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Five labels to watch from Maisons de Mode 48h Lille

By Barbara Russ

17 Sept 2019


When you think of a festival for up-and-coming brands in France - Paris is the only possible venue, isn't it? Not this time. The fashion incubator Maisons de Mode chose its hometown of Lille near the Belgian border for the event held last weekend, shining a spotlight on young and up-and-coming fashion brands.

Situated in the quaint and picturesque backdrop of Lille with its flourishing retail landscape, contemporary bars, restaurants and cafés, and an abundance of delicatessens typical of France, 26 designers presented their collections under the umbrella of United Fashion's European talent promotion. In addition to Brussels (MAD Brussels), the association also includes Antwerp (Flanders DC), Berlin (German Fashion Council), Riga (Baltic Fashion Federation), Skopje (Fashion Week End Skopje), Lisbon (Moda Lisboa) and Lille/Roubaix (Maisons de Mode). Here are a list of five labels to watch from the event:


The Berlin bag and accessory label by Melanie Faulhaber produces leather goods in cognac and black. All bags are manufactured in strict compliance with EU environmental guidelines - the leather is vegetable-tanned. For production, the label cooperates with a workshop in southern Germany, which has been family-owned for more than two hundred years. Currently, Faulhaber sells her bags most through direct sales to markets where she can talk directly to customers and explain her brand, she told FashionUnited. "We want to create products for eternity," she said. "Something you can pass on. My dream is that one day, as a gray-haired old woman at a flea market, I see one of my bags from today."

Tanja Christiani

Designer Tanja Christiani, the second German participant at the event, does without leather, silk, wool and fur. Her black, khaki and pastel-coloured dresses are made of cotton and viscose, with a halyard-like satin or silk. "I'm a vegan myself, so that was only logical for my collection," she said. She currently sells her fashion in two concept stores in Berlin and in her studio. In addition, she is looking for further sales outlets in Germany and worldwide for her casual feminine collections made with a Scandinavian minimalist style.


Luxurious high-performance swimwear is the métier of Chlore, the designer duo from Roubaix, France. The simple but well thought-out pieces, which are either reversible or created with a reinforced integrated bustier part, can already be found in Le Bon Marché, as well as in a specialist shop in Roubaix. The 2018-launched brand was highlighted as a good example of a young brand ticking all the boxes during a talk at the event to address buyers.

Gamme Blanche

In 2016, Marine Penet founded the jewellery label Gamme Blanche. The former photo stylist designs minimalist and graphic jewellery in Lille, inspired and influenced by a mix of architecture and nature. Made of gilded silver or finely gilded brass, the pieces are created with jewelry craftsmen in Jaipur, India, who work in the tradition of the Maharajas - a traditional and world-famous knowledge of goldsmithing. Marine respects the ethics of its brand and makes sure that no children work in the workshops and that each craftsman receives an appropriate salary and one day off per week. CO2 emissions are also taken into account through the brand’s choice of natural and recyclable packaging.

Urban Circus

High Visibility Clothing is the buzzword of Urban Circus, a brand that specializes in a growing niche market: Cycling apparel. Statistics about traffic accidents involving cyclists are frightening: According to the Federal Statistical Office, 445 cyclists died in road traffic last year, while a total of around 89,000 bicycle users were involved in accidents. In order to make inner-city cycling safer, the label has specialised in reflective jackets and other outerwear. The particular challenge was to apply the label's prints, such as orange slices, bananas or palm leaves, to the reflective material. But working with a delivery service helped the company generate the right quantities in order to achieve the desired results. More smart features on the jackets are planned.

Photo: Tanja Christiani Lookbook SS20

This article was originally written for FashionUnited.de before being translated into English