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marke spring summer 2025

MARIO KEINE WALKS THE EXTRA MILE AND MARKE’S NEW COLLECTION SHOWS

Designers like Marke’s Mario Keine are rare. His philosophical way of approaching design isn’t unique to his experience; it’s also unique to today’s fashion climate. Some creative directors, however, base their collections on solid concepts and thought-provoking ideas. Jonathan Anderson is one of them, but he’s solely at the top so far. That is until Mario Keine has his massive breakthrough. As with a sustainable brand, Keine’s growth is steadily paced to keep the production as sustainable and local as possible. A classic Marke design is easy to recognize, not because of the use of extensive logos but due to the delicate finishing of his garments. “I sometimes drive my producers crazy; I’m demanding when it comes to the finishing. The inside should look as good as the outside.” Cover image: Ben Moenks

MARIO KEINE’S MARKE

Mario Keine emphasizes the horrifying similarities between the 1920s and the 2020s when we visit his showroom at the Chateau Royal Hotel in Mitte, Berlin. Keine presented his Spring/Summer 2025 collection on the first day of Berlin Fashion Week at Kulturforum.

The designer’s enthusiasm for his crafts is underscored by the fact he rented a hotel room alongside the Berliner Showroom – one day wasn’t enough to tell the story behind his work. It’s typical Keine: always walking an extra mile. When he was a first-year fashion student, Vogue Germany set up a mentorship program. With his initial sketches tucked under his arm, he walked into the office of Christiane Arp, the magazine’s editor-in-chief at the time – often referred to as “the German Anna Wintour.” Overheard at an official Fashion Week dinner, Arp fondly remembers their first encounter. “There’s no one as driven and passionate as Mario,” she explained. “Ten years ago, he walked into my office with nothing but a few sketches. The way he approaches design and concept development is extraordinary. He merges his inner world with external references, always merged with an important message at its core.”

MARKE SPRING/SUMMER 2025

Back to the similarities between the Roaring Twenties and the current twenties – which are, as many would argue, just as roaring. Not in a good way, Keine explains. “As a society, we haven’t learned a lot. A lack of motivation kicks in if there’s little to no progress.” The references to the 1920s are worked out to the most minor details. The models’ lashes were slightly lengthened, and their waterlines were colored, for example. “A century ago, men wore make-up much more often than now. The modern idea of masculinity versus femininity has arisen just a couple of decades ago. It isn’t as strongly rooted in the culture of previous generations as one might think; instead, it’s made up by society and commercial instances.”

Besides the dissection of modern masculinity, the collection’s concept is driven by severe introspection. Keine often uses his inner world to create the external. Last season, for example, he focused on the people who have shaped his outlook on life. This season, youth memories stand at the cradle of the collection, with the annual Schutzenfest as the central theme. Keine refers to the festivities as “nothing more than drunk men shooting at wooden birds,” even though it significantly impacted the designer’s youth. The yearly festival, stemming from the Medieval times, was meant to protect villages from intruders. When the militaries were set up, the festivities soon became needless. However, they were so embedded in the culture that the organization committee continued the yearly celebration. Keine knows what is said to be a community-driven event excludes marginalized groups. “Women have never been allowed to join, let alone queer people. Their way of thinking doesn’t make sense, but somehow is still tolerated by the general public.”  

TRADITIONALLY SPEAKING

Keine contemplated the worth of traditions when excluding groups of people. With Marke’s Spring/Summer 2025 collection, the founder and creative director aims to change the narrative around traditions like these. What will the next 100 years look like? How will we progress? Keine’s most crucial question to answer is how he can contribute to the progress he wishes to witness. His historical references remain a central theme, inquiring how we behave today. There’s a significant “period dressing” community in Berlin, which also inspires Keine. “Vintage clothing without vintage values” brought him to think: what is the value of tradition when they don’t reflect the zeitgeist?

Medieval menswear from the era in which the Schutzenfest was launched plays a subtle yet significant role in Marke’s Spring/Summer 2025 collection. “On social media, there’s a community that’s all about making men masculine again. I want to challenge that modern idea of masculinity, which I consider not so modern after all. Looking back at medieval times, men wore leggings, for example. Classic menswear, as we know it now, started around the 1850s. Before this period, menswear was way queerer. Or at least, that’s how we would refer to it today. In ancient times, men wore dresses; during the Renaissance, they wore more baroque clothing. The current way of dressing reflects our time, but its division between femininity and masculinity isn’t as set in stone as one might think. It’s time to change the narrative to include marginalized groups in the conversation.”



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