For London Fashion Week S/S 21, Marques'Almeida (M'A) announce issue one of their new publication SEE-THROUGH and also the M'A Environmental and Social Responsibility Manifesto. This continues in the brand's vein of unconventional season launches, following June 2020, when instead of a straightforward collection, they released a documentary about their recycled fabric line, reM'Ade.
This time, Marques'Almeida's community focus comes through in magazine format: SEE-THROUGH is a periodical publication edited by Marques'Almeida, with issue one dedicated to the makers, processes and values that advocate for a more transparent industry. In the issue, selected contributors from the M'A community have responded to the questions 'Who are you, and what is important to you right now?' with writing, creative pieces and portraits, giving a multi-faceted look at reality across ages, genders, cultures and professions.
Choosing to spotlight the people supporting Marques'Almeida has been a key message throughout the brand's ethos and communications since it was founded by married couple Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida in 2011. As the Portuguese designer duo explain: 'At M'A, we are constantly shaped and lifted by the people who surround us: artists, makers, crafters, industry professionals, journalists, models. We think this side is too often overlooked in fashion. We love people.'
An intimate publication, SEE-THROUGH makes clear the work of people's hands, bringing children's drawings and scrapbook-esque photo collages together to emphasise caring for one another. The brand offers thanks 'to everyone who opened the doors of their houses, who told us about their kids and their siblings and what they do for Sunday lunches. About how scary the pandemic was, about coping with mental health issues, about exploring gender and standing up to racism.'
The issue is curated by Sofia Lemos Marques and Miguel Miguel (who also produced the photography and video), while Studio Waba created the graphic design. Contributions in the issue come from: Alice Campos; Chanel Taylor; Charlotte Barracks; Esme Chapman; Filipa Santos; Frankie Dunn; Jade Loudni; Joana Bourbon; Joana, Pedro, Sofia e Luisa Rocha Motta; John Colver; Jonjo; Luculia Jácome; Maria and Alice Marques Almeida; Masha Mel and Tess Yopp; Merveille Malaiki; Mónica Neto; Rita Gonçalves; Renuka Ramanujam and Abena Essah Bediako; Ruth Chapman; Sofia Leitão; Teresa Sousa; Vanessa, Esmeralda, Zenobia and Zuleika Voegele-Downing.
Indeed, Marques'Almeida speak of how important caring for others is, noting that 'Practicing community is invisible: it means to care, to nurture, to honour, to empower' - creating and maintaining community is important and vital work, even if it is not often recognised as such. Taking their community focus one step further, SEE-THROUGH also includes the launch of the M'A Environmental and Social Responsibility Manifesto, a set of pledges that will 'guide M'A's journey to sustainability' and will form the basis for twice-yearly reports on M'A's progress, that will be published on marquesalmeida.com.
Finally, the brand's conversations around community and transparency are continued through film, with the first of many collaborative films, M'A X ANDRE CABRAL launched on schedule at LFW today, 19 September 2020 at 15:30. Following this, at 16:30, the M'A designers will be in conversation with Fashion Open Studio live on Zoom and YouTube to discuss the launch.