Full of M.E., a young fashion brand based in Lithuania, designs clothes for a genderless future. The brand emerged three years ago as the brainchild of brother-team Eimutis and Vytautas Mikaila. After spending years travelling around Europe, Eimutis had settled back in his home of Lithuania to train in fashion drawing. Using the inspiration gained from these years of adventure, he proposed the idea of a fashion label to his brother, who eagerly accepted. Today, the duo produces designs from the edge of reality – one size, flowing garments that blur lines of shape, form and, most importantly, sexuality.
This photo series, captured by photographer Ignas Maldžiūnas, brings the “Full of M.E. mentality” to the fore: a belief in “only one gender – human.” Schön! spoke with the team about their designs and the mindset behind the innovative brand.
How did you both get your start in design?
You can basically say it all started when I went to study in Milan and later at IED Barcelona. After two years spent in two cities, I went back to my home country, where I attended fashion drawing courses. Then the first piece of Full of M.E. was created, though I didn’t know that at the moment… That drawing became the Full of M.E. logo face and the print for our first product, a lovely cotton tunic. We produced 25 pieces, which were sold out during the first month.
After this success, I asked my brother if he would like to join me on this journey and help me create further products. We spent months developing our mindset so we could understand what Full of M.E. represents… I — Eimutis Mikaila — have a more theoretical background of design, whereas my brother — Vytautas Mikaila — has a more practical field of view. However, I have since given him my theoretical knowledge, and our knowledge of this huge market now develops together – we share what we learn and we are trying to make each other become better in this sphere.
Full of M.E.‘s clothes are genderless. Was this part of your designs from the beginning? Why did you decide to make solely unisex, one size fits all clothing?
It was part of the idea. In the beginning, the idea was to create genderless one size pyjamas. However, at that point, we understood that it was not yet reachable and we had to start with some simpler design and pieces. We wanted to develop an outfit between nightwear and casual, which would represent “human wear.” It would provide you with comfort and a feeling of freedom. That is really important to Full of M.E. We as creators want to develop a brand that breaks formed stereotypes about gender or be the first choice of clothing for people who have already broken free from these enforced stereotypes. At this time all of our creations are one size; however, in the future, we will introduce sizes because there are pieces that we want to create which definitely need sizes.
Given your different backgrounds, how do you and your bother approach Full of M.E. differently?
I would say that the age difference gives maturity to our projects and negotiations. And the fact that me and Eimutis have had a really close relationship from the day I was born. I can actually say that my developing worldview is influenced by my brother, and that really helps in the work process. It allows us to understand each other more easily.
Talk a bit about sustainability as it relates to Full of M.E.
Right now, we still do not produce our products from sustainable materials. We are still a small and not financially strong brand, so at the moment we just can’t produce our products from recycled or sustainable materials. However, that’s what we are striving for in the near future. Mother nature needs more care from humankind. We have a responsibility to recycle and strive to stop virgin plastic production by spreading knowledge about proper consumerism.
You’ve said that you draw inspiration from your Lithuanian home. How does that inspiration manifest itself in this collection?
It’s all linked to the environment and art we see around us. Let’s say that it would be the abstract, art deco architecture and surrealistic art form. I think that’s what it is based on. It’s about Full of M.E.’s unique mood and perception – eclecticism and the massive power and benefits of its challenges.
What were some other visual inspirations for this collection?
All the pieces that you can see now and will be able to see in the future were created by finding the good and bad sides of the clothing, then developing clothes according to those findings until the piece is fully finished, perfected. Many visual inspirations came from Paris, especially Centre Pompidou, but major injection comes from people in the streets, underground, rave culture. I also take a lot of inspiration from fashion history, my fashion muse Tilda Swinton and designers like Paul Poiret or Ray Petri.
You said at one point that your brother found inspiration from South African rap group Die Antwoord. Tell us a little bit about that story and how it inspired his journey to design.
What we found in this band as inspirational was their movement of freedom, their aggression against cultural stereotypes and of course the aesthetics that shown in their music videos, concerts and all the time they appear in front of cameras.
What is the “Full of M.E.” mentality, as you see it?
The Full of M.E. mentality is about hedonism and feelings of family union. The Full of M.E. philosophy: Imagine fashion with no gender. Just people the way they were born. The feeling of freedom from enforced stereotypes. You can find it if you look for it. Full of M.E.‘s creations are unisex and one fits all. That’s why everyone can feel welcome.
Full of M.E. believes that the future is in sustainability and long-lasting products. We are seeking to produce a majority of our products from recycled plastic or alternative sustainable materials. We as a brand believe in only one gender – HUMAN. Our creations are based on human sexuality: sharp yet loose lines allow one to feel exquisite while maintaining cosiness. The M.E. idea is to help people release their fetish, release themselves, allowing them to feel freedom from enforced stereotypes!
What can we look forward to in the future from Full of M.E.?
The first thing on our minds right now is to establish a position in the market by entering retail shops but to do that we first need to extend our brand line. The second thing would be to arrange a Full of M.E. collection presentation show. And the third thing would be to find investors so we can enter the sustainable materials market game, which would help us accomplish our goals. Sustainable is a necessity. Unfortunately, necessity is a luxury for now, especially for young, niche brands like Full of M.E.
photography. Ignas Maldžiûnas
design. Eimutis Mikaila @ Full Of M.E.
models. Miša LeNoir Nkenda, Katrina Knizikevičiūtė, Vytautas Mikaila, Agata Suduiko, Regimantas Visockis + Mindaugas Jankauskas
hair. Andrius Mašauskas
make up. Emi Ly + Dalia Karpovaité
words. Braden Bjella