Glenn Martens is the Reconstructionist Wizard behind Y/Project
Glenn Martens is the creative director of the brand Y/Project. He is also one of the most talented young designers working in Paris today. His Spring/Summer 2019 show was a seminal collection that beautifully underlined the real breadth and width of his conceptual creations. Designs that have their foundation in streetwear but their execution is of a couture level.
Born in Bruges, Belgium, Glenn was not one of those designers who dreamed about fashion from an early age. Instead he studied interior design and just by happenstance ended up applying to the prestigious – and famously rigorous – Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where in the end he would graduate at the top of his class.
From there Glenn landed a gig as a junior designer for the women’s pre-collections at Jean Paul Gaultier and he also spent time working as the first assistant to the founder of Y/Project, Yohan Serfaty. Then in 2012 Glenn launched his own signature brand before being asked by Serfaty’s business partner to come back to the Y/Project brand as its creative direction when Serfaty passed away in 2013.
From that moment until today Glenn has produces collections that are filled with shape shifting clothing. Pieces that appear sliced and diced together, have intriguing appendages or layers that make them look both familiar and fantastical. And the fashion world has taken notice of Glenn. In 2017 he was awarded the ANDAM prize, winning $280,000 and a year-long mentorship from Francesca Bellettini , the CEO and president of Yves Saint Laurent.
I spoke with Glenn just a few weeks before he presented his latest menswear collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence. Forgoing a Paris showing for the prestige and the honor of presenting his clothing in an arena that celebrates the best that menswear has to offer.
But what I love most about Glenn is that none of his burgeoning fame, nor the growing number of accolades he receives have gone to his head. He is just a great guy you would be happy to grab a beer with and talk the night away.
Jessica Michault is the Senior Vice President of industry relations at GPS Radar by Launchmetrics. She is also the editor-at-large for ODDA magazine and contributes to publications like the New York Times, the Business of Fashion, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Mixte magazine.
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