YMC Clothing Label
View YMC Fashion collections.
Second Chances: A brief History of YMC
In the late 1990’s, YMC were almost consigned to fashion history as another failed niche brand, after some poor decisions thanks to a lack of knowledge. Luckily, High Street juggernauts, French Connection stepped in with a large investment to get the brand back on its feet, a rare hand of help in the ruthless world of fashion.YMC is now a highly sought after brand with two successful standalone stores, a concession in UK’s premier department store Liberty of London, and various online vendors covering the rest of the world.
- 1995: YMC is founded as a menswear and womenswear collection by graphic designer duo, Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins, seeing a gap in the ‘American skate’ dominated design market. Moss takes care of the designing side of things and Collins takes care of everything else.
- 2010: YMC opens its second standalone store on Hanbury Street, near fashion conscious Brick Lane, in London. Like their flagship store in Soho, their Hanbury Street store offers a unique shopping experience. The décor of the store is heavily influenced by the 20’s and 30’s with authentic vintage post-war prosthetic limbs serving as decorations to display shoes and accessories.
- Late 1990’s: YMC were forced to close their Conduit Street, London shop and abandon their womenswear collection. An investment from High Street chain, French Connection, provided the money and know-how for the YMC brand to get back on track. French Connection also owns several other well known brands, including Toast and Great Plains
- 2008: The YMC womenswear collection is re-launched
- 2009: First YMC flagship store is opened in the fashionable Soho area of London. The Victorian themed décor, vintage furniture and bizarre examples of animal taxidermy, is perfect styling for the YMC collection.
YMC Fashion Influences and Ethos
The man who ‘designed American’ and the father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy, famously said when asked what he saw in the future for design: “You must create your own design and style”. It is this philosophy that is the inspiration and driving force behind the brand. The name, YMC, stands for ‘You Must Create’ and this ethos is maintained in the label’s collections. YMC do not follow current trends or styles, but instead focus on creating stylish, functional and modern clothing for men and women, allowing the product( rather than the marketing), to speak for the brand.
You Must Create Your Own Style: The YMC Aesthetic
. “… I’d like to think our customer is someone with a real sense of their own style.” – Fraser Moss
Like the brands two stand alone stores, the YMC collections contain a unique mixture of styles and influences – a defining characteristic of the brand. Vintage is mixed with contemporary to create unique, yet functional and wearable clothing for men and women that are fit to wear year-round, season to season.
YMC aims each year to produce classic work-wear themed collections that are stylish and modern despite the vintage influences. Statement outerwear is teamed with cosy knits, nautical stripes and neutral earthy colours to create clothing that has longevity instead of a passing fad. Fans of the brand’s distinctive style include the Gallagher brothers, Badly Drawn Boy, actor Hayden Christensen and emerging electro star Ladyhawke.
What Does the Future Hold for YMC?
Founders, Fraser and Jimmy understand better then most the perils of the fashion industry – undoubtedly learning a valuable lesson from the troubles they faced in the late 1990’s. Being backed by French Connection has greatly helped their production needs on each new collection.
However, both founders claim that they still have plenty of room to improve. In the future, there are hopes of opening in-store concessions, further stand alone stores and to continue to produce successful collections that are wearable all year round. A favourite of the fashion press – regularly featuring in Vogue, The Telegraph and Esquire – YMC is a brand that is increasing in reputation and is sure to go from strength to strength in the future.