22 posts tagged "Menswear"
Shayne Oliver built a brand, and now he’s using the momentum (and resources) from his recent CFDA nomination and 100,000-euro LVMH Special Prize to expand his vision. “We’ve had the exposure,” Oliver told Style.com from his new, unfinished office/atelier/retail space on the Lower East Side, “so now we’re teaching the customer how to engage with the brand.”
For upcoming seasons, Hood by Air as we know it will be divided into three parts—Hood by Air (wardrobe pieces) and HBA (printed pieces), both to be shown in New York, and an artisanal collection to be shown in Paris, which Oliver isn’t ready to reveal too much about just yet. “It will be Hood by Air for sure. It’s just really special,” he said. “And it will be a presentation as opposed to being a show, definitely meant to be intimate and one-on-one. It’s going to push the direction of this whole season. It’ll be the fire starter.”
In addition, there’s a very real possibility that brick-and-mortar retail is on the horizon. “VFILES was acting like a retail space for us, in a sense,” Oliver says. “Now we have the space to do it on our own. Our energy as opposed to having it be embedded in a VFILES situation. They’re growing their own culture, and we’ll be growing our own as well.” He’s already got plans for how he will strategically distribute certain products. “This space here will also be used as a platform to teach the customer. For instance, there will be certain styles, like basics that we think might be too basic for us to sell on our own, so it’s not like you’re going to a department store and you see a T-shirt and it’s cool—you come here and you engage with the moment, the feeling, and you get to be in that space in order to grab that simple T-shirt.”
The Pre-Spring 2015 collection, seen exclusively here, is a precursor to what will be shown in New York during fashion week. Digital prints, block letters, and stripes prevail, and the wardrobe pieces—shirts and jeans—are elaborately constructed experiments in deconstructed basics. The footwear, done in collaboration with Forfex, borrows details from Oliver’s favorite Nikes, Timberlands, and GBX boots. If previous collections were perceived as unisex, this offering is decidedly more in line with menswear.
All brands evolve over time, but Oliver says he feels a responsibility—to his fans and to the fashion industry that has supported him. “It was a passion project before, and now it’s a business,” says Oliver. “I don’t want to let anyone down.”
As Dsquared² approaches its 20th anniversary, it’s apparent that Dean and Dan Caten are enjoying the success of the brand they built. On the eve of their Spring/Summer 2015 runway show, the Dsquared² studio in Milan is not a frantic madhouse of last-minute fittings and collection edits. In the large room in the refurbished warehouse where the brand (and the restaurant/nightclub they own) is based, racks of clothing organized into looks line the walls, shoes are in a neat row on the floor, bags and accessories are laid out neatly on tables. Dan Caten seems relaxed. He’s enjoying a cup of tea and a croissant. The soundtrack for tomorrow’s show is playing on the sound system, a mix he and his brother created that starts with a line from the film Factory Girl. Things are surprisingly calm. Not the scene you’d expect less than twenty-four hours away from the show. But Dsquared² isn’t quite like other brands. They don’t quite fit in with their fashion cohorts in Milan, but that’s fine with them. They like it that way. We caught up with Dan (with an appearance from Dean) to chat about the new collection, the scene in Milan, and the brand’s global expansion.
Can you tell me a bit about the inspiration for the new collection?
It’s the art world. It’s the studio—the New York studio. References from Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Keith Haring, Stephen Sprouse. So it starts in the sixties and the early Andy days, and then it kind of evolves through to the 1980s.
When you say “studio,” do you imagine these as the guys who work in the studio as artists?
Well, it’s just to put them in a place. We kind of said, “OK, they’re living in a New York loft and maybe he’s a painter or maybe it’s his art studio.” Andy’s Factory or whatever.
But more casual than a gallery.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, it’s dirty and messy. It’s got skylights and it’s got paint on the floor and lots of paintings everywhere. Yeah. A bit real.
Your retail business is growing rapidly. What are your expansion plans for the stores?
We’re really pushing retail, especially in America. We’re opening three stores this year: our flagship in New York, which is in Soho; Los Angeles, we’re doing Rodeo Drive; and we’re doing one in Miami and Bal Harbour. They should be all up and running before December.
How many are there worldwide?
About thirty-two, I think now. But this is our first big push for America because we’re not in America at all. You’ll be seeing more of us in America soon.
What’s the importance of that for you?
