New York > Couture 2015-2018

For all of its penchant for the exotic, luxury Western fashion largely portrays itself as the domain of Paris, New York, London or Milan. Meanwhile, a significant share of the production of it's most glamorous, high-value, embellished and embroidered items are outsourced to workshops in Mumbai and Delhi, tucked away on decidedly unglamourous industrial estates (often helmed by female entrepreneurs and manned by male artisans). 

Maison Monsen, as a clothing project, was conceived to identify, employ and give credit to Indian couture artisanship while producing a Western couture collection. As we discovered, there was also some work to be done in debunking the presumed ethnic make-up of our American producers.

Made in New York’s historic garment district, our collection carries all the DNA of classic Western haute tailoring, development, pattern-making and fitting. We worked with the same ateliers used by some of the most iconic labels in American fashion - ateliers that are in fact run by Korean entrepreneurs, their highly-skilled Korean patternmakers, Latin American steamstresses (and a Chinese cutter). The district as a whole is a multi-cultural testament to 1970s and '80s immigration and the American Dream, each piece in the collection, a capsule of global craft & cooperation.