Designer Collections

coppens1Meet Tim Coppens (last name rhymes with opens), the talented designer who came up through the ranks at Ralph Lauren and adidas and is about to bring his CFDA award-nominated style to Nordstrom. You could call his look athleisure but you’d be better with athluxury.

After all, this is the Belgian designer who recently put 150,000 Swarovski beads on Vans sneakers at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

Tim Coppens will be shoppable mid-August on our website, and his wares sold in physical form exclusively at our Seattle headquarters and our new Canadian store in Vancouver, B.C.

We caught up with Coppens in his NYC showroom the day after his #NYFWM runway show to get to know him better through his spring/summer 2016 collection, his most personal work to date.

The collection is a memory-dive into his formative years skateboarding around New York City with his European friends in the 1990s, listening to hip-hop, watching Kids and VHS tapes of 411 Video Magazine. That crinkly nylon jacket above comes from Method Man. His red leather pullover is a Patagonia hijack. The magic mushrooms on his varsity jackets come from Tom Penny, the reclusive skater with the psychedelic public image.

Basically, Coppens dream of the ‘90s represents a magic part of his life when he hung with a tribe and followed his instincts, and which changed him forever.

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dannyny2Nordstrom Men’s Styling Manager Danny Mankin

Image via Style dot com

Our Men’s Fashion Office is wrapping its time in NYC for the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s, heading home after a week of scoping spring/summer 2016 styles.

For #NYFWM, the award on our squad for incurring the most street-style photography goes to Men’s Styling Manager Danny Mankin–which, again, we’re not surprised. And the award for clarity in a hectic situation goes to Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls.

Jorge saw two main style thrusts #NYFWM: loose luxury and 1990s-inspired streetwear. You can safely say these will define the clothes you see in retailers next spring, or at least be heavy influences. Here he is talking about both.

#NYFWM: Two Big Ideas

 

Check out Jorge’s take on four different shows during #NYFWM and explanation of the two main types of events here. Check him talking about the economic power of the whole thing here. Fashion can be a baffler, but when Jorge explains it to us, we get it.

–Andrew Matson

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varvatos-head-shotIf New York Fashion Week: Men’s were a music festival, John Varvatos would have been the headliner. The American menswear designer went last and went big at #NYFWM, with a rockin’ runway show which people jostled to get into beforehand and fought during to take photos.

We meet Varvatos backstage to talk about the England-meets-SoCal inspiration behind his stripe-y spring/summer 2016 collection–a lot of it had to do with a guitar player whose name rhymes with Beef Pritchards–and why he forewent his regular runway show in Milan in favor of New York.

Shop: John Varvatos

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billy1Behold, Billy Reid’s spring/summer 16 collection. Or most of it, anyway. The southern designer’s clothes contained some of our favorite footwear at #NYFWM, including shoes with their backs made to be heeled down. But who are we kidding, we loved the whole thing. The long jackets, loose fits, Cuban collars, hypnotic patterns, gardener-length bills on baseball hats–and especially that yellow coat above and the green vest at the end of this post.

Check out our backstage interview with Reid here, where we talked about his vision for this collection and which music he played in the studio while designing it.

Shop: Billy Reid

billy3

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billy-reid-headshotBilly Reid was one of the designers we looked forward to meeting most at #NYFWM, whose stuff we love (both his excellent every day clothes and subtly radical runway collections) and whose whole perspective is on-point, culturally and socially.

Click here for images of Reid’s spring/summer 2016 collection.

We caught up with the designer backstage before his runway show at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea. He told us all about his collection and which music he listened to while designing it–and opened up about his special connection to Charleston, SC, and being moved to take action after the tragic church shooting there.

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prellheadshotIt was a sweet scene off Canal Street for Zachary Prell’s first presentation of his career, this career being Prell’s second after he took a look around at all the dorky-dressing businessmen in his office one day, self included, and said: No more.

We caught up with the designer during his presentation surrounded by models who had been with him since his early campaigns.

Shop: Zachary Prell

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toddsnyder1It was leather sandals and “casual luxury” for Todd Snyder at New York Fashion Week: Men’s, with the designer’s spring/summer 2016 runway collection set to a steel drum soundtrack of Jamie xx, Popcaan and Young Thug. Being in the building felt like going on vacation to a blue beach with a cold drink.

We spoke with Snyder backstage about the Italian island that moved him to design the collection, translating certain sensibilities from womenswear to menswear and why this first-ever #NYFWM was necessary.

And ICYMI: The New York Times ran a great feature on Snyder last week.

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publicschool1Fun fact and weird link: before being the toast of menswear today with his design partner Maxwell Osborne at Public School, Dao-Yi Chow wrote graffiti for years. He also wrote articles for long-gone hip-hop magazine The Flavor, which was run out of Seattle (Nordstrom’s headquarters) and included as a staff writer Strath Shepard, now a Nordstrom creative director.

In between the hundred or so interviews Chow did immediately after Public School’s S/S 16 show at New York Fashion Week: Men’s, we asked him about his old life and about the social commentary in this Public School presentation.

Shop: Public School

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publicschoollineup1New York brand Public School won the CFDA award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2014, and since then designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow have seen their star explode into a billion suns, gaining popularity for their progressive yet supremely wearable sportswear. Their history as designers for Sean John now seems ancient, and their presentation at #NYFWM was hotly anticipated. It did not disappoint.

Models included stars: style icon Nick Wooster, actor/seller of fine things Waris Ahluwalia (scroll to the end of this post) and musician Twin Shadow, who scored the event with heavy drums and snippets of Gil Scott-Heron. The room was mobbed at 10:30 a.m. and blew up an hour later when fashion/basketball star Dwyane Wade arrived with Gabrielle Union. After that it was a bit nuts; Joe Jonas showed up, other NBA players, a million photographers with blinding flashes.

As the spring/summer 2016 collection hung on models situated in police lineups, each was called forward individually by the voice of God, or maybe a correctional officer through unseen speakers. The impression was very Usual Suspects. Key components were beefier versions of Public School’s iconic, Jordans-meets-brogues sneakers and new baseball hats with metal fasteners on cloth straps in the back.

publicschoollineup2See more images from the show and backstage below, and click here for an interview with Chow and here for an interview with Twin Shadow.

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chapter2New York Fashion Week: Men’s began with a set of presentations by brands at Industria Superstudios in the Meatpacking District, one of which sounded like it was happening underwater.

Chapter, the Los Angeles-based label with an otherworldly and somewhat grim aesthetic, brought free-form industrial bass to the building courtesy The Floor, a duo consisting of Minimal Wave Records boss Veronica Vasicka and a man known only as Regis.

It was a good soundtrack for designer Devin Carlson’s spring/summer 2016 collection, which channeled dark vibes through conceptual clothing you could actually see yourself wearing.

We caught up with Carlson in the hallway during the presentation and talked about his inspiration for “Displacement” (the name of the collection), his impressions of #NYFWM and his early fashion experiments at Alta Loma High School.

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