Well, it’s a big market that doesn’t really know who we are or what our brand is about. It’s a weird thing because on our online store, the biggest customers are Americans, and it’s really weird. And that’s why we said, “Fuck, obviously we’re missing a market here because the biggest percentage of people who are buying online are Americans from Los Angeles.” It’s actually really good information—you understand a lot about your clients and what they want, and you can see what they’re buying. And actually, it’s what kind of gave us a kick in the ass to say, “OK, we better get on it.”
What cities are most interesting to you?
L.A. is where we have the most shoppers online, so that was one of the boosts for L.A. And then we got a really great space right beside Saint Laurent on Rodeo Drive—it’s actually going to be really cool. And it’s interesting because we’re kind of modifying our concepts for the stores, so as we’re maturing, the concepts are kind of maturing—they’re getting a little lighter, a little cleaner. Keeping up to date, I think. And they’re nice. So all the American stores are going to have a kind of different look. We just opened a store also in Mykonos and in Porto Cervo, so those are our two summer stores, and they’re lighter as well and they’re nice.
Are there things you’ll do specifically for an American market?
We do a different buy for each store. I mean, L.A.’s different from New York. We will do special things because we’re doing special things for other boutiques. Like Mykonos—we did some swimwear and some bags and different stuff for those markets. So probably for sure, something in New York. It’s always cute when you get something that you can only get in New York or only get in L.A. It’s kind of novel.
Especially for your customers, who are probably loyal to your brand and they also travel.
We did a silly Mykonos boxer-short bathing suit. They had a hundred and they sold them all in, like, two months.
Everyone’s talking about Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong. Is the Asian market important to your business right now?
Yeah. We actually opened up a new store in Hong Kong. We have two stores in Hong Kong now. We opened a brand-new store in Shanghai which is beautiful. We actually closed at Shanghai fashion week because the government invited us there, so it was kind of a push to promote the brand in China. I think we have seven stores in China already now and we have three partners and we’re going strong to get more. We have a definite plan. It’s just good for us. Tokyo, we actually have two really nice big stores. China seems to be the place where everybody’s nesting.
Does the restaurant business continue to interest you guys? How’s that going?
It’s going really, really well. Really, really well. It’s kind of like a cool place to be. The food’s great, the ambience is great. It’s very different from here, and I think that’s why it’s working. It’s not so “Milan.” It’s got a really international flavor, and I think that’s what’s cool about it. And it’s also like you can go and be seen—it’s quite cozy the way we designed it, also. Everything’s kind of in a booth. You have your individual space, your area, but you can always see who’s walking through or who’s coming in, so it’s kind of got that scene thing, which we love. It’s kind of like a fashion show—you see everyone walk by. The chef’s great, our partner’s great We got a lot of requests to do them in other places, so we’ll see. Maybe in New York. That could be like another business.
Milan has a reputation for being a bit staid, and you guys are obviously known to have one of the more fun shows. Do you think Milan needs to get with it?
I kind of like standing out here. We don’t really fit in so well, and it’s kind of a plus for us. I think we give something different to this fashion. Everybody [does theirs] in their way, and we do ours our own way. We go to the left when they go to the right. I don’t know.
What do you guys love about Milan more generally?
It’s a great city. It’s a good fashion week, especially for men. I love it. It’s a little hometown-y sometimes because it’s not really a big city. That’s why we live in London and we just come here back and forth and it gives us a little bit of an escape. It’s good for work, it’s good for shows, and it’s good for selling.
Other than working, what are your other summer plans?
We go back to Canada on the 26th. We see family. Then we’ll go probably to Greece to go to a promotion for our Greek store and stay there for the summer.
Is going back to Canada a way to get away from fashion and decompress?
No, actually, it’s more work. We’re organizing a big Christmas dinner for our two hundred family members that we haven’t seen for, like, twenty years. Our grandparents used to do this for Christmas day—we’d all go to Grandma’s house and I’d meet my cousins, I’d meet everybody, and she died and no one does that anymore. So we kind of said, “Let’s do it. Let’s be the host and we’ll host you all.” So they’re all excited.
Getting back in touch with cousins.
What city is it in?
Toronto. Christmas day.
Is anyone else in the family in the fashion business?
No. Just the two little ones.
Well, good luck with that. That sounds more difficult than a fashion show.
Kind of the same thing. With food.
