Stella Artois is renowned for its Belgian-style lager which is loved by the most dedicated lager fans globally. Martine Rose, one of fashion’s most daring designers, creates menswear inspired by the world and history of punk. Her clothes have become the quintessential uniform for UK’s creative counterculture, worn by skaters, artistic misfits and other nonconformist types.
Together, Stella Artois x Martine Rose, presents a clothing and accessories collection that captures the essence of Stella’s beer-making heritage and Britain’s pub subcultures. The range exhibits a vintage-meets-modern flair, showcasing the Belgian-style lager brand’s timeless iconographies and the UK’s enduring pub lifestyle.
“I was excited!,” Rose said when asked about her reaction to getting to design the Stella Artois capsule. “It’s a fun collaboration and a natural fit, at MR we’ve played with codes and graphics around pub culture for a long time, so it was great to get our hands on this!” And rightfully so, Rose created apparel crafted from upcycled beer towels in her 2021 collection. It was quite the foreshadowing for her collaboration with the iconic lager brand.
The Stella Artois x Martine rose collection consists of a T-Shirt, buttoned shirt, cap and bottle openers. A bottle cap jacket and distressed denim jeans are the collaboration’s special edition pieces. Rose’s design direction was about capturing elements of Stella Artois’ rich history and defining a specific “feeling in time.” “We wanted to create a look that evoked a mood and a specific feeling in time,” Rose said. “I wanted the project to have a sensitivity, and for there to be a hand-element to it. I didn’t want it to feel corporate or too slick.”
For Rose, evoking UK’s pub culture felt like an organic reference for the collaboration. The designer even took inspiration from the world of pool hall players, using her favorite hang out spot Cousins Pool Hall as the backdrop for the lookbook and video editorial. The pub subcultures also perfectly coincides with Stella Artois’ iconic logos and branding, as they’re frequently seen at these drinking destinations. “I always remember the TV advertising campaigns and the graphic identity is really strong,” Rose said about Stella Artois’ unforgettable ads. “I like the traditional ornaments in the logo; the red, white and gold.”
“I like the democracy of the pool hall, the random mix of people you get,” Rose also explained. “That it’s a sort of timeless space, both in the sense of never knowing if it’s day or night when you are there and their unchanging quality over the decades. In London they often had later opening hours than pubs and there was something a bit borderline / edgy about them too. It’s also personal. This look book was shot near where I live, my partner goes there all the time, my uncle used to run a hall in South London also. It’s a comfortable and familiar place for me.”
With authenticity in mind, Rose drove the messaging home for both the lager brand’s heritage and her eponymous label’s reputation for rebellious designs and superior craftsmanship. “The garments are based on styles from our collection, so we were working around a silhouette that is recognisably ours,” Rose said about the creative process. “Otherwise, the approach to this was very hand made, all the sampling was done in house by our team.”
The aviator jacket, which is the hero piece in the collection, is a size XL custom piece that perfectly reflects the hand-made elements Rose speaks of. “It’s a heavy, cognac coloured cowhide, with an aged, broken effect hand,” Rose explained. “We wanted something that felt like an authentic aviator jacket leather. It’s embroidered on the back, has embroidered patches on the sleeve, the bottle tops are hand sprayed or custom printed, and hand smashed flat, then hand riveted on also… the team took shifts applying it all. It’s a real labour of love and completely bespoke. The lining are custom MR x Stella Beer towels, overdyed by hand here at the studio so the colour became more complex and subtle. Our Beer towel hoodies, and beer towel linings in bombers are an iconic part of our collections – as well as being another subcultural classic in UK fashion history.”
As for the rest of the collection, the jeans themselves were given a mended and repaired look on the pockets through the use of coasters. The internal branding is actually external as well. The logo print T-shirt features both the Stella Artois and Martine Rose logos coming together, also seen on the MR signature “sawn-off” cap and bottle openers. Lastly, an unmissable newspaper print buttoned shirt rounds out the range – it’s a punk reference according to Rose and recalls things newspapers write about, the classified ads, the tabloid culture and the way you can use newspapers for wrapping fish and chips.
Martine Rose and Stella Artois fans in the US can enter for a chance to win these pieces from the collection through a special sweepstakes. Participants can head to @StellaArtoisUSA on IG to follow the campaign and enter for a chance to win by visiting the Stella Artois site through desktop or via mobile to access the “Stella Artois Spin to Win Holiday Sweepstakes” portal. There, users will need to create an account and follow the instructions for entry and filling out the proper fields. Winners will be notified on December 27, 2023. For a full view of the rules please visit stellaartoisspintowin.com/rules.
For purchase, the full collection will launch exclusively at Martine-Rose.com and in-store at HBX New York December 1. Stella Artois x Martine Rose will also launch at HBX.com, Machine A and Dover Street Market London on December 8.
STELLA ARTOIS® SPIN TO WIN HOLIDAY SWEEPSTAKES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to U.S. residents 21+. Begins on 10/20/23 and ends on 12/26/23. Visit www.stellaartoisspintowin.com for free entry and Official Rules. Message & data rates may apply. Void where prohibited.
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