Nothing says luxury like Monaco. The country, although small, has a large reputation for being the hub of all things deluxe, and so spawned Moné. The ready-to-wear brand is inspired by the nostalgic Riviera time period and derives its name from Monégasque, a native or inhabitant of the country.
The clothing itself is defined by clean cut design, simple colouring and a splash of vintage illustrations that are painted on as though the clothing was a canvas, rather than apparel. Moné’s pieces are timeless, with a grandiose, European feel that – whilst pulling from opulent eras past – still are grounded in modern and relevant stylings.
Their latest collection is with the collective Known Source, who are an archive fashion dealer. The duo has partnered to pay tribute to vintage subcultures that have defined the archive and beyond, bringing with it a touch of classic French style and a further collaboration with Ellie Misner & Vintage Threads for some one-off pieces. It culminates in a pop-up shop coming to Ace Corner in Shoreditch across the 7th-10th of December as well as an event to mark the moment.
The night gathered London’s crop of vintage fashion lovers to delve into what the collection had to offer. Soundtracked by a list of NTS DJs and sponsored by Patron ensured a buzz throughout the venue that was split across two floors – a sultry, dark basement and shop floor that offered a glimpse into both brands. Whether it was looking at vintage Chanel or coming across a new track down below, it was a mesh of special moments that captured Moné to a tee.
UNCLE partnered with the brand to bring their partnership to the streets of London. Their checkerboards creatives made a statement in our block format ahead of the pop-up launch. We caught up with the Moné team to delve deeper into the culture of the brand and how that impacts the creative direction, along with how the brand ties to London and a deep dive into the event and how it will shape their next chapter.
HOW DID MONÉ COME TO BE?
BS: I founded MONÉ 5 years ago. For a place that has played such a pivotal role in culture throughout history, I felt a Monégasque telling of the Riviera fashion story needed to be told. Having grown up in the Principality from the age of 5, it wasn’t until my 20s that I could fully appreciate the influence that the region has had across the arts. To date, each collection we make acts a tribute to the Monégasque influence on the Côte d’Azur, past and present.
WHY IS RIVIERA NOSTALGIA SOMETHING YOU WERE DRAWN TO FOR THE BRAND?
BS: There’s a reason why so many of the great artists – whether it’s cinema, art, music, or fashion – have always been drawn to the French Riviera. I think it’s always been a place of both aspiration and inspiration. I felt there were so many stories to be told – even moving down the coast from village to village you travel through so many different pockets of history, from Menton to Èze to Nice. It was about finding ways to connect a new generation to a golden era of Riviera culture, but in a way that didn’t feel disconnected from their present realities.
HOW DO YOU PULL ELEMENTS FROM THE PAST AND CREATE SOMETHING NEW?
BS: It’s one thing to draw inspiration from the past – through characters, eras, movements etc. – but to translate it into your own ideas and pieces is another. We operate a two-pronged approach: to capture the aesthetic of the Riviera’s heritage – but re-interpret it based on our collective taste. Our goal is to create a uniform that transports our community to the principality, regardless of where they live internationally.
WHAT ROLE DID MONACO PLAY IN THE BRAND’S EXISTENCE?
Monaco and the surrounding Riviera has had a defining influence on the brand’s aesthetic from its inception. Like many other great cities, Monaco is a rich tapestry of competing national identities, from the Romans to the Grimaldis, each has played a big role in shaping the Monégasque culture. We pay homage, through references from these competing cultural influences, be it outfits in Rene Clement’s Plein Soleil or 1980s posters from the golden era of Ayrton Senna – they all have Monaco in common somewhere.
WHAT IMPACT DOES THE CITY OF LONDON HAVE ON YOUR WORK?
Like the city of Monaco, the brand has close ties to London. Some of my fondest childhood heroes have had shaping influences in both cities, from bittersweet memories of players like Henry & Anelka leaving to play football in London, to endless summers spotting famous English faces in quiet corners of Riviera restaurants.
We have close friends in the creative scene in London and the energy and character of the city is often a source of inspiration to us. We celebrated the brand’s kinship with the city in a recent editorial with long time friend and supporter, Danny Lomas. We wanted to create a love letter to the city of London, and set the shoot in familiar neighbourhoods of Russell Square and Soho.
WHAT ARE SOME HIDDEN GEMS IN LONDON YOU LOVE?
Nostos Coffee in Battersea for all things coffee. Grab some of their beans at the Pop Up!
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN LONDON?
The city’s diverse patchwork of cultural identities. Travelling back and forth between our bases in Monaco and London has allowed us to tap into the creative community here. Most recently, we worked with close friend and photographer, Isaac Lamb on our SS23 lookbook, a re-imagination of the tourist gaze on the Côte D’azur during the 1980s and 1990s.
DOES CULTURE PLAY A KEY PART IN YOUR CREATIVITY?
100%. The brand is always going to be connected to the subcultures of Riviera, be it art, music or fashion. They are a permanent reminder to us of the area’s enduring importance to global culture. One of the hero pieces from our recent Summer collection was our Promenade Shirt – inspired by the iconic blue chairs on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO HOST YOUR LOCK-IN?
Having been introduced to the Known Source team at one of their previous events, we instantly had a shared obsession for the clothes and aesthetic trends that defined certain iconic eras in the fashion archive . Combined with a desire to challenge the status quo on single-use fashion, we set about dreaming of what a partnership would look like. Fast forward 6 months, and here we are. We believe that together, both of us bring an exciting angle to a shopping event.
WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT FROM THE NIGHT?
The event is a celebration of the people, brands and subcultures that have had a shaping influence on fashion. Expect to be entertained by our favourite DJs and drinks.