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LONDON — Marques’ Almeida has taken lockdown as an opportunity to experiment beyond the traditional catwalk, publishing an online magazine called See Through and making a heartwarming documentary about the label’s upcycled range, ReMade, which features Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida at work with their young son.
More recently they made a music video with the rising rapper Nenny, and used it to tease the fall 2021 collection.
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The brand is now unveiling the fall 2021 collection in its entirety, with a digital fashion show featuring an army of models parading the new-season clothing across the world’s longest suspended footbridge in Portugal, the couple’s native country.
“We always thought that the 10-minute show felt underwhelming, and a bit reductive at times,” said Marques, adding that they were able to express themselves fully through the three projects, and “enhance our voice and the voices of our communities.”
The film starts by showing aerial views of the metallic, suspended bridge in Porto, Portugal, and the nature that surrounds it. It then zooms in and out of the long parade of models walking across the bridge in the label’s signature loose denim, cool tie-dye separates and chic silk dresses.
“Although it’s mass scale, it felt very personal because we were doing it our way. My sister, who works with us, produced it with Portugal Fashion — and because we were all going at our own pace it felt like a family job,” Marques added. She said there was also an increased focus on the sustainability aspect of the collection.
“That’s all we think about these days. We’ve been letting ourselves be led by this search for sustainability in how we design and plan collections. The design and vibe is very much coming through by instinct.”
This was the duo’s first collection that included no petroleum-based fibers; cotton that was all organic or recycled, and a lot of carryover silhouettes, rather than the usual — and constant — quest for newness.
Some highlights included loose denim separates, blazers that doubled as dresses, tie-dye shirts and cozy knits embellished with feathers, which managed to strike a balance between shoppers’ newfound need for comfort and longing to dress-up.
“We took this opportunity to rethink our priorities,” said Marques, pointing to the designers’ increased focus on ReMade and a new base in Portugal, which allows the designers to stay closer to their factories.
A new children’s line and e-commerce growth have also helped keep the brand going during lockdown.
“It’s been a lot of work in a very difficult year, but we’re surviving and in terms of what really matters — sustainability, preserving craft, enhancing and empowering our communities, fighting for just causes, being socially responsible in our practice, giving platform to young creatives — we’re thriving now, more than ever.”
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