Martine Rose is a London-based designer whose self-titled label has become a cult favourite in menswear design since 2007. She is known for her unconventional approach to presenting collections, showing outside of the schedule in venues around north London such as rock climbing centres and markets.
Growing up surrounded by a melting pot of subcultures in south London, including the rave and reggae scenes of the '90s, Rose’s interaction with different communities inspires her aesthetic.
“I remember being very aware of different types of people coming together,” she told Ssense in an interview. “It’s difficult to describe because it was so much more of a feeling or a sense of something, which is actually how I design.”
Graduating from Middlesex University in 2002, Martine set up her first label LMNOP the following year with Tamara Rothstein. Folding the business in 2005, Rose launched her own project — which began as a men’s shirting brand — shortly after, receiving a £1,500 loan from British charity, Prince's Trust, which offers financial and mentoring support to young business owners.
Initially supported by Fashion East, Rose has also received sponsorship from the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN MEN awards.
Rose’s suiting and streetwear is stocked locally and internationally by the likes of Matches Fashion, Machine-A, Barneys New York and Ssense. Despite placing itself firmly in the menswear category, the label also taps into a growing fanbase of women. Through her label, Rose has collaborated with the likes of Been Trill, Timberland and CAT.
In 2017, Rose was nominated for the prestigious ANDAM prize for emerging designers and shortlisted for the LVMH Prize. In 2018, she was also nominated for the BFC's British Designer of the Year for menswear.