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Marie Davies finds the label in buoyant mood ahead of the catwalk debut of its stylish, functional designs.


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I suppose we have grown up. When we started we were anti-establishment and tried to buck the trend by doing it our own way, but we now realise the catwalk is the best way to showcase the YMC ethos,” says Fraser Hart, the brand’s co-founder, of its first catwalk show in its 17-year history at London Collections: Men.

This is exciting not only because YMC (which stands for You Must Create) is a Drapers favourite due to its perfect execution of simple, functional style across not just menswear but womenswear and footwear too, but because the show will also preview the Brighton-based brand’s spring 13 collaboration with Clarks. “The desert boot originated from Clarks and this is an iconic piece of footwear that is very much part of YMC’s DNA,” says Hart.

YMC is also collaborating with Spanish footwear brand Festival on mesh-style leisure shoes and US sportswear brand Ebbets Field Flannels on baseball caps. But what of the mainline? “For spring 13 I was really interested in the prints and colours from vintage kimonos, mid- to late-1980s casualwear and early 1960s West Coast surf with an unstructured and relaxed silhouette,” says Hart. The brand cites leopard prints, kimono prints, Madras prints and Liberty-print accessories as key looks.

Georgie Cook, co-owner of London young fashion indie Hub, makes no qualms about her affinity for the brand: “We’ve been stocking YMC since our menswear store opened almost eight years ago. It has a great use of colour, a bit off the wall but really beautiful.”

With three exciting collaborations and a debut catwalk show, we expect YMC to be making even bigger waves across the market for spring 13 by way of the springboard of London Collections: Men, an event Hart is championing: “Menswear in the UK seems stronger than it’s ever been and London Collections: Men reflects this”.

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