Want to Dress Like an Artist? Meet Meta Campania Collective


“I feel like artists are the best-dressed people — it’s always about their personal, individual style,” says Jon Strassburg, summing up the approach of stealth fashion brand Meta Campania Collective, which recently presented its seventh collection during Paris Fashion Week.

The coed, Paris-based label is proving to be catnip for specialty retailers that appreciate understated, meticulously made clothes with a unique hand and just the right dose of fashion currency. “Timeless, but not classic” is how Strassburg describes the balance he’s after.

During an interview at Meta Campania’s Paris showroom, two of his artist buddies, Alice Heart and Samuel Fasse, roamed amid the racks in skinny rib knits, slouchy trenchcoats, minimalist denim jackets and fluid shirts — clothes that could easily take them to a creative workplace, an art fair, a gallery opening or a chic terrace restaurant.

In September 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Strassburg, a 20-year veteran of the fashion industry with a merchandising background, launched Meta Campania Collective with his business partner Heiko Keinath, who runs the creative agency Buero that does campaigns for the likes of Jil Sander and Sportmax.

META HK JS 424286

Heiko Keinath and Jon Strassburg

Victor Brun

Initially menswear-focused, inspired by the workaday wardrobes of Pablo Picasso, Wolfgang Tillmans and their ilk, it hinged on items like chore jackets and roomy drawstring pants.

Today, Meta Compania Collective’s business is split roughly between men’s and women’s, and carried by about 40 specialty doors including Dover Street Market in Paris and London, Trois Pommes in Zurich, Bungalow in Stuttgart, Cement in Tokyo and 10 Corso Como in Milan, plus online platforms such as Ssense and The Webster.

“Passionate simplicity” is how Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of Dover Street Market, describes the ethos of the brand, whose embroidered muslin labels resemble an artist’s canvas, further telegraphing the artisanal quality of the clothes.

Strassburg said he is expecting to add new wholesale accounts from Germany, Austria, the U.S. and Japan for spring 2025 after a successful Paris presentation that featured fencing champion Race Imboden attacking rolls of paper and creating impromptu Fontana-esque slashes.

The brand operates e-commerce on its website, but mostly “because it showcases the entire breadth of the collection, and we curate it ourselves,” Strassburg said. “It’s also a way for us to have some inventory in case some of our wholesalers need some extra stock during the season.”

054

A look from Meta Compania Collective’s spring 2025 collection.

Victor Brun & Heiko Keinath

The cofounders are taking the long view on the business, backed by an impressive roster of investors led by Cedric Wilmotte, CEO of Michael Kors, and Claus Dietrich-Lahrs, formerly CEO of Hugo Boss and Bottega Veneta, where Strassburg was chief merchandising officer orchestrating the transition from Tomas Meier to Daniel Lee.

“It’s definitely part of the 10-year plan to have our own retail doors,” Strassburg said, stressing, “it’s important for us to building something that’s long-lasting.”

Strassburg’s résumé also includes nine years at Burberry heading menswear merchandising, plus earlier stints at Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss.

Over his career, he accrued a wealth of knowledge about Italian suppliers and fine European mills — and exacting tastes — so he’s adamant that Meta Compania Collective be produced “without compromise.”

Drawing on his own clothing preferences, Strassburg favors cuts that are “uncomplicated, but special at the same time”; natural fabrics without any interfacing or synthetic linings, and subdued colors, especially midnight blue, chocolate brown and an offbeat gray reminiscent of Weimaraner dogs.

043

A look from Meta Compania Collective’s spring 2025 collection.

Victor Brun & Heiko Keinath

He loves shirts but has a pet peeve: The collars, typically two layers of fabric sewn together, sometimes pucker after laundering. His solution? A single layer of fabric with a neatly stitched “frame” that gives Meta Compania’s shirts a nonchalant elan.

In short, the clothes have a lived-in cool he cherishes.

“In general, I want the pieces to feel like they were already part of your personal wardrobe,” he said. “When you look at an artist, you never have the feeling that they’re wearing something from a brand. And ultimately, I love that.”

In his view, Meta Campania Collective fills a “white space” between traditional quiet luxury brands and more fashion-driven labels in the minimalist vein.

He stressed that every element is carefully calibrated. “Every piece, every fabric and every color way is very, very thought through,” he said. “I don’t redesign every collection every season. The collection grows and develops, but there’s a big portion that is carried forward.”

The brand is also building up its content, including a podcast series with artists such as German rapper Max Herre and Paris-based photographer Olivier Kervern.

“The plan is eventually to use the brand as a platform, giving a voice to creatives,” Strassburg said.

039

A look from Meta Compania Collective’s spring 2025 collection.

Victor Brun & Heiko Keinath



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top