One of the coolest brands to emerge from London in recent history; YMC are champions of the minimal, contemporary, clean aesthetic we're all looking to recreate. Read on for the complete history of the brand.
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YMC, or 'You Must Create' has recently become one of the most popular brands among young men wanting to look good, without having to try too much. With the philosophy "You must create your own style", most of the YMC clothing can easily be mixed and matched with any existing piece in your wardrobe.
This multi-functional, modern take on design gives the brand's pieces a timeless, yet incredibly relevant feeling giving you comfort in the knowledge that any of their pieces will last... well, as long as you care for them.
Read on for the complete history of YMC.
The History of YMC
1995 - 2008
In the peak of 90s fashion, the menswear market was saturated with 'American skate' influenced clothing such as baggy jeans and branded t-shirts. Tired of the repetitiveness (and probably sheer aesthetic disgust) of it all, design duo Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins decided to create the perfect antithesis in the form of YMC. The brand's initial inspiration came from took initial inspiration from work wear, the football terraces of the early 80s, the tradition of outward bound attire and American and British military wear - the perfect remedy.
With Fraser heading up design and Jimmy catering to the financial side of things, the business got off to a rocky start. After a relatively successful beginning, the brand slowly began to lose money and were forced to close their Conduit St. store in London alongside dropping their womenswear range.
When it just looked like the brand's journey was coming to an end, high street giant French Connection stepped in providing vital funds, and expertise, to pull the brand back from the brink of bankruptcy.
2008 - Present
In the years following, YMC began to recoup their losses and continue building the brand's name. By 2008 a combination of increased brand awareness, market knowledge, and a shift from the early noughties maximalism to chicer, cleaner stylings saw them reinstate their womenswear collections to great critical acclaim.
In 2009, the brand opened their first flagship store in the ever-fashionable area of Soho, London. With an eclectic décor, the quirky store provided the perfect contrast to the minimal stylings of the brand's clothing.
One year later, in 2010, YMC open their second standalone store on Hanbury Street in the burgeoning fashion mecca of east London. With a 1920s themed design, once again, the store provided the perfect disparity to the collections only further highlighting their unique, yet simplistic, designs.
Since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength as the current tendency towards minimalism in the market has worked in their favour. With their workwear influenced, vintage-infused collections they've garnered the interest of LadyHawke, Cillian Murphy, Martin Freeman, the Gallagher brothers, and Heyden Christensen to name a few and are now available in their three standalone stores (they've just opened one is Seoul), Liberty of London and online globally.
They are now among the prime exponents of a highly British form of modernism in clothes design. Where others are increasingly concerned with the fleeting, the transient and the contingent, YMC follow the Corbusian precept that form follows function. The results, free from fads and fripperies, are as close to timeless as clothing gets.
Your Quick Guide to The History of YMC
- Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins first started YMC in 1995.
- YMC opened two standalone stores between 2009 / 2010.
- LadyHawke, the Gallagher brothers, and Heyden Christensen are among the brand's celebrity fans.
- YMC are now among the prime exponents of a highly British form of modernism in clothes design.
- As of 2016, YMC opened a store in Seoul, South Korea - their first store outside the UK.
Although the brand's only been around a mere twenty years, their turbulent history has given them a resilience that will attest to their calculated, and sensible moves going forward. Their mantra centering around the customer creating their own style with YMC's pieces has made them a popular choice among fashion fans and style mavens alike, alongside those looking for sensible, timeless staples.