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July 10 2014

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6 posts tagged "Mark McNairy"

EXCLUSIVE: Mark McNairy Returns to Woolrich Woolen Mills for Fall 2014

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Mark McNairy for Woolrich

“Hunting in Space.”

That’s what Mark McNairy says he had in mind when designing his Fall 2014 Woolrich Woolen Mills collection. After a one-season hiatus from helming the heritage brand’s designer collection, McNairy is back to updating Americana, and he says it’s like he never left. “We only missed one season, so I guess I had plenty of other things to keep me busy,” he says.

For McNairy, whose ongoing Mark McNairy New Amsterdam collection deftly mashes Ivy League prep with irreverent streetwear, WWM is a somewhat easier proposition because of the guidelines that come with the brand’s 184-year legacy.

“Doing my collection is a free-for-all,” he says. “When I do my line, I really don’t start with anything in mind, I just make a bunch of seemingly unrelated things, and then at the end I put them all together. When I shoot the lookbook, that’s when it becomes a collection. I really don’t have any theme or idea that I’m working on. For Woolrich, I have to start with something.”

Mark McNairy for Woolrich

With WWM, that means drawing from the brand’s strong history making outerwear for hunting and fishing. It’s there that McNairy’s skills as a remixer of Americana really shine. A rain slicker is reimagined in stark white ballistic nylon, a classic American varsity jacket gets vibrant red sleeves, and a tailored wool coat in tonal shades of gray really does look appropriate for outer space.

McNairy’s much-hyped New York fashion week shows often feature celebrity runway cameos, rappers Danny Brown, Pusha T, and Cam’ron among them. Who then would he like to have sporting his new WWM outing? “Eddie Vedder. He seems to me to fit with the modern image of Woolrich and what I want to do with it.”

Mark McNairy for Woolrich

What’s the modern image of Woolrich? I ask.

“Oh, boy, don’t make me fucking explain this.”

OK, I say, I’ll take a stab at it. It’s like the hunting-on-the-moon thing. Every menswear concept from the last two hundred years has been rediscovered and reappropriated in so many different ways, it wouldn’t be out of place to see Woolrich’s signature buffalo check plaid and wilderness-ready outerwear anywhere, not in the city, the suburbs, or, even, on the moon. How Eddie Vedder fits into that is anyone’s guess, but McNairy seems satisfied with my answer.

“Exactly,” he says. “Would you like a position as my publicist?”

Photos: Courtesy Photos 

Adidas x Raf Simons Returns for Spring

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Adidas x Raf SimonsNot to be outdone by the Nike + R.T. Air Force 1 Riccardo Tisci collab, Adidas is unleashing another round of Raf Simons kicks for spring.

Building on the initial Fall 2013 collection that included just three styles of performance runners, this drop includes a whole slew of new unisex models—eight to be exact, each in up to four different colorways. Blending classic three-stripe silhouettes like on the Stan Smith with new tech and exaggerated shapes, bright colors and flashy patterns, the lineup looks like a footwear collection designed for a gang of very fashionable superheroes.

The brand is establishing itself as the go-to for designers looking to experiment with sneakers, and Simons is in good company at Adidas, where Rick Owens, Jeremy Scott, and Mark McNairy also have ongoing collections. Based on what we saw during fashion season—both Chanel and Dior had trainers on their couture runways—the trend will only continue to gain momentum.

Adidas x Raf Simons prices range from $440 to $570. The collection arrives soon at Adidas Originals concept stores, boutiques, and retailers carrying RAF.

Photos: Courtesy Photos

What We Learned About Mark McNairy From His New York Times Profile

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BLOG_stylefile_McnairyNYT

Mark McNairy, the grumpy patron saint of preppy, street-smart menswear, got the full New York Times Style section treatment yesterday. It took only four seasons of runway shows and countless neon brogues to get there, but he made it! And he has, of all people, Cam’ron, who walked in his Fall 2014 show, to thank for the honor.

The Times notes that McNairy has entered into “a pantheon of designers like Jimmy Choo, Versace, and Manolo Blahnik who are venerated by hip-hop artists.”

