In the corner of Mfpen’s office, studio and retail space, dubbed the Mfpen Apartment Store, is a small television showing an ever-changing compilation of short clips. The clips vary, including a performance by the Beastie Boys, footage from Nirvana, Morrissey and Ian Curtis, and an excerpt from Heat. All of the footage and images have one thing in common: everyone featured shows a predilection for shirts, ties, and suits.
“A suit looks like something for a costume party or a status symbol at a bank,” Mfpen founder Sigurd Bank explains of this endless reference reel, “but it can also be all of these other things.” Suits are central to the Copenhagen-based brand and once again play a key role in its Fall/Winter 2022 collection. “There are a lot of traditional tailoring, but at the same time we want to challenge these status symbols, which be a suit and a tie,” continues Bank. “Personally, I hate people who wear suits because of what they represent, but I love the suit. It’s the same suit, but we defy those status symbols.”
The recontextualization of these classic pieces of menswear is a constant theme, referenced through the proportions (the oversized shirts are a focus of attention) or the small details, including the washing instructions printed on the ties. . Mfpen also changes the way the suit can be seen through the other pieces in the collection. One item that contrasts with the tailoring approach is a faded black long sleeve that features a graphic taken from a Slint vinyl. “The merch t-shirt has such a strong identity within hardcore,” continues Bank. “We have this material in the collection that suits suits well, but also gives it a bit of contrast and takes it in a different direction than suits. We don’t deconstruct a suit, but we deconstruct it the way we want to see a suit.”
“We don’t deconstruct a suit, but we do deconstruct it the way we want to see a suit.”
Mfpen’s take on traditional costumes is also differentiated by materials. “We have organic cotton mixed with linen, we have so many pinstripes, which to me is synonymous with Wall Street style, we have coats in recycled polyester, wool fabrics for pants,” Bank explains, noting his use of dead material. . luxury home fabrics “We like to take advantage of these traditional fabrics and garments, but updating them in a more responsible way.”
The mix of traditional menswear silhouettes and responsible fabrics is unexpected, and Bank insists that Mfpen will avoid the “sustainable” look. “We always work with dead fabrics and we’re really experts at finding and using dead fabrics, but that doesn’t mean our aesthetic has to look like a sustainable brand,” she explains. “We just want to make clothes that look great and are responsible.”
For FW22, Mfpen has continued to advance these ideas. Shirts are still baggy and boxy, ties and knitwear are still being deconstructed, and suits take on a whole new meaning. “Traditional menswear is what I do and I think it’s beautiful,” Bank continues. “So we’re taking these things and putting them in a different context.”