EX/BOYFRIEND by Boyfriend’s Shirt twists and reworks menswear finds using artisanal techniques, in exploratory ways, into wearable pieces with a rough elegance. The brand challenges classification due to its upcycling nature. While the young brand revisualizes life after a breakup, it also puts sustainability and social responsibility in the forefront through its mindful approach to product development.

Set to make their debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week México, we are looking forward to seeing EX/BOYFRIEND unique renditions. We caught up with the designer Laura Olin, whom we spoke to previously about Boyfriend Shirt but this time we are talking about EX and to learn more about this 100% Mexican sustainable project.

You are showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week México. I imagine that you always wanted to be a designer. When did you know that’s what you wanted?

My dream never was to be a designer, I decided to study fashion because of my childhood basically. My parents met when my mom was working as a designer and my dad as a professional cutter, so you can imagine what my life was like when growing up. My upbringing and my surroundings were such, that really I couldn’t have been anything else, although I did want to be a dancer!

Tell us about your collection showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week México.

We are an upcycling project so we don’t really work with “collections” per se, you can find our pieces all year round, but each and every one of them is unique in colors or prints. The project came about from the sentiment “They stole your heart you stole their clothes “. Basically ‘The perfect partner doesn’t exist, but if we take the clothes you took from your exes and mix them together, we can make the perfect garment. We reuse shirts in good condition and quality to tailor new skirts, trench coats, and shirts or use the last pieces of the factory fabric rolls to give the customer a unique and perfect piece of clothing.

Do you have a favorite piece that you will be showing?

Yes, the suits with the tape print are my favorites. Even though EX is a sustainable project, I still want to bring some affordable high-class tailoring to everyone.

What is your starting point when working on a collection?

Normally begins with an idea, a word, a song, or a thought and then grows from that. As I said previously, this collection began with the phrase “They stole your heart, you stole their clothes”. An idea that when you break up with someone you always end up with a bit of their clothing, an oversized hoody from a team you’ve never heard of, a suit too small, or a shirt you slept in.

Usually, music helps us through breakups. If we visited your atelier, what would be on your playlist?

A little bit of everything rock, pop, cumbia, old Brazilian music.I don’t really know a lot about music genres or the latest trends, just when I listen to something that I like, I add it to the playlist and that’s it. Some of the pieces are influenced by music but it’s never something I want to specify to a point.

Looking ahead, what are your plans going forward?

With EX it’s really just starting. Boyfriend Shirt is now established and ticking along beautifully so I want to push EX forward. I’m starting to design new pieces as well, I already have my staples which I will continue to make but the new pieces will be a little more out there. I also want to keep raising awareness of sustainability. It’s not just about the environment and pushing past fast fashion, it’s about the people we work with, the money they make, and the lives they lead. The entire process from start to finish must be sustainable, not just the final product, and not at the cost of cheap labor.

And finally, what was the best piece of advice you have been given?

There is no age to become what we want, the important is to enjoy the process to get there.

Many thanks to Marriott Bonvoy for their support of emerging designers and young talents through their partnership with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy Banorte cardholders can experience emerging and established designers presenting, and attendance to events such as the opening gala, conferences, and exhibitions with their exclusive access.