By harnessing “the energy, noise and culture of adolescence” and fusing it with the elegance of classical sartorial menswear, CMMN are whipping up a frenzy with their collection of garments that are part quality wardrobe staples and part progressive designs. Appealing to those that like to contrast classic garments and radical, stand-out pieces, the duo behind CMMN, Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund, design for those that are not totally trend obsessed, but aspire to stand out. Easily done when wearing CMMN. The collections created by CMMN flow from one to the other seamlessly; they are a story under constant development, effortlessly interconnecting elements weaved through the collections to create unique designs and well-crafted garments.
This season, CMMN look towards the vibrancy of Marrakech and the hybridity between cultures, balancing this with their amalgamation of Swedish clean and uniform design with London’s experimental and individual style. After their trip to Morroco, Bakir and Hedlund brought back the memories of Moroccan souks, with “the stuffy warm air which smelled of sweat and spice” and the “artists, musicians and thieves”, which formed the basis of the inspiration for the collection. Think of a desert colour palette – ochres, ambers, reddish browns and blacks. It’s hot.
We chat to the CMMN design duo about their SS17 collection, hybridity and their Moroccan inspirations.
Tell us about this collection and the inspiration behind it.
For SS17 we found inspiration in the vibrant and colorful street markets of Marrakech, where we spent some time back in February. The stuffy warm air that smelled of sweat and spices. The chaotic mixture of colours, texture and materials. Where east meets west.
Why do you love taking part in LC:M?
LCM is young and diverse and has grown in reach and reputation to rival the more established fashion weeks of Milan and Paris. It is a great platform to be part of and the highlight of each season.
You both studied in London and are now London‐based. What impact has the city had on your aesthetic? How does the sartorial sensibility of London compare to that of Sweden?
Our years in London has influenced us greatly, the diverse style of the city is a huge inspiration and it is very much part of our identity as a label. There is a “none fuss” approach to design and in some way Scandinavians has mastered the “effortless cool” that is visible not only in fashion but also across other disciplines. Swedish culture and identity is usually described as simple, clean, uniformed and quite democratic in a way. London on the other hand is more individual, more experimental and people strive to stick out from the rest. We find this contrast very inspiring and think the combination of the two creates a perfect balance.
Hybridity is central to your work: of staple and statement, subculture style and classic fashion. Why does this interest you, and how does it play out in your current collection?
When we met we were drawn to each other’s dissimilarities. We have always found inspiration in contrasting elements and this is visible in both our design and in our relation to each other. It will be visible in our coming collection as well in the cuts and choice of fabrication.
How do you work together as a duo?
We’ve known and worked together for years and we both share the same sense of style and aesthetic, so we are normally very much in line with our ideas and work side by side during the development of a collection. And of course as a couple on and off stage we do have the advantage to settle any disagreement in bed.
How has your work with houses like COS, Wooyoungmi and Kanye West impacted on CMMN? Has it been easy to adjust from working to another brand’s aesthetic to launching your own label?
You can never be fully prepared for the challenges that come with running your own company and for us it was really important to have that knowledge of the industry when setting up CMMN.
Aesthetically it was less of a challenge. Working for other brands are always exciting and forces you to step out of your comfort zone, but to be able to do your own thing, the way you want it, was always on top our list and our main goal.
Which non‐fashion elements inspired this collection (music, cinema, art, pop culture…)?
We always try to find inspiration in subject other than fashion. This season it was the vibrant atmosphere of the Moroccan souks.
Check out what CMMN are listening to in the studio:
Flying Lotus: “GNG BNG”
Clipse: “Wamp Wamp (What It Do) ft Slim Thug”
Full Crate ft. Papa Ghana: “L’Afrique”