The face of Zalando’s new marketing campaign can also be its designer: musician Max Colombie

From Antwerp to Istanbul, he fills the stadiums along with his group Oscar and the Lobo. However Max Colombie can also be a mode icon. After a number of collaborations, together with one with Dries Van Noten, he debuted as inventive director of Zalando.

On a personal stage, Max Colombie resides out his wildest inside design desires in his fortress. “At first, due to all of the media consideration this fortress was getting, not per week glided by with out us having to name the police.”

Sporting delicate silver jewellery, a cream lace shirt, black pants and black sneakers, Max Colombie (31) appears to be like remarkably relaxed within the Brussels workplace of his supervisor, who additionally champions the pursuits of one in every of her mates, techno DJ Charlotte. de Witte. The room is lined with the covers of the latter’s data, and in a single nook I see the award-winning gold report “Entity”, Oscar and the Wolf’s debut album (2014). However that does not imply that with their mix of dream pop and indie rock, the band has something to envy the DJ for when it comes to reputation. When Oscar and the Lobo carry out in Istanbul, Max Colombia wants bodyguards to maintain his followers at bay. He’s about to go away for the ICP studios in Brussels, the place he’s engaged on a brand new album. His ringed fingers play with a sublime black vape.

Max Colombia: “It is lovely, is not it? I’ve all the time informed myself that I’d give up smoking and begin vaping if we made very nice e-cigarettes. Now sure!” (laughs)

© Arber Sefa

As a toddler, have been you drawn to fashion?

“Once I traveled with my mother and father, I all the time needed them to purchase me a necklace on the memento outlets, ideally with shells and dolphins. As a youngster, I used to be the eccentric on the athenaeum: everybody there wore Ralph Lauren polo shirts and my classmates thought it was unusual that I used to be carrying two completely different coloured shoelaces on my All Stars. Thankfully, that modified at artwork faculty: everybody there wore unique garments.

Till I used to be 18, I did not know something about creators: it solely began once I began making music. Some designers noticed us in motion and contacted us. The primary was Dries Van Noten. In 2015, he requested me to supply the soundtrack for his present in Paris. Right now’s younger individuals know very effectively what the Balenciaga fashion represents and, because of digital know-how, they’ve entry to each present by each doable designer. I love the eccentricity of at this time’s youth.


“I watch episodes of ‘Euphoria’ for inspiration.”

Youth can also be influenced by the HBO collection “Euphoria”, whose garments and make-up are as eccentric as they’re aesthetic…

I am additionally obsessive about “Euphoria”. On our new album, I discover the boy I used to be at 17, {the teenager} experiencing his past love affair. When it comes to songwriting, it began with a beat we heard within the recording studio and through which I acknowledged the sampled drum loops I wrote my first songs on as a youngster. I began writing to this beat and the “me” of my 17 years mechanically resurfaced in my texts. Earlier than I begin writing, I all the time have a look at some compilations of scenes from the “Euphoria” collection for inspiration.

“I like life”

Max Colombie can also be a fan of Rihanna who, alongside her music profession, brilliantly runs the style and wonder label Fenty. Any more, the Belgian may also name himself inventive director, as he designed the brand new promoting marketing campaign for Zalando, for the tenth anniversary of the web retailer in Belgium. Within the clip, we see Max Colombie leaving a pageant within the firm of younger compatriots, together with rap star Miss Angel. Within the background, we hear an electro cowl of the 1986 Eurovision hit, “J’aime la Vie”, sung by Sandra Kim. Within the picture, he’s seen alone on a dance flooring, underneath a pageant tent at evening.

You usually obtain marketing campaign requests. What led you to simply accept Zalando’s?

The truth that I might design all of the styling and that the marketing campaign’s central message was “be your self”. Once I was younger, I needed to put up with individuals leering at me, however at this time younger Belgians might be themselves with out being attacked, even visually.

Max Colombie agreed to direct the marketing campaign for the Zalando on-line retailer as a result of he was in a position to design all the fashion and the central message of the marketing campaign was “be your self”.
©Yaqine Hamzaoui

Are you following in your idol Rihanna’s footsteps? Will the subsequent step be to create a set?

(Decided) No means. Music stays my precedence. I see myself as a stylist or inventive director, however not as a creator. Glenn Martens is an in depth designer. We’re contemplating a collaboration, however we nonetheless must outline what and the way. The time should be proper.

On stage, you’re identified on your extravagant outfits. What was your most excessive stage costume?

An outsized gray-white fake fur for Pukkelpop 2016. Like all my stage put on, this jacket was made by Elke Hoste, who teaches on the Antwerp Trend Academy. I met him via Walter Van Beirendonck, who as soon as contacted me to ask if he might use one in every of our titles for the Academy’s commencement parade.

What’s your most costly buy?

A Gucci go well with that I’m all the time very happy with. Once I flash an element, I want it.

Do you order garments from Zalando?

Positive! It is handy and you’ll find the whole lot there. I would not purchase a superbly lower go well with from Zalando, as a result of it is customized made. Then again, a cool tracksuit, which I complement with jewellery, can also be very elegant.

Behind the scenes of Zalando’s marketing campaign, for which Max Colombie debuts as inventive director.
©Yaqine Hamzaoui

musical initiatives

Earlier than the summer time, Oscar and the Wolf will launch an EP with a remix of some tracks from the album “The Shimmer”, launched in 2021. He’s engaged on the brand new album whose launch date has not but been decided. The European tour, which may even embody a date on the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, is about for the autumn. And on the finish of the month, Oscar and the Lobo will fill three massive arenas in so many cities in Turkey, a rustic the place Max Colombia is revered as a demigod.

Not solely you but additionally Charlotte de Witte and Balthazar are highly regarded in Istanbul. Are Turkish youth seduced by their musical Belgian?

Everybody thinks I am Turkish! (laughs) As soon as, a newspaper even wrote that my mom was Turkish. What is just not true. I’ve no clarification for this success in Turkey. And even in different nations: from Turkey it unfold to Georgia, then to Tel Aviv and now to Egypt.

You might be an LGBTQI+ icon. Might it’s that the place freedom is conditional, as in Erdogan’s Turkey, are you seen as a logo of freedom?

It is doable. The day after the coup try, in the summertime of 2016, we have been scheduled to headline a pageant in Turkey. We needed to postpone the present to midnight, as a result of individuals wanted to relax: they broke down the fences so they may see us. The organizer informed me “You signify the whole lot that Erdogan is just not”. It would not matter if it is LGBTQI+ or the rest, however once I obtained on stage, I felt that viewers breathe once more. It was a really emotional second.

Max Colombie provided this fortress in Kortenberg, which he wish to embellish in a mode that mixes the work of Vincenzo De Cotiis and the neoclassical.
©Christiaan Janssens

You got a fortress in Kortenberg. Did you hassle with the eye you acquired?

Sure, I used to be “hounded”: not per week goes by with out having to name the police. Lastly, we needed to fence the backyard. I say we, as a result of I reside there with two mates.

Is the structure of this fortress a inventive problem for you?

Sure, however it should additionally develop into a ravishing cocoon. I wish to arrange a music studio there. In my head, I see a mixture between the fashion of the Italian architect Vincenzo De Cotiis (uncooked, marble, fashionable) and the neoclassical fashion of the constructing. I additionally went to take a look at Axel Vervoordt and Gert Voorjans.

Have they visited you?

Not but. However Gert Voorjans already texted me “Max, you are going to invite me, proper?” I feel he cannot wait to unleash his inventive spirit there! (laughs)

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