MACHINA PARACHUTE PONCHO
We have created garments that are multi-purpose and have a transformation feature. This is just the first of others to come.
Our parachute poncho began life in 2019 as one output of a design challenge to consider transforming apparel, beyond any other traditional garment. With global warming and sustainability being such hot topics in the fashion realm, we know for a fact that today’s world doesn’t need any more new clothes. There is an extreme excess of clothing and waste. It is no secret.
In MACHINA we are firm believers that the future of fashion relies on better design solutions promoting true functionality and high quality products that can last a lifetime.
In the early 2000's, a new field of climate-science research emerged that began to explore the human fingerprint on extreme weather, such as floods, heatwaves, droughts and storms. Known as “extreme event attribution”, the field has gained momentum, not only in the science world, but also in the media and public imagination. The result is mounting evidence that human activity is raising the risk of some types of extreme weather, especially those linked to heat. The number of extreme events studied has grown substantially over the past 10–15 years and it is something that will continue to grow. Because of this, we have seen a shift in how people dress. Seasons are far gone for us. We are predicting a future where humans will have to be ready for any outcome they will have to face. A recent example would be the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic made a 360º shift in all industries! it is a global demonstration and challenge on how human nature has the ability to adapt.
In conversation, Antonio and Linda discuss how the poncho went from a speculative exercise to reality.
When someone thinks about a garment so complex as this one, it can be mistaken with Nike x Tom Sachs Poncho. Do you relate? What makes you different?
Antonio: We finished designing this specific garment mid 2020 and know that we are not far from how other true creators see the world because as we were finalizing the last details of our design, Nike x Tom Sachs poncho launched. After reading a couple of interviews with Tom Sachs. It took him and Nike 4 years to design and develop the poncho. Ironically, we where designing our very own version at the same time. However, because we are not a monster company like Nike, we have the ability to be flexible and fast with our prototyping processes. We had the idea in 2018 and took almost two years to finalize all prototypes and begin manufacturing.
Linda: I own the Nike x Tom Sachs poncho. I was obsessed with the whole collection since the moment I saw it. The space look and feel is something I really like. All stitching details, clay hand made individual handles and material selection are all pretty cool. BUT $500 USD for something that came in a plastic bag…hell no. That makes me upset. It took so long to develop (4 years to be exact, according to Mr. Tom Sachs) for it to be delivered in a plastic bag at that price range. Our product has many details from start to finish at a more affordable price and available in two color variations.
Taking into consideration what Antonio mentioned, us being a more flexible company, we have the ability to make the product accessible in price and access to consumer always maintaining quality and details.
If you finished the design in 2020 why are you launching this product until now?
Linda: We where is Taipei when the first glimpse of the pandemic started back in December 2019. We flew back to our hometown Mexico City waiting for things to settle and they haven’t really settled since. There have been several factors as to why we have launched until now. Our manufacturer was shut down until recently, all ports where closed and for personal reasons related to COVID I was away from office for eight months and Antonio was working half time.
During the coronavirus pandemic, jam-packed container ships have gotten stuck in traffic at ports, which is choking the economy. Delayed containers have become both a symptom of and a contributor to global supply chain problems. We had a container stuck for over ten months. We manufacture 90% of our goods outside of our home country Mexico. (Between China, Cambodia and Taiwan.) One of our biggest challenges facing COVID-19 has been logistics. Globalization, as we know it today, would not have been possible without the container; so imagine being stuck with no product to deliver what so ever. On the other hand the rate for a single shipping container has skyrocketed over the last 18 months as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted supply chains and trade channels. So stressful.
Although we continue to live uncertain times, humanity is adapting to this new reality. Our customers are ready for new functional proposals that are worth their time and money.
You are well known as a wearable technology company. What kind of technology are using for this specific garment?
Antonio: technology and innovation can come in many forms. We have explored in the past new materials, new manufacturing processes that require specific machinery or pattern making forms and that for us is involving new forms of technology. Electronic component shortages have been a hindrance on booming electronics marketplaces since 2018. While new orders roll in and production remains steady, there're simply haven’t been enough capacitors, resistors, and other parts to go around.
Due to the electronic component shortages we see this as an opportunity to showcase our abilities as designers and represent others forms of innovation. For our parachute poncho it is an avant garde fashion design statement. It brings new feature into fashion. It is about exploring the boundary and a new way of material and technology used in fashion.
Everybody who owns a MACHINA garment can relate to the fact that you manage high quality and complex products. How was your relationship with your manufacturing team for this specific garment to full-fill both factors?
Linda: Our relationship with our manufacturers is a true marriage. It is a marriage in a sense that we have created and worked to have a strong trust and open mind to accept new challenges. They learn from us and our crazy ideas which they are not really used to and we learn from the best. They convert our ideas into reality.
I have worked with Antonio for 13 years now and it can be sometimes challenging to understand how he thinks and where he wants to go. I am usually the only one that understands him. Throughout the years I have worked on the ability and necessary sensibility to direct and provide the correct feedback on certain designs to take them to the next level and visa versa. I believe that is one the many reasons on why we make a great team. So when we started working as a team with our manufacturers we had to find a way to go around the language barrier (because they only speak 10% english) that being settled, we have learned to communicate through passion, design and processes that we unfold together as a team. They are extremely patient with us, which is greatly appreciated because they strongly believe in our vision and ourselves to make a difference in this industry.
Antonio: They get very excited once we get to the final prototype of anything. It is such a great accomplishment. Again, we are not a big company so we have the ability and flexibility to explore on new materials, processes and that is something that they very much enjoy doing with us.
Some people may consider this specific garment towards a more “tech-wear” piece. Would you agree?
Antonio: Techwear aesthetic is inspired by military, tactical, ninja and cyberpunk clothing. The result is highly functional clothes yet fashionable. The stylish look, the functionality and durability of techwear clothes are the reasons for its huge popularity among streetwear lovers in the urban scene. So to answer the question, yeah. It can be a tech-wear piece. It get’s people ready for every day life and different climates and adaptable to any style.
Why would somebody want to own a garment such as MACHINA's explosive poncho?
Because it is nothing like what is out there. It is accesible and it can be used for a lifetime.