3 posts tagged "En Noir"
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month rolls on, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Label: En Noir, designed by Rob Garcia
Need to know: For Fall 14, En Noir’s Rob Garcia brought out the armor– but not the kind that Arthur and his round table knights would wear. His protective uniforms were of the 21st century variety, and comprised slick black leather wares embellished with chainmail knee patches or sleeves. They were the kind of clothes sure to get steady play from athletes like Amar’e Stoudemire and Victor Cruz, and the rest of the leather clad crowd at last night’s show.
En Noir has been on a quick rise since it introduced its edgy, take-no-prisoners approach to American sportswear three seasons ago. Fall ’14 marked the brand’s first full-fledged runway show, and it was quite an event. Snarkitecture’s Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen designed the brand’s Park Avenue Armory runway, which boasted a giant black tunnel beaming with light. It was the perfect dramatic backdrop for Garcia’s dark shearling coats, distressed sequin pants, fur-embellished overcoats and snakeskin track pants.
Garcia knows his way around an MA-1 bomber jacket, and there were a number of standout leather versions that were smooth and sculptural, ribbed and textural. For women, motorcycle jackets were worn over loose velvet tank tops and slouchy pants in shiny exotic skins. The emphasis on military silhouettes best translated into stiffened jackets and pants with contour seams and chain mail. With plans for overseas growth in the works, the early days of training over. Real combat is about to begin.
He says: “Everything thinks basics are small and boring,” said Garcia. “But when you keep things simple, minimal and clean, it allows the details to really shine through.”
Where to find it: Barneys New York, The Webster in Miami, Union in Los Angeles, and coming soon, Selfridges in London.
If you’re looking to give your loved ones a set of gilded brass knuckles this holiday season, look no further than Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s collaboration with Barneys. Following in the footsteps of Lady Gaga, who designed a holiday workshop for the retailer in 2011, Hova has worked with labels such as Proenza Schouler, En Noir, Rick Owens, Acne Studios, Lanvin, Balenciaga (above, top right), Balmain (above, bottom left), Hoorsenbuhs (who had a hand in the aforementioned ring, above, bottom right), and more to create a series of limited-edition products—all of which will be displayed and for sale in a special gallery in Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship, beginning November 20. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from the project, which the pair have dubbed A New York Holiday, will be donated to the Shawn Carter Foundation. We’ve got 99 problems (give or take), but, thanks to this team-up, holiday shopping ain’t one.
“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.”