Dutch fashion house now in Manila: Classic, timeless, left of center
“We hope to set trends rather than chase them.”
That, in essence, sets Mexx—the latest ready-to-wear brand to hit the Philippines—apart from the competition, said Julia Hanson, Mexx’s chief creative officer, during the formal opening of Mexx’s main store at Shangri-La Plaza mall.
For one, the brand originated not in the usual fashion capitals such as Paris, Milan, New York and Tokyo, but in quirky and vibrant Amsterdam.
“Mexx is about taking something that’s classic and timeless left of center. We have a little fun with it. If you look at our clothes, we have little things that make it very Dutch,” said Hanson.
Fashion may be the overriding come-on that would make people buy clothes, but Mexx’s designers, composed of three teams—youth, men’s and women’s—also have functionality in
mind when designing their respective collections.
“We don’t forget to make our clothes functional and breathable because our girls love to bike,” Hanson said.
Cinderella Marketing Corp. exclusively represents the brand in the Philippines. Richie Santos, the company’s VP for international brands, discovered Mexx during a trip to Amsterdam five years ago. He had since set his sight on bringing Mexx to the Philippines and adding it to Cinderella’s stable of growing brands such as Esprit, British India, Nafnaf and Clark’s.
Mexx’s other branches are located at Alabang Town Center and at the newly opened SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City.
“I instantly fell in love with it because it’s so my style,” Santos said. “I’m a very detailed person, and Mexx’s styles are very detailed. They’re not made from ordinary fabrics, but rich, interesting prints made specially for Mexx.”
No wonder, the company creates its own prints and has the bulk of its fabrics manufacture in China.
The clothes are also made in India, Bangladesh, Portugal, Turkey and Eastern Europe.
Mexx, which broke into the scene in 1986, is present in some 30 countries.
“It starts with a vision for the brand, and that’s ultimately reflected on the finished product,” Hanson said. “But before we can have a product, it always starts with the quality of the
In Asia, its presence is limited to Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and, before the year ends, Australia. Mexx has yet to open a store in the US.
“We’re very careful about our global expansion,” said Hanson. “We’re only as good as all of our global selves or partners.”
Although Mexx, like its competitors, is attuned with trends, it tries to maintain an “individual point of view.” It delivers to stores a new batch of clothes every 30 days as opposed to not a few fast-fashion brands, which deliver every week.
“We touch on trends, but we’re never trendy,” said Hanson. “It’s important for us to set our own trends. We’re definitely not a fast-fashion brand.”
Its target market, consisting of people in their late 20s to early 30s, is quite old by fast-fashion standards. But the age range could go lower or higher depending on the person.
“It could be older like someone who’s still body conscious and has a nonconformist point of view,” she said. “Mexx is also about not necessarily dressing your age, but not trying to look like 18 or dressing like your daughter.”
PHOTOS BY RICHARD REYES