I woke up this morning to discover some very interesting news. Marques’Almeida, a brand I’ve been repping since I first laid eyes on their premier collection in 2011, has finally caught on.
My only gripe with this news is that the few people left who didn’t already know about Marques’Amleida will inevitably know about them now. That’s sort of the purpose of a Topshop collaboration: to hoist a brand up and give it a wider audience. By teaming up with the mainstream brand, higher-end labels are able to produce quasi-diffusion lines: accessible and much more cheaper versions of their clothes. Because right now, Marques’Almeida is not the most accessible brand. They launched in April 2011, and can only be found in America at three locations: Opening Ceremony New York, Opening Ceremony Los Angeles and En Avance in Miami.
The deciding factor that led to this union could’ve had something to do with Rihanna; it seems as soon as she gets her hands on a new and little-known label, the label goes ahead and collaborates with Topshop.
Among the many designers they’ve teamed up with are J.W. Anderson, Christopher Kane, Meadham Kirchhoff and Mary Katrantzou.
Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida are the brains behind the brand Marques’Almeida. They met while studying at Central Saint Martins (the school that taught Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, Christopher Shannon, Riccardo Tisci, Phoebe Philo, Roksanda Ilincic, Hussein Chalayan, and so many more) and decided to team up — Marques bringing with her all that she learned from working at Vivienne Westwood, and Almeida bringing with him his knowledge from working at Preen. Their first collection in 2011 was largely denim-based — a very light-colored denim — with exaggerated rips, holes and fraying.
For Autumn/Winter 2012, they stuck with the whole denim motif, but switched to darker denim with neon threading. Then, for their Spring/Summer 2013 collection, they kept the dark denim, embellishing it with denim flower embroidery, but also ventured into a more ethereal, diaphanous aesthetic. They used cheesecloth to make feminine, almost nightgown-looking dresses and adorned white denim jackets with a lilac tulle.
For their two most recent collections, they’ve added a lot more color. Swaths of bright red, yellow, and blue fake fur were used:
As was cowhide (dyed and not dyed):
Pastel-colored jackets and pants made of zari and silk:
And a look that appears to be a marriage of Céline’s bell bottoms and Dries Van Noten’s yellow feathers:
…and now I’m out of breath.
But perhaps the brand’s most coveted items are their very limited collection of shoes, which blend sandals with platforms, delicate features with chunky features, and come in a range of pastels.
See? Even they know their shoes are iconic.
I’m calling it now: any shoes the Topshop x Marques’Almeida collaboration may or may not make, will be sold out faster than you can say “pedicure.” My only hope is that they’re a better quality than the shoes Marques’Almeida has made thus far.