Monse’s success seems like it happened overnight—within one year of launch, the New York-based brand had received both industry praise and the kinds of celebrity endorsements others could only dream of: Cate Blanchett, Amal Clooney, Blake Lively, Selena Gomez. But Monse’s fashion world domination isn’t an accident: designers Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim met while they were working at Oscar de la Renta, where they’d put in a collected period of nineteen years before they took the plunge to launch their own label.
After the passing of the designer in 2014, the duo decided to forge their own path, launching Monse (pronounced mon-say, named after Garcia’s mother) a year later, much to the delight of those who’d been following their respective careers for years. (The duo continued as creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, where they remain today).
While Oscar de la Renta is undoubtedly feminine, Monse’s goal was always to perfectly straddle the line between femininity and masculinity: the brand has become synonymous with classic tailoring and deconstructed perspectives, always including a range of pieces that can be thrown on to effortlessly elevate any outfit. The kind of pieces that can actually be worn from day to night.
It makes sense that Garcia and Kim would use a New York City skatepark to launch their resort 2022 collection—where is more laid back than here?—where models offset the backdrop in slip dresses with thigh-high splits and cute cut-out designs (Monse was well ahead of the trend here). Others fit right in in baggy blue cargo pants—no doubt soon to be seen everywhere as the Y2K revival continues—and Monse-logo crop tops.
Holding a show at a skatepark could have been a hint at a different, more boyish, version of Monse, but the collection continued to include all of the feminine pieces fans of the brand have come to love, with the addition of rainbow-hued crochet skirts and floral silk tops. Every look was styled with rubber-soled combat boots, the perfect pick given New York’s drizzly autumn weather.