Photography: Marc Haers + Words: Liam Maher
Menswhere: A Lost History of the Militant Guild of Rural Tailors
15 Years In The Making
We’ve all been waiting on this project for many years, why now?
Marc Haers and I used some of the downtime availed by both the lockdown and Denmark’s generous schedule of national holidays in the spring to populate a new website with the content we had developed for what was to be a book on this topic, but the publishing sector being more challenged than ever combined with the haute-idiosyncrasy of this project convinced us to share it digitally for now. This story has its share of the anachronistic, byzantine, and dense, but within it are some simple values which have resonated deeply for me since its inception. Namely, our identities can be found at the 3-way intersection of; Where I Come From, Where I Belong and Where I Hope to Go, and that collaboration on an interdependent level (neither interdependent nor codependent) lies at the heart of innovation and design-progress. This was never a #BLM concept, but it was rooted in mutual creative respect and the idea that cultural values can be intensified via cross-pollination, not diluted or co-opted. It was a concept about elemental notions of quality, craft and timelessness catalysed by invention, trial-and-error, and an unapologetic pursuit of the modern. As such, it seems relevant through the lens of the #pandemic and the questions being raised now about where genuine value really resides. The site is still a work-in-progress and we hope it will always remain so. While it predates my current work at ECCO by over a decade, some of the topics it explores are not miles away from those debated within any design studio or product team, including the ones where I currently spend my days.