The spectacle of the west

Jacques Marie Mage proudly announces the release of a unique capsule collection produced in collaboration with the eponymous brand of acclaimed designer Umit Benan, a special project inspired by the heroes of the French avant-garde and the American West.

For those who may not be familiar with Mr. Benan, since launching his eponymous fashion label in 2009 the Turkish, Milan-based designer has become known for his modern and sophisticated ready-to-wear collections. Influenced by his background in architecture and industrial design, Mr. Benan’s creations are modern and sophisticated, often using different patterns and textures in his garments to create a uniquely layered look.

Having won a number of awards, including the "Designer of the Year" award at the Italian Fashion Awards in 2013, Mr. Benan is perhaps most notable not just for his meticulous attention to detail and use of high-quality fabrics, but for producing story-driven collections inspired by different personalities or characters, including dandies, playboys, and bankers.

In fact, the JMM x UMIT BENAN collaboration began as a provocative rhetorical question between JMM founder Jerome Mage and Mr. Benan: “What if the French poet, designer, and artist Jean Cocteau travelled to the American West to meet Native American rodeo rider and folk-hero Jackson Sundown?”

Their answer developed into a series of distinctive, limited-edition ready-to-wear, spectacles, and accoutrements. Artful and expertly constructed reinterpretations of classic Western attire—like the fringed cowboy tuxedo, refined cashmere blanket, and handcrafted sterling silver and turquoise bolo— are accompanied by a curated selection of new and classic JMM eyewear.

While the JMM x Umit Benan ready-to-wear collection is entirely designed and handmade in Italy using the finest materials the country has to offer, the eyewear is designed in Los Angeles and handcrafted in Japan using exceptional plant-based acetate, incorporating responsibly sourced precious metals and real, undyed turquoise.

Representing a true convergence of eras and aesthetics, here, the meticulous Japanese craftsmanship evident in all the fine details of JMM’s eyewear are paired with the time-honored expertise of Neapolitan tailoring, two formidable heritages blended into sartorial expressions of the highest order.

Words by Jacques Marie Mage