Giorgio Armani has become a major advocate for young designers. For the Spring ’15 menswear season, he hosted Christian Pellizzari’s show at the Armani Teatro, and for the women’s shows in September, Angelos Bratis will take the stage. This is the sixth season Armani has championed emerging design talents in Italy.
“My initiative in supporting little-known but promising designers is paying off, and personally I’m quite passionate about it,” Armani said in a statement. “The future of the system depends on new generations, and I am happy to be able to contribute in an active way.”
Bratis, who was born and trained in Athens, also studied in a Dutch atelier before landing in Milan. His aesthetic is clean and minimal, with quietly complex details that earned him the 2011 Who’s On Next prize. “I am truly honored to have been chosen by Giorgio Armani to present my new collection in his prestigious theater in Milan,” Bratis said. “For me, the great Italian maestro is the perfect example of a designer who has deep values, expressed throughout a long career. These are the same values that I try to express in my work: femininity and pure elegance without artifice.”
While Angelos Bratis’ show date is TBD, Milan fashion week will take place from September 17 to 22.
It’s only been around for 10 years, but Common Projects can already take credit for one classic design—the inimitable Achilles model—and for building a brand that is now synonymous with quality luxury sneakers.
Founded in 2004, Common Projects is the collective effort of designers Prathan Poopat and Flavio Girolami. For those who have ever worn or tried on a pair, there is no other option when it comes to high-quality sneakers. Comfortable, sturdy, and distinctively understated, the brand’s cult following is well deserved.
If there’s a secret to their success, it’s simply good taste and quality. “We produce in Italy, and that doesn’t hurt,” says Poopat. “We make what we would like to wear and that’s something usually pretty classic. We’re not so interested in creating the hot new thing and in fact prefer to make something that looks like it’s always been there.”
For the men’s Fall 2014 line, seen here first, rich, earthy-colored leather and suede make up most of the collection, with a few added pops, like the wool camo. Best of the bunch is still the Achilles, now available in low-, mid- and high-cut styles. Fall-appropriate boots will definitely be fan favorites, especially the brown Chelsea boot.
When understated style is the currency you trade on, consistency is of utmost importance. “In some ways we’ve really evolved, and in others we’re exactly the same,” says Girolami. “Starting with just two models, we have now grown to have over 50 styles a season between men’s and women’s. Apart from that, we are still a small independent company, and our process and execution have largely remained the same. We evolve when we need to, and that keeps things real for us.”
Visit commonprojects.com for more information.
Summertime has reached its zenith, and here at Style.com, we’re trying to soak up as much sun as possible—with weekend getaways, backyard barbecues, and maybe even a Six Flags excursion—before the Spring ’15 shows kick off in September. Naturally, we’ll be protecting our skin from UV exposure with SPF, but when sunblock alone doesn’t cut it, we’ll be reaching for cool straw hats. As we learned during the recent menswear and couture shows, when it comes to statement-making accessories, nothing gets street-style photographers snapping quite like a shady fedora or flat-topped boater. Ulyana Sergeenko was spotted in a woven lamp-shade style on the haute circuit, while back in NYC Lindsey Wixson wore a classic wide-brimmed look to cheer on the teams at Adidas’ Fanatic soccer tournament. Celebrities from Lupita Nyong’o to Dakota Johnson have been breaking out the woven headgear this season, too, and Michael Kors and Rosie Assoulin’s recent Resort collections featured matching raffia caps and totes.
It’s no secret that we—menswear nerds, I mean—look to Japan as a beacon for enhancing and broadening our spheres of style. It’s practically a cliché at this point that Japanese brands perfect a style or trend and eventually some diluted version of the original reaches the States. A cliché, maybe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Needles, a brand distributed by Nepenthes, is the proof.
Based in Tokyo, designer and Nepenthes founder Keizo Shimizu has been at work on Needles for 20 years. The Needles collection consists of sportswear, denim, and tailoring, in addition to a range of brilliantly Frankensteined vintage known as Rebuild by Needles. The collection puts an emphasis on unusual detail, as with the intricately re-engineered military and hunting outerwear and collaged shirting. For Spring 2015, Shimizu’s inspiration was 1970s American sportswear—denim overalls, wide-leg tracksuits—with particular focus on Southern California and Mexico. Shimizu cites James Taylor’s album Gorilla as an especially powerful influence.
You won’t be alone if your first impression is that Needles’ approach to menswear is a bit too far left for most guys. These are clothes that require an adventurous and highly discerning taste level, but that’s what makes it great. And if you don’t get on board now, you likely will in a few seasons.