Maison de Mode at Art Basel Miami
For those of you heading to the Sunshine State this week for Art Basel Miami Beach, may we urge you to take an interlude from the gallery trawling and schmoozing (yes, we know all about the parties!!) and go check out MdM x PK, an art-meets-ethical-fashion popup from Maison de Mode in collaboration with Paul Kasmin Gallery.
The brainchild of Town & Country’s Special Projects Editor, Amanda Hearst, and designer, Hassan Pierre, MdM x PK is a brilliantly curated collection of designer names, completely debunking the myth that eco in any way equals frumpy. And yes, Chinti and Parker are much honoured to be included. You'll also find limited edition artist commissioned books and sculptures from the artists at Paul Kasmin.
Here, Ms Hearst sheds a little light on the project, and why ethical fashion is back and more relevant than ever…
What did you look for when selecting brands for MdM x PK shop?
With every one of our shops I select products based on our location and its demographic. For instance, when we were in New York for the Frieze Art Fair, I imagined our client to be a modern working woman, so I took a more conservative approach to colour, but sought out pieces that had unique design elements. With the Miami store, all the pieces I pick are upbeat, colourful, playful… this one is usually the most fun to curate!
What attracted you to taking on this project?
My partner Hassan and I have always been very invested in ethical fashion. I've been writing about the topic for 5 years (first at Marie Claire, now at Town & Country) and Hassan has two ethical fashion lines, WISB* and Basic. Hassan approached me with the idea of doing a one-off ethical fashion shop for Miami Art Basel, exactly one year ago! We worked together on it and virtually sold all the merchandise we had. After that initial one, we realized we were on to something.
Do you have any tips for people looking to shop more ethically?
Honestly, the reason we do the shop is to bring awareness to brands that are producing and designing ethically. So, my first tip would be to check out the roster of brands Maison de Mode has worked with. We intentionally pick brands that have a conscience, but that are also chic and fashion-forward. We really try to eliminate the stereotype of ethical fashion as being frumpy and unflattering.
How do you think ethical fashion has changed in the last 10 years?
There was a moment in 2007 when everyone was talking about climate change and the environment and so all these brands came out to support. But then people lost interest, namely because that was the hot topic at the time and then people shifted their interest. In the past 3 years though, ethical fashion and how fashion impacts our environment has reentered the conversation in a much more substantive way. It's not just a trend. Designers like Stella McCartney, Maiyet, and of course Chinti and Parker are making earnest efforts to design ethically while not compromising design. It's a challenge, but more and more brands are considering their impact on the world and that's a great thing!
Aside from look, what values do you most admire about Chinti and Parker?
I love that Chinti and Parker uses eco textiles. I think that sourcing those types of materials is an incredible challenge for designers, namely because there aren't that many out there. I've heard this before - that brands would use them if they were more accessible - but the problem is that right now there isn't enough demand. Once the demand is there, factories and companies will start investing more in eco textiles but at present it’s a slow process. So I think it's great that C+P incorporates ethical materials into their designs. Oh, and the sweaters are super cute too!
Visit MdM x PK Shop at
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH DECEMBER 4-8, 2013 11AM - 6PM Soho Beach House