May Contain Traces (MCT), the wearable streetwear brand merging traditional British wear with Japanese design, is blurring the line between art and fashion. Created during lockdown by Alex and Miki, two 24 year olds from London, May Contain Traces has grown organically over the last 2 years. Going from strength to strength, their first drop sold out in 24 hours, “it really gave us momentum and inspired us to keep doing what we love. That feeling of an order coming in or seeing someone wear your products is so amazing and every time either of them happens, it’s an amazing sense of achievement for both of us”. In August last year, MCT collaborated with Mob Kitchen, designing aprons and T-shirts for their staff, a huge achievement for a new brand and an example of what the future holds.
May Contain Traces design style is heavily influence by Japanese art, a direction the brand decided to go in after Miki returned from a trip to Japan. Being half Japanese it seemed like the natural design path to go down, something he felt really passionate about. “We’re trying to bring Japanese inspired designs to our clothes in the hope of creating clothes that are unique and one of a kind”. Alex and Miki go on to explain how they saw a gap in the market. Acquiring all these cool clothes from Japan made them realise that you couldn’t find anything like it in the UK. Their joint love for fashion, fuelled the creation of their brand, as well as each other. “Our biggest inspiration was and is each other. We work well together, similar styles and loves”, showing that, as they put it, “teamwork [really does] makes the dream work”.
Community, individuality and pride is at the core of their brand. Alex and Miki want to bring cultures together and evoke a sense of communityamongst their followers; using their clothing to make people feel a certain type of way. “Whether that’s being proud of your heritage, background, job, skillset; it’s all about you doing you. If ingredients make up a recipe; what makes you who you are? What do you contain traces of? I think we want to try and inspire people to do their own things in life and do things that make them happy. You don’t have to box yourself in. You can be one thing or a hundred. All the little traces of things make you who you are.”
Currently working on a summer collection, the boys are constantly evolving as a brand, expanding to events, jewellery design, pop-up stores, restaurant merch and even art. With so many plans for the future, above all, [they] want to have a good time. “Most small businesses fail in the first year and the fact that we just feel like we’re getting started is incredible for both of us. Watch this space!”
Words: Ella Kenneally