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Emerged from the Parisian suburbs, we talk with the creative mind of M+RC Noir, antagonistic codes and its possible organic combination. And he proves it. This label plays with urban and premium, and what’s the result? Garments with strong values that represents the true core of real streetwear. M+RC Noir is a mix between fashion and music, what is in fact a tribute to a culture. 
“In this fashion industry by accident”. This is the slogan that appears on your instagram page, which is, in fact, your main channel to the world. What do you mean by that? It’s a good starting shot point, you like to provoke!
That’s a state of mind. When I talk to people, it can be family or an Uber driver, when I’m asked “What do you do for a living?” I never answer “I work in fashion”. It’s not something I’m cool with. I know a lot of people with no fashion skills at all pretending to be fashion designers and I would never be like that. I never dreamt of working in fashion. It’s just something that happened randomly because I have a sensibility for it. I’m not into the fashion industry. Instead of hanging out with fashion people I’d rather stay on my own, working on my collection. I love the relationship with my customers and the people I work with (factories, events…) and that’s all that matters to me as I can’t be bothered with fashion people.
I have a special interest in your origins and influences. Streetwear is usually accompanied by strong roots and beliefs. I mean, pure streetwear such as yours can only come out of vindication, of a concrete lifestyle with a very ingrained cultural environment…
I come for the Parisian suburbs where guys would buy and wear tracksuits everyday but would never wear them to play sports. Sportswear really is a proper style there. I remember back then when people were slowly adopting luxury codes and mixing them with streetwear. This is my heritage and that’s what I am trying to do today. I want to combine sportswear and luxury codes.
And what are you ideals? What is your message to the world?
My message to the world is that you can do what you want do and be 100% independent like I am. You don’t need rules anymore. As a brand you don’t need to be in the coolest stockist in town, you don’t need to spend thousands on trade shows, you don’t need to force yourself around people if you don’t feel like it. You can find your own audience on your own, you don’t need anyone to tell you what is good and what’s not except your customers. If you respect them and treat them like a community, they will always have your back.

Your brand inspires freshness and hope. Your models frequent the street but their young faces do not express pain, craving, or insecurity, rather on the contrary. Sometimes they even wear tattoos with the message “Wake up”. Wake up for what?
It’s not about beauty or followers. It’s about having something special. A charisma that will match the brand. Sasha (the tattooed guy) comes from a very poor area in Russia, for example. At 17 years old he was homeless living the street life. Some day he decided to put his life together and start working. That’s when he got the ‘wake up’ tattoo on his face. We scouted him online actually and I decided to fly him from Russia to Europe. That was not that easy at first but I’m glad we could finally bring him to France. Sasha’s face is expressing hope, his entire story is, even though he came from a very dark place.
What sets you apart from other streetwear labels? 
When you know the streetwear codes, it’s actually easy to see the differences. Our brand is premium sportswear. We do our best to offer quality garments with luxury details. I spend a lot of time working on the details, even though I know most people might not notice straight away, and I guess this is how they spot the difference. I don’t want the brand to be showing off, I’d rather keep it low key, affordable and with a very good quality.
You sound like a mix of urban and luxury, something like ‘affordable luxury aesthetics’, right? Often your shootings run between street environments and classy landscapes. How does this combination come about? It responds to a lack in the market? Or it the streetwear already playing in another league?
I don’t know if the streetwear plays in that league to be honest. I think the term ‘high end streetwear’ has been used way too often by brands that have nothing to do really with streetwear. Just because you use the codes such as the imagery or the music doesn’t mean you’ll have that credibility. Companies are using the streetwear trend to sell and at the end of the day it has nothing to do with it. I am trying to offer the best quality with affordable price. My brand is a mix between what my audience wants and what I want. Today with Instagram, I feel like youngsters want to wear the same brands just because they already have been approved by others. And the reason why they buy one brand or another is only because they will be approved as well and will get more attention online. That’s a bit sad because nowadays people tend to all look the same. Luckily enough I did not grow up with Instagram so I had to chase brands and pieces. I discovered many brands and learned a lot from that.



Your brand is born and raised in the streets of Paris, suburbs, and in the black culture, which has become so representative in this city. You have conquered Colette, the Parisian parties and the coolest galleries with your looks. What has made that culture born in the French gettos (its music, its language, its lifestyle…) cause more fascination and inspiration than others?
That trend is quite confusing. The parisian suburbs never had good publicity. Still today in Paris, if you go to a club with black people from the suburbs they will assume you are trouble and won’t let you in. However if those black guys are speaking english, then the bouncer would just let you in. Rappers get much more credit than real people from the suburbs. Nowadays big corporations such as LVMH or trendy spots like Colette offer so much exposure to rappers because they bring them coolness. You can be a hardcore rapper talking about drugs, girls and money, still you’ll be the face of Dior. However being a nobody from the suburbs, no one would accept or allow that attitude, you’ll always be trouble.
Honestly, what do you think of the ceaseless rise of subcultures? Hip hop dominates the world. Latin rhythms, trap music… it all has grown very fast. Why does this happen?
Internet and music stream changed everything. Everybody can listen to what they want. In the past, radio and televion used to dictate the trends and what you had to listen to. You don’t feel the pressure to listen something you don’t like anymore because you have other choices. Some people thought that the hip hop wouldn’t last long. But artists showed that they were more open minded than people believed. They accepted every culture and their music is always evolving. Every year it’s a bit different and I think thats a good thing. Rappers’ style has evolved as well. They don’t have codes anymore. And that’s what keeps the momentum of streetwear alive.
Your relationship with music is obvious. It's another explanation of your collective. What do you feel when you hear that names as Metro Boomin, Young Thug, Wiz Khalifa and Chris Brown, amongst others, want to wear your clothes at their live shows?
The only thing I do all day is listen to music. I could not live without it. So yes, sure, I always felt the need to build a bridge between fashion and music. I hang out with so many people in the music industry that I sometimes feel like it’s my job rather than fashion (laughs). Working with artists is natural and I’m always happy for the customers to notice that we are affiliated to music. I think it’s cool when you’re young and you support a brand to see that they actually are collaborating with artists you like. I never wanted to take advantage of the hip hop culture. We always invest a lot in events to pay tribute to the culture. I also tend not to post pictures of artists wearing my brand anymore. Because I don’t want their name to outshine the brand. It’s really cool being affiliated to them but the brand has to exists by itself.

We know the importance of the crew within your culture and philosophy, which means a family, a group. How is a day and night of an M+RC Noir member? Why is this collectivity concept so important?
Actually we are more a group of people who do things, different projects, so it’s not always easy to deal with everyone, but at the end of the day we do it quite well. Most of the time I’m working on my own and then sometimes we all meet up and travel the world. Every day is a different day.
One thing I liked about your collections is that you often work with female models, something peculiar in streetwear, where sometimes the roles between men and women are more stereotyped than in other sectors. What role should women play in your label?
The collection is unisex and I don’t look at people differently if they are males or females. To me it’s the same. I’ll shoot someone just because of what they express, the way they look.
Tell me two o three designers you would like to collaborate with in a future, something like your creative utopia. 
So far I never really thought of it and I don’t think I’d be ready to work with a designer. I’d like to bring the brand to another level first and expand it. But if I ever had to work for/with a brand, it would be Jean Paul Gaultier.

Words
Alba Riera

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