BMS goes one on one with the dynamic duo of Yaen and Tamar, creators and designers of native Israel unisex fashion brand, the Muslin Brothers. From their favorite designers to what we can expect next, as well as a glimpse at their 2016 Spring/Summer collection, we'd like to intorduce the Muslin Brothers.
Before launching our label we used to walk around Tel Aviv with another friend , who looks like Yaen, with a long beard and haircut (it wasn't as trendy back then), but it was Arab spring; and in Israel, you hear about the Muslim brotherhood nonstop. One night we were at one of our usual hang outs and one of the regulars said,
"How great, the Muslim Brothers are here." Ever since then, it's stuck with us. So when thinking of a name for our brand we wanted to use an alias that didn't involve our names. We also liked the fact that it was local and with a hint of political criticism. Eventually we changed the 'Muslim' to 'Muslin". You know, it's so ironic how external appearances are translated in other people's minds, Like if you have a beard, does that mean you're an Arab/Muslim/terrorist?
Where do you guys draw the most inspiration from?
It's the middle east that influences our work. The urban surrounding always finds itself translated into our garments. We actually are fascinated by artificial industrial, low tech processes such as wrapping and flattening techniques added to geometric forms and the blurred lines of sexual identity.
Why did you choose to create a unisex line?
it happened organically. Because we're a team of female and male designers, we started trying out samples and realized we like it. [We] quickly realized there is a huge market for men and women or simply people that like to play with those blurry definitions. Now, men seek more colorful voluminous draped new shapes and we are happy to deliver.
In your minds, who are you designing for, and who do you hope wear your clothes?
iWe design for men, women, Intellectuals, experimentals, queers, sophisticates, people age 25 to 55, fashion activists, and those who love to express themselves with what they wear. We would love to see [personalities like] Cocorosie , Le1f, and Zebra Katz in Muslin Brothers garments.
How does being based out of Tel Aviv influence your work?
Tel Aviv is a mega inspiration for us. Living and working here means we are exposed to many cultures in a specific political social setting. At the same time Tel Aviv has this fun, informal, wild west, everything is great-state of mind. It's rough, improvised, opinionated and very vivid.
How would you describe this collection in one sentence?
It's having something that describes nothing.
What's next for the brand, and what can people look forward to in the near future?
We are now building the brand's global appearance. as we deliver our work trough clothes, performances and other cultural events, we wish to do so, not just in Israel and Europe, but in Asia and America as well.--we would love to continue doing what we do, but on a bigger scale . Collaborating with a Palestinian designer/artist is something we've been planning to do for a while now.
and to have our own atelier with all of our manufactures working together in one space. And we''d like to travel the world and launch our own sock line.
Do you have any favorite designers, and why?
Craig Green. (Designer, London, UK) We just love his approach to material and body, There's something primal about the male body and the wrapping of fabric that excites us. Also Henrik Vibskok (Designer, Copenhagen.) He's another great designer, and we draw inspiration from his multi disciplinary line of work.Toogood (London, UK) are a unisex outerwear brand. They're two sisters that work alot around uniforms but in completely new material contexts. Tesler + mendelovitch (Designer, Tel Aviv.) are a textile team, as well as friends and colleagues. These guys can manipulate wood into second skin. We learn from them every time we meet.
When you're not busy building the brand, where and what can we find you doing?
T: Dancing at Anna Lou Lou.
Y: Making a fire in the mountain.
What's the best way for people here in the US to get their hands on the collection?
Probably ETSY. (etsy.com) At the moment, we have a few online stores we work with, but on Etsy there is the widest variety, not to mention sale items as well. it's also the closest thing to a studio visit you can get, but we're definitely ready to have an actual selling point in US, which means we're open to suggestions.