Cruel youth – Max Reynders

Max Reynders is the founder and creative director of the Antwerp based emergent brand MXDVS, which is increasing day by day its visibility in the worldwide new fashion market. 
Today we are going to talk with him about his influences, his new projects and his persona.

Hello Max, how are you doing today? First of all, I would like to know how your passion for streetstyle and subcultures was born?

Hi Stefano, I’m fine, thanks for asking, I’ve always liked to dress myself up, non-fashion related, since I was a little kid. When I was around 17 years old, I became more interested in creating my own style when I was introduced to brands like Stampd LA, I Love Ugly and UEG Warsaw back in 2013. Streetwear was viewed very differently from what it is now, as it was mostly logos on basics and now it has a lot of sub genres. Brand logo’s and hype aren’t really my thing. I’ve always been more intrigued in the overall silhouette of an outfit, not the brands that made it. Michael from UEG’s work motivated me the most, his silhouettes were on another level (and still are). I’m very thankful that he gave me the opportunity to shoot for his brand back then. This inspired me to start my own brand and to share my vision of the world.


What influences you in your artistic production?  What is the purpose of your fashion line?

Everything or everyone can have an influence on my creative process. I try to see the beauty in the ugly and vice versa for inspiration and create something of my own. What inspires me the most is life itself, how we think, how we act, what we feel, how and who we love. I like to dress a certain way so I decided to just start my own brand to portray my vision and how to wear it. I know some pieces are taboo and aren’t easily accepted in our society. Like a scarf with the word “TERROR” woven into it or a hat that reads “make earth great again, kill yourself” which are both sensitive. The scarf is made to provoke meanwhile the message behind the quote on the hat is in my opinion very ‘poetic’. “make earth great again, kill yourself” is still one of my most favorite quotes, the meaning behind it is that earth would be better off without us humans, as we are the only kind that destroy and poison this world for all other species. Therefore make earth great again, end all human life, simply start with yourself. It’s a satire, I don’t praise suicide. Life is a blessing and we should all learn to love each other, consider our actions and leave a better place for future generations and other species that have no voice. We humans are supposed to be superior but in my opinion,  we are the real poison, the real terror. I still eat meat and drive a car so I acknowledge how hypocrite it is to say something like that. That’s why I made a parody t-shirt of the United Nations logo that reads United Hypocrites.


Scrolling through your social-media it is clear how violent aesthetics live divinely through the fibers of your clothes. How does violence really influence – visually and artistically – your style?

I’m not a fan of violence. In fact, i’m very antiwar, yet i’m very inspired by how they dress and how it looks aesthetically. Eitherway how I present my style online is a way of representing a post-apocalyptic world. It’s fiction, mysterious and dystopian. My biggest influence regarding the silhouettes of my personal style are fictional characters like Bane, the entire creative direction of Mad Max, super heroes (but mostly super villains). On a daily basis my friends also inspire me and shape my style as well. As I said before military uniforms inspire me a lot too, for example the Nike Special Field boot I wear in almost all my photos. Putting outfits together like this is therapy for me, it feels like crawling into another identity, I can never see my own face with my masks, so I can be whoever I want to be.


MXDVS is undoubtedly a peculiar reality, I think that not everybody really understands its nature. How do people naturally react to your project? 

Most people don’t really understand it and that’s ok. MXDVS is pretty unusual and I’m totally comfortable with being a black sheep. A couple months ago I had some angry moms blogging about me, which was pretty amusing, and I still plan on releasing a collection around it. They called me Jihad Chic, I was inspired the moment I read that. Here’s a link to one of the blog post. It shows how some people can be easily triggered by a word, in a way I felt succeeded because my purpose was to shock. It reads terror but why do they instantly link terror with religion or a political view? It’s sad we live in a society with people that think like that. The real terrorists are you and I, humans terrorize each other every single day.


What does the future have in store for you?

As for the future, I just want to portray my vision to the world, show people they can dress like their favorite video game character in real life. One of my goals would be to design a pair Nike Special Field boots with NikeLab.

There is a lot of competition in the sector you are working in, everyday tons of new brands come to life and many more die. What differentiates your brand from the others? 

I don’t really care about other brands. I can be hated tomorrow and there is nothing I can change about that. In this society where trends tend to come and go pretty fast, I just express my creativity and as long people fuck with it, I’ll be able to expand my creative journey. My following is extremely supportive, in every single way. I like the niche I created and it doesn’t have to be more than this. Like a cult has its following, I have mine.


My last question is about your view on street style, how street style changed in the last ten years and how do you think it is going to evolve in the next ten years?

I don’t really fuck with the idea of hype, for example sneakers selling for an insane amount of money. Just be yourself. If clothes interest you, be experimental with pieces branded or unbranded, and style them in your own way. Take your time and you’ll find a style that will make you feel comfortable. Don’t spend your entire paycheck on an item to feel like you fit in, just visit your local thrift shops. I receive the most compliments and questions about the cheapest pieces I wear. And that’s where streetwear is failing at the moment, no real attempts at timeless designs. How street style will evolve is how my friends and me (aka +32) will shape the fashion scene in the next ten years, just sit tight, put on your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.


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