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Sure, we’ve all been there: Late at night, hopelessly waiting to fall asleep, passing time by sitting on Instagram, absentmindedly stalking and screenshotting away. But for Marta Goldschmied, the designer behind denim label Made Gold (and who introduced the idea of workout denim), an Instagram deep dive can be downright fruitful. That was, after all, exactly how she stumbled upon her most recent collaborative partner, 19-year-old artist Yuki Haze. “What caught my eye was that she had amazing vintage pieces, like the same kind of Dior piece that I would have in my closet,” says Goldschmied. “I started going down [her feed] and I saw that she worked with denim and leather as well. I showed my codesigner the following day, and we just chatted with [Haze] on Instagram. It was really cool—the idea that you can just meet someone virtually and get this whole thing going.”
For Haze, who lives in London and had started by picking up “really, old disgusting” leather and denim jackets from flea markets and painting them, she was thrilled when Goldschmied reached out. “I was really happy that someone wanted to appreciate my work. It’s different when someone messages you that they really like your work and want to do something with you, instead of people just liking and commenting,” says Haze. “It was the first indication that maybe the jackets were more than just playing around.” And they are: Now they are the starting point behind an entire capsule collection comprised of five pieces, ranging from jackets ($1,067), pants ($768), to shorts ($619) all of which mix a healthy dose of downtown grunge with a punch of primitivism. The jeans boast graffiti like “Food 4 Thought,” shorts feature a massive white snake writhing across the lap, and denim jackets are scrawled with both snakes and hands on the back as well as burn marks eating through the arms, the result of Haze's experiment with open flame.
And how’s this for a 2016-era collaboration: Haze and the Made Gold team did not meet in person until the project had ended. The creative conversation was entirely digital and executed through WhatsApp and email. The Made Gold team would send Haze the pieces and let her have creative freedom. “We let her know what the brand was about but we didn’t want to give her too much direction. So we sent a raw piece. There was not so much direction,” says Goldschmied. “Once she sent it back and it was the ‘No pity for lost souls’ piece, it was just so perfect, and then we sent her four more.”
But the meaning behind the pieces runs deeper for both Haze and Made Gold. At the time, Haze’s use of snakes, a common theme throughout the collection, represented an uncertainty about her future, like university and career prospects. “I needed to put that symbolism into the jackets,” says Haze. “And I thought that I needed to turn that uncertainty into a positive thing and turn that negative feeling into an emotion.” When they Haze sent the denim back, the Made Gold team felt an immediate connection to the pieces, some of which featured scribbled words like opposition and rage: They had just left a corporate company to set out on their own. “We went from a super-corporate situation to a team of girls who really believe in the brand—who believe in doing their own thing instead of being a sellout,” says Goldschmied. “I think that definitely is something that Yuki’s art represents as well—the whole attitude in her pieces. It is 2016’s girl power in a way—and we are all about girl power.”
The capsule collection is available from today, March 29, at madegold.com.