Tod’s continues to amp up its ready-to-wear presence. Back in September, the leather goods company brought on Alessandra Facchinetti to design its women’s collections, and today it announced that Andrea Incontri has been hired as the label’s new creative director of menswear.
“Becoming part of a company like Tod’s is both an honor and an exciting challenge,” says Incontri. “Quality and contemporary Italian style are Tod’s values that are already part of my personal vision of the modern man. My aim is to develop them, always keeping in mind the importance of the roots of a brand with such a rich history and craftsmanship.”
Incontri has been showing his namesake men’s and women’s labels since Spring 2013, but will no doubt benefit from the global exposure of Tod’s. Incontri’s first collection for the house will be shown in Milan this Sunday, June 22.
When I heard that La Perla, the sixty-year-old Italian brand that specializes in upmarket underpinnings, was holding its first menswear show during Pitti Uomo, I thought, Great! Yes. Finally. Saucy lingerie for men. Here’s to gender equality! To my disappointment, the models at today’s Spring ’15 presentation were not wearing masculine interpretations of G-strings and playsuits. In fact, they were fully clothed. But that’s not to say the show wasn’t entertaining. Designer Emiliano Rinaldi was inspired by “the bottom of the ocean,” hence the season’s signature print—an oyster with wings and an eyeball in the place of a pearl. This was stamped or embroidered on silk shorts, kimonos, and bedtime-appropriate tuxedo trousers. Hugh Hefner-esque robes were on offer (toodle-oo, gender equality), as were sporty mesh tops, vests, hoodies, and pajama pants (shown in gingham or stripes). “I think men have to be more sensual every day,” mused Rinaldi backstage. “This collection is about making something very intimate that can also be worn out.”
The clear highlight here—which I personally would love to see someone wear out—was a series of black and metallic scaled bodysuits. All were shown with matching scaled high-top trainers, and one even had a coordinating scuba-ready cap. These thoroughly amusing ensembles looked like some kind of merman-eel-Steve Zissou hybrid. “Because I was inspired by the sea, I wanted everything to be mysterious, mystical, and fantastic,” said Rinaldi of the unusual garments. “Also, I wanted to use these surfer suits to emphasize the fish and the skin of the fish. I always like to be a little bit erotic because I don’t like formal or logical fashion.” I’m still a bit upset that La Perla didn’t serve up the ultimate answer to sexy, manly intimates. (Wouldn’t they be just perfect for the recently coined spornosexual?) But I suppose mermen on the runway are just as good.
Instagram menswear icon Nick Wooster is all over the new Wooster x Lardini collection he and the Italian tailoring brand rolled out to the press at Pitti Uomo in Florence yesterday. Mini cartoon portraits of Wooster’s bearded mug are embroidered like polka dots onto one of the collection’s suit fabrics.
The collaboration, between the sartorially eclectic Wooster and Luigi Lardini, creative director of the brand he founded in 1978 with his brother Andrea and sister Lorena, proves the international reach of social media today. The American Wooster has become a men’s fashion star overnight in Italy thanks to his endless stream of stylish selfies—which feature his unique mix of tough-guy tattoos and sharp tailoring. Lardini said he’d been following Wooster’s Instagram feed for several years before he proposed the collaboration six months ago, and the two worked out the style particulars in just two three-day meetings.
“I vowed I would never put my name on a brand, or wear pleated pants again, and here I am,” said Wooster, sporting one of the collection’s washed-out, garment-dyed khaki jackets with a pair of deep-pleated Bermudas and an oversize safety pin on his shirt collar.
Wooster’s take on the Lardini project was simple. The brand is known for its perfect tailoring, so he challenged the label to make something elegantly imperfect. The result is a short but sweet range of jackets, trousers, and Bermuda shorts with one shirt, one shoe, and a tie, offered in twelve different fabrics.
“I wanted the jackets to have a lived-in, messy look as though they were found in the attic, and then combine them with something really clean on the bottom,” said Wooster, who took inspiration from Brooks Brothers’ famously preppy style. The jackets and pants play with the collection’s muted gray and khaki palette in patchworks, but there’s also more traditional summer tweed, Prince of Wales plaid, and linen-cotton-blend seersucker options to wear with patchwork cotton shirts and slip-on sneakers.
“I think linen looks new again,” says Wooster. “Italians have always worn it in a way that Americans [who worry about the wrinkles] never have. Let it wrinkle, and then you don’t have to worry if what’s in your suitcase is perfectly pressed.”