‘French couture meets denim innovation’, says the 7 For All Mankind design team of their latest collaboration, Malhia Kent X 7 For All Mankind, with French mill Malhia Kent. Known for their precious textiles and historical connection to Coco Chanel, Malhia Kent produces one-of-a-kind tweeds and woven fabrics for the world’s most avant-garde and luxury designers. Lending their coveted textile design to 7 For All Mankind, Malhia Kent has elevated denim to the higher echelons of couture.
Behind the chateau doors of the Malhia Kent mill is Eve Corrigan. A ‘textile engineer’, Corrigan introduced design software and cutting-edge machinery to the mill when she bought Malhia Kent in 1997. She ensured the mill’s legacy was not forgotten: founded by long time Coco Chanel collaborator, Michele Sorano, in 1987, Malhia Kent is known across the industry for its luxury tweed, and still creates unique weaves for the Chanel house.
Corrigan’s innovative and daring use of fibres have kept Malhia Kent an industry favourite; weaving paper through cashmere, and plastic with wool, for example. Before Malhia Kent, Corrigan was an international model, and her fresh, fashion-led vision is evident in all she produces.
Malhia Kent tweed is the deserved star of the 7 For All Mankind collaboration: electric blue and silver jacquard adorns a matching Moto jacket and jeans, while silver geo tweed and Egyptian gold jacquard jeans are the perfect blend of rock n’ roll and couture.
Ahead of the collaboration launch, we spoke with Eve Corrigan about her inspirations, textiles technology, and her own denim style.
Dazed Digital: What were your initial thoughts on the collaboration with 7 For All Mankind?
Eve Corrigan: We were very excited by the prospect of working for 7 For All Mankind, my daughter Alexia and I have worn their jeans for many years. It was a very positive match: 7 For All Mankind are very innovative in their approach to new materials and design, as are Malhia Kent. We liked the challenge of this unlikely pairing, creating a concept of chic and rebellion by mixing denim ribbon with gold and silver yarns. Malhia Kent are known for mixing supposedly impossible and opposite fibres together, such as paper and cashmere, and plastic with wool. We developed one of the most expensive fabrics in the world using gold and silver as a support for cashmere.
DD: What were your inspirations for the three fabrics – silver geo tweed, Egyptian gold tweed and blue metallic stripe tweed – used in the Malhia Kent X 7 For All Mankind collection?
Eve Corrigan: I am an art collector, and my passion for modern art is one of my main sources of inspiration, along with the many countries I travel too where I constantly look out for new design and fashions.
With my team of eight designers, we make nearly 2000 new fabrics every season, not counting the many many samples which don’t develop beyond curiosity. Our personal challenge as a mill is to constantly innovate on aesthetic and technology; we strive to break every rule in our craft environment.
DD: How has technology revolutionised Malhia Kent?
Eve Corrigan: Technology has made our dreams possible. We are very demanding, and must always be up-to-date on technology, installations and inspiration. I spend many hours designing appropriate software to push the boundaries of textile design: mathematics and IT are key to realising our inspirations, and foolish ideas.
DD: How do you imagine the 7 For All Mankind woman will wear the Malhia Kent collection?
Eve Corrigan: They’ll wear it from the moment they wake in the morning, till they return home from a party: from day to night, changing only the accessories. We want our clients to feel different when they wear our fabrics with 7 For All Mankind; couture fabrics can be everyday wear, it’s all about breaking the rules.
DD: On that note, how do you wear denim?
Eve Corrigan: I break the codes, I mix materials: a golden tweed jacket with denim jeans and nice shoes, from morning till dinner. 7 For All Mankind with couture is my new rule.