OK. Not the selection of designers that comes to mind when you think hip-hop and fashion at the moment—Givenchy, Hood by Air, Alexander Wang, and countless others have close ties to the culture—but that’s beside the point. What’s really special is how much we were able to learn about the angry South Carolinian behind Cam’ron’s custom cape. McNairy is notoriously standoffish. Even reporter Bee Shapiro, the profile author, makes a point to note that the designer is “not exactly warm and fuzzy.” But for menswear nerds who have been following McNairy’s career, there are some wonderful nuggets of knowledge to be found. Here’s what we learned:

In addition to making a collection of capes for Cam’ron, McNairy gets a shout-out on a new track by the rapper. The lyrics: “Sitting in meetings by [BPMW co-owner] Deirdre Maloney / And Mark McNairy / I know you don’t know him / You broke and you phony.”

McNairy is 52.

He recently traveled to Japan to work on a collaboration with Édifice, a Japanese menswear shop.

Cameras make him uncomfortable.

Prior to meeting Pharrell Williams three years ago for their Bee Line collaboration, he was not a fan of hip-hop.

When he was young he amassed a large collection of G.I. Joe action figures (beginning his love for camo prints), which his mother threw away. Harsh. That explains the McNasty nickname.

At one point he “wanted to be Phil Spector and make records.”

He got a business degree from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

“He doesn’t sketch or use computer-aided design, which he believes neuters clothing.”

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages.com

A Man’s World: Nick Wooster Talks Pitti

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Nick Wooster at Pitti

Nick Wooster’s dandyish look has long mesmerized menswear show-goers. With his handlebar mustache, tattoo sleeves, and eclectic outfits (like the embroidered shorts, relaxed blazer, and snazzy leopard Celine shoes he wore during this week’s Pitti fair, above), he’s crafted an aesthetic that’s uniquely his own. Having served as the mennswear fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, as well as the menswear creative director at JC Penney (a post he left in April of this year), Wooster is not only catnip for street style paps, but a seasoned industry expert. Here, the man talks to Style.com about Pitti, the state of menswear, and his plans for the future.

When did you first start coming to Pitti?
I did my first Pitti in January of 1988.

What’s changed since then
Absolutely nothing. Well, actually, in a certain way, nothing has changed, and then obviously, everything has. The heart of Pitti has always been the same. Look at someone like Lino or Peter Rizzo, who was the person who brought me to my first Pitti. He still comes, and so many of the players are the same. I think that’s the story of menswear, the story of Italy, and the story of Pitti.

You’re known for your personal style. Do you turn it up for the shows?
No. I mean, at the end of the day, I’ve always felt the need and desire to be different. The worst part for me is figuring out what I’m going to bring. I brought twice as much as I’m going to need so there’s always a bit of a problem in the morning, like, “Shit what am I going to wear?” But that’s the story of my life. I never know what I’m going to wear until I get out of the shower. Continue Reading “A Man’s World: Nick Wooster Talks Pitti” »

At Woolrich Woolen Mills, The Rough With The Smooth

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The torch has been passed at Woolrich Woolen Mills, not with a flame but with a parka. The old designer (Daiki Suzuki of Engineered Garments) and the new (Mark McNairy, formerly of J.Press and founder of the blogger-worshipped line Mark McNairy New Amsterdam) joined forces for an overcoat they called the Four Hands Parka, modeled on a vintage Woolrich model from the thirties originally designed for an Arctic expedition.

That’s as good a guide as any to the hardiness that’s characterized the WWM brand since its founding—whether or not the soft-handed fashion types who buy it at stores like Barneys and Ron Herman will ever get near an ice cap. McNairy’s been building a reputation for himself as a premier reinterpreter of classic Americana, and his ace in the hole is the poppy irreverence he brings to the often worshipful, slightly humorless world of workwear wonkdom. So a found fabric with a geometric square motif—originally intended for blankets, most likely—becomes a hooded duffel coat; McNairy likened it to a digital camo pattern. Another duffel comes (sacré bleu!) striped. Bowties in tartan, camp pockets on a herringbone blazer, blocks of contrasting print on a button-down: McNairy mentioned mashing traditions, and it showed. He drew on Woolrich’s historic military wear, and also on its lesser-known Ivy League tradition. They found their joint avatar in John F. Kennedy, collegian turned navy man.

With Woolen Mills, Woolrich continues to do vintage smart: the rough stuff remade for the finer tastes. And speaking of those, check out the giant military tent (above) erected in one room of the presentation. It may look like the M*A*S*H mess hall, but it came stocked with local Milanese and Tuscan fare, carbon-footprint info included.

Photo: Tim Barber / Courtesy of Woolrich Woolen Mills