In the age of Instagram influencers and instant fame, Martine Rose is an aberration. Unlike many of today’s most recognizable luxury streetwear designers—Demna Gvasalia, Virgil Abloh, Samuel Ross and Heron Preston—who have risen to the forefront of fashion within years or even months, Rose has built her career steadily over the past fifteen years. Yet, unlike many of fashion’s longstanding elite, Rose has never constructed her own garments: “I know this might make me sound like a bit of a fake, but I never made my own clothes,” she said to Purple in 2017. Difficult to categorize (Is she streetwear? Is she high fashion?) and fiercely independent apart from in-house collaborators Sharna Osborne and Max Pearmain, Rose crafted a career that defies many of the fashion industry’s beloved processes and conventions. For years foregoing trends and runway shows, Rose lay the foundation for a new generation of British designers through an approach that looks toward subcultures and other art forms, in particular music, to create clothes that are less about a concept and more about feeling.

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