There's a funny sympathy brewing in menswear between young turks and old Jews. The current yen for heritage brands, pleated pants, and tailored clothes for all has brought together the generations. The young line Orley—a collective of two brothers, Matthew and Alex Orley, and Samantha Florence, Matthew's fiancée—is tilling this shared ground successfully. Their collection grew from knit-centric to one approaching a fully fledged offering, with woven shirts, T-shirts, and a few cut-and-sew pieces of outerwear, shorts, and pants, but it's maintained a pastel palette and a commitment to Italian manufacturing. They call their outlook Mediterranean meets Boca. It's Missoni with mishegoss. Asked to make a brand video, they put their clothes on some septuagenarians playing shuffleboard.
"We rely on our tenets of elegance and irreverence," says Matthew Orley. To his credit, he's right on both counts. The Orleys have a slightly odd sense of color and a good eye for pattern, adapting motifs from Islamic architecture here, the embroideries of religious garments there. But expanded or abstracted, it's saved from fussiness. (When a floral intarsia threatened to feel like wallpaper, they turned it inside out and displayed the reverse.)
The designers have a savvy interest in pushing their technique forward, jacquarding the stripe across a pair of sweatpants so that it could continue uninterrupted through the pocket, and developing their own stitch for a polo shirt when the existing options fell flat. Only a few seasons in, they're working with mills like Loro Piana and Carriagi and enthusing with a golden-years garmento's fervor about the Royal Baby Alpaca and camel silk. It's not hard to imagine growth on the horizon. In the meantime, the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, Fivestory, and Carson Street Clothiers are behind them. So is their grandfather, an Orley wearer at 93.