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August 27 2014

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4 posts tagged "Burkman Bros"

In Singapore, Asia’s Couturiers Get A Boost

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Lie Sang Bong

There’s no questioning Asia’s importance in the fashion market, and Western brands have more than taken note. This month in Hong Kong alone, Tory Burch, Kenzo, Moncler, and Calvin Klein all hosted events within days of each other. And at Singapore’s FIDé fashion week (FIDé is an organization that aims to promote regional and international designers in Singapore), European brands like Pierre Balmain and American ones like Burkman Bros and Ari Dein similarly made the trek eastward to show their collections. “It was the first time both brands participated in a full-length fashion show,” Steven Kolb, the CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, said of the latter two. “Fashion is no longer defined by borders, and the more we can nurture global relations, the greater the success for our designers.”

But the region is also increasingly interested in holding its own in global fashion, and the eleven-day event in Singapore, which typically features several days of presentations by French haute couturiers and Asian couturiers, included the latest step in that direction: the founding of the Asian Couture Federation (ACF). Now, the Asian couturiers (dubbed by the ACF as “Asian Couturier Extraordinaires”) will have a support system of their own. Its inception was an act that won FIDé executive chairman and ACF founder Frank Cintamani (below, left) France’s esteemed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres honor. Even Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, offered Cintamani a pat on the back, calling the Federation’s establishment “a significant event for all of Asia,” at a time “when we consider that fashion until recently was generally seen as the domain of Europe and the United States.” Continue Reading “In Singapore, Asia’s Couturiers Get A Boost” »

Meet The CFDA Incubator Class Of 2014

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Today, the CFDA Incubator welcomes its newest group of initiates: Antonio Azzuolo, Arielle Shapiro of Ari Dein, Doug and Ben Burkman of Burkman Bros, Christian Cota, Emanuela Duca, Rick Hendry and Marc Daniels of Isaora, Luis Fernandez of Number: Lab, Reece Solomon of Reece Hudson, Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein of Timo Weiland, and Maayan Zilberman and Nikki Dekker of The Lake & Stars. The selection committee of industry leaders, including Style.com’s executive editor, Nicole Phelps, carefully picked this group of ten young designers to follow in the footsteps of the inaugural dozen designers who kicked off the program in February 2010. We have watched the careers of current all-stars in the Incubator, like Prabal Gurung and Bibhu Mohapatra, flourish during their short time in the “fashion frat,” and here, we check in with the newest pledge “class II” before they move into 209 West 38th Street.

a. a. Antonio Azzuolo
This marks designer Antonio Azzuolo‘s second time in an Incubator program. After graduating from Ryerson University, the Montreal native took part in the Canadian version. “There are programs like the Incubator all over the world and I always wondered why the States didn’t have one,” he says. Following the program, he lived in Paris for ten years, where he honed his skills at labels like Kenzo and Hermès. Now, with his own menswear label, the designer is heavily focused on the concept of duality. “Being a twin [sibling], I have always had aspects of feminity and masculinity in my work,” the designer says. For Spring ’12, however, expect to see opposing French and Japanese cultural influences at play.

Ari Dein
“I’ve been decorating my space in the Incubator for about six months now,” lingerie designer Arielle Shapiro tells us. “In my mind, that is.” Now that it’s a reality, however, she has an antique mirror, an old yellow Chippendale chair, and a vintage suitcase on hand to fill what will become her home-away-from-home. For Shapiro, her surroundings have always played a crucial role in her design process. Most recently, her innerwear and swimwear Invisible Cities collection was inspired by a trip to Rome. Eventually, Shapiro’s hoping to parlay that interest in architecture and interior design by developing her budding brand into a full lifestyle collection to include “more swim and ready-to-wear, bedding, and home.”

Burkman Bros
You might recognize the Burkman Bros name thanks to Kanye West, who wore Doug and Ben Burkman’s woven bracelets at Coachella this year. From rappers to rugged men, their casual menswear line has since found a steady stream of followers. For Spring 2012, the globetrotting brothers were feeling Hawaiian after a trip to the islands. “We learned how to surf and found a lot of inspiration in the Hawaiian culture, particularly in relation to how we like to use prints and color,” says Doug. As for the Incubator, Ben says, “Working in a proper office space should be interesting…To have that divide between work and our home should be nice.”

