About YMC - You Must Create (YMC)Press coverage
“There is something terribly wrong with a culture inebriated by noise and gregariousness.”
“You are born modern, you do not become so.”
When, back in 1995, Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins borrowed industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s slogan, ‘You must create’, in order to name their nascent clothing company they couldn’t have realised what a clarion call those words would become. YMC, as the company swiftly came to be known, took initial inspiration from work wear, the football terraces of the early 80s, the tradition of outward bound attire and American and British military wear. From the uniforms and sportswear they borrowed precision and crisp functionality and from punk they took a dark humour and well aimed iconoclasm. YMC were and will always be defined as much by what they are against as what they are for.
Since 1995 YMC has slowly and quietly evolved into a highly significant label. They are now among the prime exponents of a highly British form of modernism in clothes design. Where others are increasingly concerned with the fleeting, the transient and the contingent, YMC follow the Corbusian precept that form follows function. The results, free from fads and fripperies, are as close to timeless as clothing gets.
“Favoured designers are those anonymous souls behind the functional clothing of the factory worker, the soldier, and the outdoorsman”
Which is partly why you’re unlikely to meet any of YMC’s creative team at the fashion industry’s merry go round. They are more likely to be found in the flea markets of Europe, or rifling through scratched vinyl at local boot fairs.
Even the interior designs of their two London stores are a neat, witty and positive rejection of the smug artificial cosiness of globalised, sanitised design. The original Poland St shop took inspiration from the Victorian passion for knowledge and curios – embracing taxidermy, the occult and science in equal measures. The flagship shop in Shoreditch is based on a morgue. Complete with mortuary slab and bloody plughole it is at once a celebration of the modernist aesthetic (because nothing is more functional than a mortuary) and a black-hearted laugh at the transitory nature of fashion and design.
Urged on by Raymond Loewy’s emphatic injunction, “You must create,” YMC have gone on to do just that.
They have spent the last fifteen years successfully building a loyal following of like minds who are also swimming against a rising tide of shabby arrogance and gaudy mediocrity. The clothing, beautifully tailored, ingeniously understated and full of hidden details, speaks for itself.
Inspirational is really the only word.
Ben Marshall, Brighton, 2011