When Pierre-Yves Monnerville was growing up in Paris, wearing sportswear was a no-no. "I was always warned that walking around town with sportswear on could be 'risky' for young black men. The risk was being stopped by the police and asked for an ID." That's why his eponymous new label is more than just another clothing brand. As the designer puts it, "I'm grateful I have a chance to design the minimalist and ethical sportswear clothes I wish I could have worn then."
The aim is flattering, confidence-boosting pieces, designed and produced in small numbers in West London. Sustainabiity is key to this young label. "My goal," says Monnerville, "is to lead by example and prove that businesses can thrive without wrecking the planet." Limited runs means less wastage while organic cotton is a given.
Monnerville's focus is on premium athleisure. These aren't pieces to be worn in the gym, but at ease everywhere else, from casual days at work to nights out at your local pub. Classic minimalist tailoring ensures seasonless, trend-free style. This is the very antithesis of fast fashion, further underlining Monnerville's environmental credentials. There's no disposable fast fashion here. As the designer puts it, "I believe we all need to consume less, but much better quality."
Key launch design is the Urban Jersey, which may look like a t-shirt but really isn't. Inspiration comes from on-pitch sportswear, inspired by football and rugby jerseys, with "Urban" denoting that this isn't designed for your workout. Construction is from piqué fabric, more usually used in polo shirts. Raglan sleeves emphasise the size of upper arms, to boost self-confidence.
Pierre-Yves Monnerville's focus borders on the obsessional. For those wearing his Urban Jersey, that translates as keen attention to the smallest of details. If minimalism can be defined as what’s essential executed to the highest possible standards, then Monnerville is minimalism par excellence. We can't wait to hear, see and wear more of this remarkable new label's story.