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MCM SS20 collection Munich disco Berlin techno
Courtesy of MCM

MCM clashes Munich’s hedonistic disco days with Berlin techno for SS20

Global creative officer Dirk Schönberger debuts his first ever ready-to-wear collection for the label, as he pushes towards a new era of luxury

If someone were to ask you to list a series of luxury fashion labels, it’s unlikely that MCM would be among the first to spring to mind. Despite its storied history, the brand is better known for its monogrammed leather goods and luggage than it is for ready-to-wear and runway.

That’s all set to change now, though, as MCM welcomes its new global creative officer, Dirk Schönberger, who joins a newly assembled design team at the label’s Berlin HQ (in the city’s up-and-coming Potsdamer Platz area, with 032c as their neighbours FYI). 

Having spent eight years at the helm of adidas – as the driving force behind collaborations with the likes of Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, and Yohji Yamamoto – Schönberger’s eye for innovation and streetwear sensibilities are set to inform a full, ready-to-wear MCM line. In fact, he already has one collection under his belt, with his debut SS20 offering set to start dropping in stores and online in November. 

The starting point for the season, he explains, was Munich in the mid-1970s: the place and time that MCM was launched. “It was a very glamorous city, it wasn’t gritty like Berlin,” he explains, sitting on a sofa in the MCM office as people work quietly all around us. “There was a big disco scene, and it was very hedonistic in that era.” 

But while the wild days of disco might have provided the initial spark, the label’s new home also offered its own inspiration when it came to putting pen to paper. “The new collection is a clash of Munich disco and Berlin techno, it’s a mixture of glamour and a darker, more utilitarian aesthetic,” Schönberger confirms.

So what does it actually look like? Well, there are no out-and-out Studio 54-vibes or anything that looks too joining-the-queue-for-Berghain-at-1pm-on-a-Sunday – Schönberger was thinking far less literally than that. One of the first pieces he points out is an oversized black bomber jacket featuring abstract splashes of silver sequins, “like the lights hitting a disco ball, but you’d never realise it,” he explains. 

Elsewhere, slick vinyl trenches that fade from red to black are paired with XXL flared trousers, which were of course a staple of the 1970s. There is also slick suiting, pyjama style shirts worn over hoodies, and pieces emblazoned with subverted iterations of MCM’s unmistakeable logo. 

Of course, accessories are also integral. Having raided the MCM archive upon first arriving at the label, Schönberger has reimagined a series of classic styles for 2019, with many of them rendered hands-free with the club (whether disco or techno, depending on your propensity). Elsewhere, a series of heavy-duty boots and leather, logo-emblazoned sneakers feature utilitarian pockets and pouches to the ankle. The ubiquitous tiny bag is covered too, with mini trunk-style bags designed to be hung around your neck. Seemingly, the trend is going nowhere fast.

The launch of the collection follows soon after Billie Eilish was revealed as the face of MCM’s AW19 campaign, and dropped a collaboration with the label. Marking a new direction for the brand, Schönberger explains that he loves that she “doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks of her.” As he pushes MCM towards a new era, it’s the imagination of this new free-spirited and straight-talking generation Schönberger hopes the label will capture. “What we’re creating is a new kind of luxury,” he concludes. "Something more disruptive for someone younger.”

MCM's SS20 collection will drop online and in stores (including on London's Conduit Street) in November.