Despite an ever-growing list of runway shows, presentations and events, one of the hottest tickets at London Collections: Men remains River Island’s Design Forum Initiative. For ten seasons the BFC-backed initiative has focused on bringing high fashion to the high street, pairing the retailer with the likes of Lou Dalton, Christopher Shannon and James Long.
As announced in early May, this time round sees River Island partner with YMC on a 15-piece collection that celebrates the British label’s 20th anniversary. After teasing with sketches, the collaboration has finally hit shops, meaning we can bring you all the looks. Made up of re-issues from the YMC archive, the lineup spans casualwear, outerwear and accessories, starting with a jumper first seen in 1996, right up to joggers turned out last year.
Take a look at the full collection below and read our exclusive chat with YMC founder and creative director Fraser Moss to find out how he found the process of picking out the brand’s greatest hits to revive.
After that the only thing left to do will be to head over to River Island to bag yourself a piece of the range before it sells out.
FashionBeans: How do you think high street menswear has improved over recent years?
Fraser Moss: To be honest we’d previously been reluctant to collaborate with high street brands, but now many brands on the high street are moving away from that ‘throw away’ ideology and developing good quality clothing that will last, whatever the price.
How did the collaboration with River Island come about?
This year marks our 20th anniversary, in celebration of this we were looking to reboot some of our ‘greatest hits.’ River Island approached us about their Design Forum initiative and it just seemed to fit. The teams were really receptive to our ideas and were willing to give us the freedom we needed.
There must be loads of inspiration in the archive, was it hard to limit the number of pieces you chose?
We came across no difficulties as such, the collection just organically came together based on what we thought represented both the heritage of our brand and the needs of River Island’s customer.
What is your favourite piece from the collection, and why?
I can’t pin in down to one piece. Each item in the collection represents an essential piece of our heritage so I couldn’t possibly favour one over the other!