MARKE Autumn/Winter 2024

Amidst the creative flurry of Berlin Fashion Week, one of my favourite German fashion brands, MARKE, led by the visionary Mario Keine, unfurled its latest narrative “Allezeit bei mir” within the intimate confines of Pressecafé, housed in the cutting-edge NEWEST Showspace. There’s an electrifying aura that clings to Keine’s work, much like a talisman, offering silent whispers of memories which compile silently over time into a tapestry of inspiration.

Photo Credit: James Cochrane @jamescochranephoto

Last season, we saw him introspectively examining his handwriting—an intimate journey into the self. This season, Keine broadens his introspection, paying homage through a visual feast to the influential figures and ephemeral moments which have sculpted his vision. Since its inception in 2021, MARKE (a clever nod to its founder’s name) has carved its niche by embracing the human spirit’s complexity and dynamism.

What truly sets MARKE apart is its dedication to creating collections that grant the wearer the freedom to navigate through diverse aesthetic forms. Imbued with a rich repertoire of historical eras juxtaposed against futuristic aspirations, MARKE challenges the beholder’s senses, placing its creations in an innovative context. Here, the dichotomy of traditional and avant-garde, the interplay of convention and the unconventional is not just encouraged; it’s a design imperative.

Keine’s expertise melds time-honoured craftsmanship with pioneering techniques, crafting not just apparel but also extending his creative ethos into jewellery and accessories. The result is a seamless fusion—hybrid, fluid, and eclectic—erasing the boundaries of fashion production.

Witnessing MARKE’s growth and evolution is a visceral thrill. As a flagship of innovation at Berlin Fashion Week, the promise of what MARKE and Mario Keine will bring next is a siren call to fashion enthusiasts. Always by our side, MARKE’s creations are not just clothes; they’re the embodiment of a movement – ever dynamic, ever enthralling.

Which materials, colours, and silhouettes are prominent in MARKE this season and why?

As always, the materials in the collection are 100% circular in origin, sourced entirely from the overstock and deadstock of Italian manufacturers. The outerwear features heavy wool/cashmere blends, but this time with lighter volumes. For the first time, the collection includes classic tailoring, such as a blazer in an hourglass silhouette, inspired by the classic couture volumes of the 1950s. However, this interplay is interrupted by the use of shades of blue and elements from workwear confections. Since this collection is the final part of a three-part cycle, the colour scheme remains consistent with previous seasons, in navy, white, and blush, complemented by nuances of frosted grey and taupe, and featuring hand-painted prints for the first time.

What is particularly significant about “Allezeit bei mir”?

The historical references that I delved into extensively during my research phase are now more prominently visualized. While they were somewhat subtle in the previous season, this time they are highlighted visually. I employ stronger visual contrasts to enhance the eclectic impression of my collection. Additionally, the collection consciously plays with feminine influences, underscoring the unisex nature of the styles.

What are your top three favourite looks?

One of my favourites is the opening look, which, despite its purism in silhouette and material, exudes an opulence inspired by baptismal gowns. The other two looks include an outfit consisting of a wool poncho and ruffle accessories, and a bomber jacket paired with painted trousers in ice grey. These two silhouettes showcase typical MARKE references from fashion history, merging past and present into a future-oriented blend.

A few thoughts on the show location, music selection, and models. What was important to you here?

Thanks to the NEWEST format, I was able to utilize the fabulous location of the Press Café, currently undergoing a transitional phase. I appreciate this phase of transforming a historically significant building into a contemporary interpretation. The raw structure provided the perfect backdrop for the concept. The show was underscored by the works of Dortmund-based artist Alesha Klein, who created a backdrop of sculptures resembling monuments, symbolizing the silent observers of people from various epochs of our lives. The acoustic accompaniment was once again provided by Robert Eisinger, as in the previous season. This music tied together everything that embodies the ethos of MARKE: reduction, construction, eclectic references, and modernization of history.

What is your personal highlight of this season?

My personal highlight of the season has been experiencing the cooperative atmosphere within the next generation of German fashion. Throughout the past year and especially this season, I have witnessed how cooperation has become the norm. Despite international competition, there is a sense that significant issues such as inclusion and sustainability can only be addressed through collective efforts, mutual support, and solidarity.