Christian Cota
“The whole environment will be like going back to school,” says designer Christian Cota, who realized the wealth of benefits that comes from being a part of the Incubator program after talking to some of his friends in the current crop. “Obviously, with Diane von Furstenberg as the CFDA president, you have a tremendous support system helping you out,” Cota, who has received several honorable accolades in the past few years, like Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award and a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nomination, says. “I’m at the point with my business where we are really expanding, and having their help to do it is key.” For Spring ’12, look out for a strong showing of polished signature Cota looks, like mixing structure with softer fabrics, and a plethora of prints.

Emanuela Duca
“My work represents my life experience,” says jewelry designer Emanuela Duca. “The rough surfaces, it’s what comes from the Roman culture, and the slick part, that’s my life in Manhattan.” Born and raised in Rome, the New York transplant has managed to find a beautiful balancing point between the two cultures in her work. Her structural collection of textural jewelry has a niche retail market, selling in galleries around the world, but Duca, like Isaora designer Ricky Hendry, wants to expand her business to reach a wider clientele with the help of the Incubator program. Continue Reading “Meet The CFDA Incubator Class Of 2014″ »

No Sherpa Required

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Welcome to the lesser-known Soho Himalaya. It’s the Himalayan Shop that menswear designers Doug and Ben Burkman—known professionally as Burkman bros—have set up at NYC menswear mecca Odin. The brothers’ namesake collection is inspired by travel, especially to the farther-flung reaches of (former) empire, so when Odin owner Eddy Chai invited them to create a temporary installation for the store, they channeled Shimla, the Himalayan city that served as the summer capital of the nineteenth-century British Raj. There they’re offering select pieces from their Fall collection, including hiking-inspired pants, fine-gauge sweaters, and their standard jersey-lined check shirts in exclusive patterns. And slingshots, too. Hey—you never know.

The Himalayan Shop is open now at Odin, 199 Lafayette St., NYC, (212) 966-0026, www.odinnewyork.com.

Designers Weigh In On Their GQ Menswear Award Nominations

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Six designers’ fashion week just got a little brighter. GQ and Levi’s announced the nominees this morning for the third annual Best New Designer in America award. To the winner: bragging rights and—here’s where we get in on the action, too—a limited-edition menswear capsule collection with Levi’s, to be sold in Bloomingdale’s nationwide. This year’s nominees include CFDA award winners and relative newcomers alike: Richard Chai, Billy Reid, J.Crew’s Frank Muytjens, Burkman Bros’ Ben and Doug Burkman, Caulfield Preparatory’s Vincent Flumiani, and Unis’ Eunice Lee are all in the running for the prize, which will be judged by a panel of editors, retailers, and Levi’s executives and celebrated with an event during NYFW.

Were these all dyed-in-the-wool Levi’s wearers? “I’m an old-timer,” Billy Reid laughed when we caught him on the phone at his Alabama studio. “Working with Levi’s would just be awesome, man—a dream situation. I’ve still got a pair from high school. I think they’ve got more patches than blue jeans left on them. I need to lose about 15 pounds to get into them, but…” Eunice Lee—the first woman nominated in the history of the prize—has been a longtime fan, too. “If you look at pictures of me since my Parsons days, I’ve had Levi’s on for all of my life,” she said, noting that she prefers vintage men’s styles.

Of course, before they get to design their own, they’ve got to show their own Fall collections to the judging panel. Reid’s Fall looks draw on turn-of-the-century American workwear, and are produced largely, for the first time, here in the states. And as for Lee, she’s been thinking of midcentury sportsmen—in particular, climbers from the sixties. “Climbers back then didn’t have the North Face and all that stuff,” she said. “It was about your cotton waxed jacket and heavier twills and things like that. Colors were dustier, more cotton-based, as opposed to super-crazy neon colors. It’s sportswear,” she added with a laugh, “in the original sense.” May the best man—or woman—win.