, focuses on creative conception and 3D implementation tells us how "personally it kind of started with eating Kelloggs for example and liking the Kellogg box and graphics so much that you think to yourself, "wow, I want to do that." We all started drawing and developing ideas together and then naturally were brought to the idea of trying something in 3D. There are no limits, and we realized we could create something real, but also surreal, for example a tree with two feet. We found that so interesting and we just kept digging into it."
Techi whizz of the collective, Goenner, goes on to say, "for us, experimenting has always been very important, and combining the analog and the digital is paramount. I used Tumblr a lot back in the day and looked at graphic posters too. In general, I think there's a lot going on online now, especially on social media and trends tend to crystallize super fast. You really have to make sure that you don't just design to generate likes, but that you actually stay true to yourself, without worrying about what could go viral in the next few weeks." The pace at which 3D design is evolving, and the level of expertise we are now seeing is unparalleled.
As we all know, the pandemic saw a surge in the number of brands that started to work within this expansive digital realm. Goenner explains how "many brands have realized that they can't shoot the product in reality, with 80 people on the set so they fall back on 3D visualization. In general, graphic design is moving out of the handicraft area and going more in the direction of art — this fusion is super nice and it opens exciting new doors."
Schönberger delves into the overlap between fashion and design by highlighting how "fashion used to be in this ivory tower and I think that's just over. This multidisciplinary approach between very different creative professions is what's exciting, things are no longer separated. In the end, it's all about an idea and having the right people around you who can potentially bring that to life. I think this process of breaking boundaries is becoming vital nowadays, whilst maybe 15 years ago it was more avant-garde."
When it comes to the collaboration between both these creative powerhouses, Schönberger goes on to comment how "with things like this you actually get your own expectations contradicted quite a lot. You always have new products, new materials, it’s exciting. I mean MCM has developed so much over the years, but it has its roots all over the world. It's not a classic brand that has always fulfilled certain expectations, it never was and I just love seeing us push boundaries every day. It’s amazing working with Sucuk & Bratwurst because they bring this sense of challenging your viewing habits. This collaboration is just not what people would perhaps expect, and I love that."
MCM’s laurel wreath logo is based off of the Victoria statue in Munich that also holds a laurel wreath, and has been redesigned over the years. Sucuk & Bratwurst saw the perfect opportunity to overlap their ladybug emblem with this natural shape. "We love creating something new out of something that already exists, or out of two existing things. It should always have a funny twist that makes you look at it and smile and think. We don’t like going too political, or too boring, but rather just something that makes you feel good when you look at it. That's our motto." explains Kinsey.
Schönberger emphasises how the future of MCM is focused on looking inwards at the brand itself. "Every brand is fishing in the same pond right now. Every brand wants to be able to attract Millennial and Gen Z consumers, but I think the future of MCM is actually maybe not that revolutionary so to speak. For me it's always been about questioning the DNA and the codes of the brand, but also always keeping it at the core of what you're creating and making sure those don't get old. You don't want to become a heritage brand that just tells the same story over and over again. Our internal codes have to be questioned and reinterpreted again and again, and we have to understand that the customers and fans of a brand always want to know "what's the next new thing going to be?" That's important for MCM as a brand, which very often looks at youth culture and wants to make sharp statements. That's why collaborations and conversations with people like Sucuk & Bratwurst are so important, because it really keeps me awake. I would be bored to death if it was always just about me."
Concerning Sucuk & Bratwurst’s future plans, the technical developments in the fashion industry is what keeps them on their toes. Goenner says that "there is always a lot going on, and it is very fast-paced — every two weeks a new tool is released that makes things so much easier and makes so many new things possible. We as a group want to develop further, of course, and keep trying out new things, keep creating new things, and taking on new challenges and opening up new fields for ourselves."
Kinsey goes on to explain that "in terms of opening up new fields, which is probably a bit contrary to the current trend where everything is distributed digitally, also with NFTs, we have always been working digitally and sometimes find it more tempting to make art in a physical realm. So maybe more merchandise in the sense of T-shirts, collaborations with brands, sculptures, the opportunities are endless."
MCM’s Vintage Jacquard Monogram capsule includes iconic handbags and silhouettes such as the Stark, Tote, Klassik, Satchel and the Wilton Chain. Key accessories are the Home Slippers and Bucket Hat with sneaker styles ranging from the well-known Terrain to the Slip On. Coming in three timeless colorways; antique grey, modern blue, and royal red, the collection is available in stores and online from June 1 at mcmworldwide.com
You can find the tailored animation exclusively on highsnobiety.com