4 posts tagged "Conflict of Interest"
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Labels: LPD New York, designed by 22-year-old Benjamin Fainlight, and Conflict of Interest NYC, whose designers are not yet ready to expose themselves and thus want to be known, for now, as “agents.” The collections were presented in tandem at an installation-cum-party in New York’s Garment District.
Need to Know: Let’s start with LPD (left), a one-year-old label that gained notoriety thanks to its mesh athletic jerseys emblazoned with designer monikers—SLIMANE 68, for example. Yet wisely, the label’s young founder recognizes that a one-trick pony does not a brand make, and, for the first time, will offer a fully cut-and-sewn Spring ’14 lineup that extends well past the gimmickry. On mud-covered models, he showed both men’s and women’s separates, some rendered with eye-catching grayscale landscapes or Japanese lettering. LPD’s inherent street sportiness isn’t sacrificed, though—this was lean, mean, and greased to the concrete bone. In particular, keep a lookout for sweatshirt-material shorts with a leather-mimicking finish, as well as an upcoming collaboration with Jessica Stam.
Conflict of Interest NYC (above), known for riffing on designer labels (yes, they’re responsible for the “Ballinciaga” T-shirts), expanded upon their signatures this season. For Spring, the “agents” offer a men’s cape smattered in playful jabs. Its prints include the words “Chapel,” placed alongside Chanel’s double-c logo outlined with a church; “Benzo,” paired with a caricatured Mercedez in lieu of Kenzo’s tigers; and “Niu Niu York,” written in Miu Miu’s iconic font. Yet they, too, turned out his-and-hers options past the parody, most successfully so via a smart blazer for the gents and an optic white lab coat for the girls.
They Say: Regarding those aforementioned shorts at LPD, Fainlight said: “It’s a Margiela-esque take on things, bringing it down to streetwear level.” And as for Conflict of Interest’s output, an “agent” revealed, “We call it ‘re-psychled’—we take the visual inputs in our minds and remix them. If you notice the back of the shirts, they’ve got graphics from old 1980s technology.”
What does Jessica Stam have in common with Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada, Riccardo Tisci, and Dries Van Noten? The model can now claim an LPD New York T-shirt boldly emblazoned with her last name and birth year (’86) in black. Last night, Stam and LPD founder Benjamin Fainlight hosted friends including Jennifer Fisher and Athena Calderone at The Jane hotel to celebrate the launch of the new “Team Stam” collaboration jersey that will benefit the catwalker’s charity of choice, Many Hopes, which invests in sustainable community development in Kenya. One hundred percent of the proceeds from each shirt will go to the foundation. “My friend connected me with Stam and thought there was potential to use LPD and her shared platform to give back to a really great cause,” Fainlight told Style.com.
Over the past year, LPD New York’s novelty tees have developed a cult following with the street-style set, and Fainlight recently expanded beyond designers’ names with the Artist Series, which includes Hirst, Pollock, and Warhol styles. Beginning with Team Stam, we think Fainlight is onto something with models—who wouldn’t want to advertise their allegiance to Team Campbell, Team Moss, or Team Smalls? The designer hinted, “Well, I can’t give away too much, but I might just have that same concept coming out with a prevalent online retailer [chances are it's Net-a-Porter] that has been amazing about supporting the brand and giving us a global stage.” Building off of this idea, Stam suggested, “It would be neat if other philanthropic models like Liya Kebede, Christy Turlington Burns for Every Mother Counts, and Karlie Kloss for FEED got involved in another round of shirts.”
A potential model series isn’t the only project in the pipeline for LPD. On Friday evening, the label will stage its first NYFW concept presentation in conjunction with Conflict of Interest (known for its witty fashion T-shirts splashed with puns like “Ballinciaga” or “Ill Slander”). At the Spring ’14 show, Fainlight will debut a full cut-and-sewn collection including tailored outerwear, knitwear, and trousers that reportedly focuses on unorthodox finishings and treatments. “I really wanted to play with the conventions of streetwear and incorporate high-fashion concepts,” Fainlight said. “I think this new direction will show people that we’re a lot more than a T-shirt brand.”
Photo: Courtesy of LPD NYC
In just under a year, the VFiles store has established itself as the New York destination for hipsters and hip-hop-heads looking to score some streetwear (or, as some might call it, “swag”). A favorite of A$AP Rocky (and the kids who listen to his music), the multibrand boutique on Mercer Street carries independent designers such as Hood By Air, Les Plus Dorés, and Conflict of Interest, as well as its own namesake line. Starting today, Japanese fans of the fashion media site will be able to get their “swag” in person at the VFiles pop-up in Isetan, one of Tokyo’s leading department stores. Open through March 12, the shop will stock specialty pieces from Gerlan Jeans and the VFiles collection, as well as a limited-edition X-Girl camouflage tote bag. VFiles reportedly plans to open up similar retail concept spaces in the future, including an outpost in the Hamptons this summer.
There are a-ha moments and then there are “Ah ha!” moments. One of the latter occurred when Tommy Ton snapped CR Fashion Book editor Shiona Turini wearing a cheeky logo tee that read “Ballinciaga” during London fashion week. No, Nicolas Ghesquière’s spell checkers didn’t take the day off. The ironic shirt was from Conflict of Interest (or C.O.I. NYC), a new label launched in September, which also offers other conversation-starting tops branded “Giraunchy” and “Bodega Vendetta.” There’s a cool backstory, too. According to its founders, who work in the industry and prefer to remain anonymous for now due to a “conflict of interest” with their other jobs, the line models itself after a fictitious government agency that raids warehouses, seizes unlicensed designer goods, and re-releases them to the public in actual tamper-proof evidence bags. “We have hilarious conversations with our friends in fashion and often use a lot of wordplay when referring to what each might be wearing,” explained one of C.O.I.’s incognito agents. “We are definitely fans of the labels we parody, and if we don’t love the original house, designer, or logo, we don’t touch it. Our objective is to create a dialogue on fashion iconography and imagery.” When the Tommy Ton photo posted, it quickly became a viral hit, and C.O.I. reportedly saw an immediate spike in sales. In the near future, C.O.I. will be putting out slightly larger collections including limited-edition hats and sweatshirts and is also in talks with some companies to do collaborative subversions of their own logos. So what’s next—Narcissus Rodriguez, Mary Katranzoo? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
C.O.I. shirts ($60 each) are sold on Coi-NYC.com and at VFILES, 12 Mercer St., NYC.