"I was drawn to the idea of offering limited edition product that can be pre-ordered directly by consumers every couple of months," explains an excited Mohsin Ali from his Brick Lane based studio. Forever on his toes and ready for combat, this week saw the first of potentially many, limited edition Mohsin releases. Bypassing the whims and fancies of retailers, ten engineered tops from autumn/winter 13 were reimagined in soft neoprene surfaced online and were available for pre-order. Four were snapped up immediately but six still remain. Inspired by the swift, direct movement of the Muay Thai practitioner, I was keen to learn more.
"It enables me to release garments that I might not necessarily send out to retailers. These products are little tasters. They will always be limited and either involve updating existing patterns in special fabrications or something which is new. The engineered tee used to launch this offering is available in navy and grey wool this season but has been made that bit more special in neoprene. It's a shape that I first introduced for autumn/winter 13, developed for the latest season and I'm already working on new fabrications for autumn/winter 14 involving special leathers. It's fast becoming a staple. So far I've sold two extra smalls, both to girls, a couple of mediums and I have an eye on a large for myself.
More than any other has managed before it, the AW13 collection really encapsulates my design standpoint and this has been carried through to SS14 and the early design work for the upcoming season. The collections are beginning to show a real continuity, there's a confidence about them which excites me for the future. I'm fighting hard to push the business forward whilst balancing and building freelance work. Since the label's launch I've been working to find the right approach and I feel like I have now."
It's little surprise that Layers snapped up much of the autumn/winter 13 collection. Exploring sartorial notions of protection with the physical needs and demands of his beloved Muay Thai, Mohsin produced a thirty five piece collection that played with shape, silhouette, fabric and function. The engineered tee encapsulated everything that I love about the label. It is a subtly transformative garment. It is modern day armour. Now, as the design talent tinkers with his armour further, this spontaneous, straight to customer retail experience at a competitive price of £145, he surely leads the way for others to follow. If you've been struck by this offer then please do drop Mohsin an email here. Your move.