When Kiko Kostadinov is designing, there are several important questions going through his head. “Does it already exist?” he says. “Will this contribute to design or pollute it? If I saw it in a store, would I like to buy it?”
Just one year out of university, Kostadinov has risen to prominence, now recognised as one of menswear’s most promising emerging talents – largely thanks to his unique approach to cut and silhouette. He’s just presented his second collection at London Fashion Week Men’s and, as of December last year, has been working as creative director at Mackintosh 0001 – a new designer-focused line under the umbrella of iconic raincoat brand, Mackintosh.
“My goal is to reposition (the brand) with more contemporary design-driven collections,” Kostadinov says of this new venture. The first of these collections has just been unveiled and it marries his love of the idea of a modern uniform with the “very simple” techniques and materials employed by the brand’s factories in Scotland – elements he wanted to “push so much that they became new”.
“This (approach) was inspired by the Arte povera movement and artists such as Jannis Kounellis, who are known for their use of singular techniques and materials which are repeated to create their work,” Kostadinov explains. “Arte povera has been soft spot of mine since my Saint Martins days, but I’ve never found the right project to incorporate those ideas. Mackintosh, however, is the perfect opportunity to do this.”
While the collection is rendered entirely in black, it brings together a variety of silhouettes, many of which feature traditional rubber tape – something that aids the construction of the garments, instead of being purely decorative. Each look is designed to have matching trousers which, Kostadinov says, creates “an elegant uniform” that nods to his personal work. Head to the gallery above to see the collection.