Stefano Pilati takes to the catwalk for Berlin fashion collective GmbH
GmbH is a worthy member of the posse of new, distinctive menswear labels showing at the Paris Fashion Week. The Berlin collective was created last year and is led by fashion photographer Benjamin Alexander Huseby and designer Serhat Isik, with another five or six creative minds orbiting around them.
The brand name is the acronym of the German words for 'limited liability company', and is as unusual as the label's new collection is distinctive: clearly inspired by its Berlin milieu, with a strong techno vibe and a streetwear feel, featuring skilfully cut clothes for a retro, sophisticated aesthetic.
GmbH's first Paris show, for the Spring/Summer 2018, was staged at the Arab World Institute on 22nd June. One of the show's models was Italian designer Stefano Pilati, the Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent between 2004 and 2012 and now a Berliner himself. Pilati is close to the GmbH team: he has featured on their lookbook in the past and is a regular of the local club scene.
The label's new collection is entitled 'Europe Endless', from lyrics by Kraftwerk, the doyens of German electronic music. In the words of Serhat Isik, "it suggests a utopian vision of Europe, without borders or limits," reflecting the roots of the two designers, whose parents came from Pakistan and Turkey respectively, and "brought with them the Middle East's peculiar style of clothing." The silhouettes have a twin tailored/industrial sportswear inspiration, resulting in less of a techno attitude than the label's first collection, with a nod to the 1950s and a new take on vintage 1990s looks, as in the Helly Hansen jackets or the zipped sweatshirts.
Opening Ceremony and Isetan in Japan were among the early fans of GmbH's first collection, followed by another seven multibrand stores and department stores. They have since grown to 17 clients, including Dover Street Market.
Parisian retailers are so far notable for their absence, though both the 2017 LVMH Prize jury, which picked GmbH among its finalists, and the French Fashion Federation, which gave them the chance of their first PFW catwalk, have indeed been impressed.
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