En Noir Gives The Ladies Their Leather-------
“I approach each season like it’s my last,” offered Rob Garcia, the man behind New York-based streetwear label En Noir. Considering fans such as Kanye West and A$AP Rocky live in the brand’s luxe leather track pants, and that top-tier retailers such as Barneys, The Webster, and Isetan already stock the four-season-old line, Garcia’s carpe diem attitude toward design seems to be working—that is to say, En Noir’s “last season” is nowhere in sight.
Having launched for Fall ’12, the line has garnered a cult following with its high-end leather menswear. But women, too, have been coveting En Noir’s tailored, badass aesthetic. “We had female clients buying our menswear, and we had amazing retailers that wanted to see us do womenswear,” offered Garcia. So for Spring ’14, he decided to take the leap, creating five pieces just for the ladies.
Formerly a designer for Black Scale (known for its urban basics), Garcia sources all the hides for his buttery, creatively treated trousers, T-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops from Italy and France. The garments are then hand-treated in the States. “We try to keep pushing the boundaries of leather,” explained Garcia. “And the next level is different treatments.” The label’s Spring ’14 collection, which debuts exclusively here, offers an abundance of techniques that boggle the mind and the senses. For instance, a white leather womenswear jacket is shredded in such a way that one might mistake it for a sequin bomber (above), and an unlined suede men’s topper is as soft and sleek as silk. Meanwhile, a calfskin crop top is laser-cut to look like lace, and a tulip-shaped leather mini is embossed for a tactile, crinkled effect.
Expanding beyond its signature leathers, En Noir also offers Spring track pants, T-shirts, and tank tops done in a custom “coal wasteland” cotton print (above, left). Branding—a new aesthetic leap for the label—is a focus, too, appearing on suede panels that wrap around the sporty wares. “I’m thankful for each season, and I’m just trying to progress,” said Garcia when asked about his aims for the future. And while En Noir continues to attract high-profile clients—and stockists—Garcia is determined to stick to his streetwear roots. “We’ll always keep it wearable,” he told us. “The clothes are for the daily guy, or daily woman, and can be worn all day, whether it’s in the street or at a party.”