Fashion / M.MARTIN
Born to a long line of garment family pioneers and raised in NYC, Alex Gilbert Gaines launched Paper Denim & Cloth with Scott Morrison in 1999. Once Paper was up and running, Gilbert Gaines began to explore new frontiers, moving to the West Coast where she worked with the likes of Mickey Drexler on The Gap’s 1969 Denim collection. Since becoming a mother with two young daughters (and a third child born in March 2015,) Alex moved back to NYC with her family to re-launch Paper Denim & Cloth at HATCh Showroom, where she met Jennifer Noyes.
Noyes was born in Korea and grew up in New Jersey with her twin brother. She worked in wholesale at Prada USA – first as an Account Executive in Women’s RTW and then as Director of WRTW – before leaving the fashion world to raise a family of her own. After the birth of her daughter, Noyes toyed with the idea of returning to the industry and eventually went to work for HATCh Showroom as Showroom Director, where she met Alex.
In spite of their diverse backgrounds, Jennifer and Alex (also a twin) found that as working mothers they were often reaching the same conclusions – albeit via different routes – and their collaboration blossomed into a lasting friendship.
When Gilbert Gaines’ dream of one day creating a new sportswear brand became a reality, she had legacy on her mind – not only her own legacy as a founder of the seminal Paper Denim & Cloth but the legacy of her grandparents. Martin and Minna Gilbert had started a fashion business during World War II and Alex was also keen to draw on the influences of early American sportswear —the un-fussy yet authoritatively soigné look of Bonnie Cashin and Calvin Klein. Named after her grandparents, M. MARTIN carries those legacies into the future.
Launching the business with friend and fellow fashion-lifer Jennifer, Gilbert Gaines and Noyes seek to update the midcentury American sportswear aesthetic for a new generation. These are clothes for the confident woman who expresses her elegance through a sense of ease; durable, modern-day staples– the belted denim coat, the perfect crisp button-down, the fluid pajama pant, the cozy oversize knit—that can be worn and re-worn any which way. Each M. MARTIN piece is made to last, not only in terms of quality but because they are classic pieces that stand the test of time. This is forever-style with a contemporary twist. M. MARTIN takes its legacy seriously—and wears it so, so lightly.