The London-based MAN designer delves into the details of her collaboration with the leading workwear boots manufacturers
In an era where everyone collaborates with someone, anyone, it's increasingly difficult to find brands and designers that either work well together because their products match, or click because the two are fundamentally different yet aesthetically compatible. London designer and MAN participant Martine Rose has found a sartortial friend in work boots manufacturers CAT. The Caterpillar brand has been around since 1925 but never really managed to translate their apparent knack for durable quality into a more fashion-led direction.
Then, in time for Rose's Autumn Winter collection this year, CAT saw the functionality and innovative comfort in Martine Rose's clothes through her London Fashion Week shows as part of the MAN project. Now, that relationship is cemented in a limited range of boots that will both develop Rose's craftsmanship and CAT's standing as a forward thinking boots and apparel manufacturers...
Dazed Digital: How did the collaboration come about?
Martine Rose: My relationship with CAT came about after using their black Sequoia boots for my A/W10 look book.
DD: Did you have a previous relationship - personal or professional - with CAT?
Martine Rose: Up to that point had been purely personal. I was a bit of a tom boy as a kid and absolutely loved the classic CAT Colorado, I campaigned for ages for my mum to get me a pair!
DD: What was the inspiration behind the boot?
Martine Rose: I wanted it to be surprising, but to definitely take it's lead from the heritage and function of the CAT brand. The leather toe caps are a nod to CAT's industrial element, the ankle strap I suppose is my signature, to highlight function and the fabrication is the surprising part. It took the classic Colorado and turned it on it's head a bit, the felt brings a touch of luxury.
DD: CAT boots are known for functionality, is that a design trait you share?
Martine Rose: I hope so. I love function, I love details that are purely there to enhance the garments performance and or for the comfort of the wearer. there is such incredible beauty and design that goes into ensuring a garment perfect functionality. This is a trade mark of CAT that I have found so inspiring and hope to emulate!
DD: Any other dream collaborations?
Martine Rose: Barbour!
DD: What's next for you?
Martine Rose: Stronger, bigger, louder, brighter, harder...plenty more to come!