Designer To Watch: Marius Petrus


Menswear offerings have been expanding in scope in the past season or two, with a new group of emerging young designers proposing a masculine, yet forward thinking use of color, shape and pattern rising to the forefront. Guys who are moving into a more progressive, experimental phase will have plenty to choose from in SS14.

One of our favorite designers who is pushing the menswear envelope is Marius Petrus. The designerlaunched his eponymous collection of colorful, progressive menswear in 2013. Now living in Antwerp, he’s barely out of design school, having graduated from Artez in Arnhem (NL) in 2011, but his resume boasts some high-level internships with Alexander McQueen and Raf Simons. As he embarks on his third season, WATM caught up with Marius as he completes his SS14 collection.

Petrus’collections are marked by a design aesthetic that’s all about bright colors and bold graphic prints on fashion-forward masculine silhouettes. For SS14, the designer will show a new assortment of shapes and cuts, featuring bold prints all designed in house. “My goal is to design modern and masculine menswear, based on a merger of iconic menswear pieces and my own design aesthetic, also incorporating my signature prints,” he says.

A key item in the AW13 collection is the bomber jacket --reinterpreted by Petrus with boldly geometric fabrics. “The latest AW13 collection took a lot of references from the iconic MA-1 bomber jacket. As the collection was very much about today's world that gets tougher by the day, it was a logical choice to refer to the symbolic garment, that for me represents strength, power and masculinity. References are made in the shape of bomber collars on t-shirts, shirts and sweaters, as well as a sweater that has the same fit as a bomber jacket, including the collar,” he explains.

Petrus’ work expands into the theoretical realm with a project he is participating in for the Dutch Museum of the Image (Breda) exploring the relationship of modern technology, communication and fashion. Inspired by how the relation between the customer and the designer changes through modern technology (such as Nike ID) as well as the new possibilities for the customers to express themselves, Petrus created an interactive installation. Taking input from an online quiz that asks the visitor questions about their personality and lifestyle, the online application processes the data, which defines not only the colors and prints to be used, but also the yarns and the actual feel of the fabric, as the design gets woven through a digital jacquard machine and creates a completely customized bomber jacket, which is then sent to Tumblr. It’s a totally unique experience that causes the viewer to reflect on what makes them tick, and how one’s personality might influence one’s personal style. Visit and take the quiz if you’d like to be involved.

The designer’s passion for menswear shows not only in his designs. “I think today's menswear is the most interesting part of fashion, a business which gains more and more attention everyday. Men in general are taking a larger interest in fashion, and are starting to dare to be different. It becomes a natural thing to take care of your appearance. I also think that menswear is where the most exciting and interesting collections are presented, both by the big houses as by the younger generation.“

See Marius Petrus at Capsule Paris, June 28-30.