Marius Op ’t Eynde’s calling card are his vibrant prints. It’s almost too easy to say they’re busy - the careful composition creates a cohesive harmony that in less deft hands would result in confusion. The Belgium based designer decided to focus entirely on his brand Marius Petrus after succesfully graduating from the Fashion Department at Artez in Arnhem and completing interships at Alexander McQueen and Raf Simons. We sat down with Marius to talk about his work and how he got into fashion.
When did your interest in fashion begin?
It started at a rather young age, much less consciously. I was always very picky and stubborn when it came to what I was wearing, even when I was a little kid.There are stories of me absolutely wanting to wear shorts on a winter's day.
The clearer focus on wanting to do something related to fashion professionally came around when I was about 16 - I was already doing printed graphic T's and was certain I wanted to do something in the creative field. At first, my focus was more based on graphic design but turned more and more into fashion as I do have more of an interest in the 3D then 2D work, as well as a deep interest in fabrics and materials.
As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration from?
This might sound like a cliché but I can draw inspiration from everything around me. It varies from exhibitions, art and architecture to an image that comes by on Tumblr or a vintage piece I find on a market somewhere. People can inspire me as well, especially someone on the street that is dressed way off and interestingly different.
And what inspired you to create your latest collection United Future A/W14?
For the last collection it was really a matter of going back to the essence of my brand, looking again at what defines my aesthetic as a designer and tweaking and updating it to become what is - in my eyes - my best collection to date. It is also about revisiting classic items from the rich heritage of menswear. It includes references to groups uniting and a sense of protest, which I think is something obviously relevant in our current time.
Marius Petrus has a strong signature style, how would you describe it?
Clean and graphic shapes, with an emphasis on bold prints, great materials and details.
Print is an important part of your work, what attracted you to it?
That’s a good one. I don’t really remember when it started – ages ago. I was already drawing and scribbling when I was little, also using my dad’s Windows 3.1 laptop with painted back in the days around the 97’s – that turned into designing T-shirts during high school and continued throughout my Fashion course – always had an interest in graphic art, architecture and photography as well.
Your prints are all created digitally, is this a reflection of the digitization of our society?
I wouldn’t really say that. Obviously the digitization allows me to make this kind of work, but it’s not because of that why I use digital tools. It’s just the ideal means for me to create the perfect geometrical shapes and repeats that I like to work with. Since I’ve been doing it from a young age as well, it really feel like a natural extent of myself, a really easy and clean way to turn my ideas into visuals.
You completed internships at the men’s department of Alexander Mcqueen and Raf Simons. Tell us about it.
Both experiences were great – though different as well. My time at McQueen taught me loads and was also my first view on the real fashion world, in it’s most intense form. I had a great time over there and it had a big impact on my design aesthetic. Living in London for 6 months was also very inspirational. Raf Simons was the reason I moved to Antwerp just after I graduated and was another great opportunity. Again, just as at McQueen, a very nice and small team and loads to learn and, this time, it also meant the opportunity to meet and work with one of my heroes.
What do you think about menswear today?
I think there’s a lot going on in menswear at the moment, on all different levels – from casual commercial to denim, to super high-end. There’s also quite a lot of young menswear designers doing interesting things and, in general, I perceive a growing interest and respect for menswear, which is great!
Can you reveal us something about your upcoming collection?
Well, that’s going to have to remain a mystery for a little bit longer. You can definitely expect new print works and a great selection of fabrics – the core of every MP collection – and a really nice, relaxed and carefree summer vibe.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More, better, bigger. More stockists, bigger and better collection also including accessories and just to keep continuously improving and reinventing myself and the brand. I would also really like to start some (longterm) collaborations with other brands, how, what and where still needs to be defined!