Todd Snyder On His SS 18 Collection, Dad Style, and Making a Difference Through Design at New York Fashion Week: Men’s
New York–based designer Todd Snyder, the solid anchor of this season’s roster of NYFW:M, did not disappoint with his headlining runway show on opening day.
Known for classic tailoring, military influences and collaborating with heritage brands like Champion, he threw a curveball with his spring/summer 2018 collection. The fashion somewhat recklessly balanced his familiar aesthetic with styles from Snyder’s own world travels and a dusting of American streetwear.
Backstage we talked about the collection, the role of design in society, his dad, and which fashion rules are breakable (all of them).
SHOP: Todd Snyder
Images by Mike Chard
What was your mindset when you designed this collection? What were you responding to?
I’ve always been very inspired by travel—I travel the world, and am fortunate to go a lot of places—and felt it was important to mix things up and not be so traditional or one-noted. I was very influenced by my trips: I’ve been to Marrakesh once, been to Japan a million times, been to China, and I felt like this season more than anything, I kind of call it the melting pot of fashion. Taking different influences and putting them in a blender, and coming up with an eclectic, bohemian—there’s a little bit of sport in there, a little military, a little Middle East, a little sartorial. All those things work together in a harmonious way.
What’s one thing you did with this collection that you’d never done before?
You know, it’s interesting: I’ve always been inspired, or probably scarred, when I was younger by the way my father dressed. My father was, I felt, very embarrassing. He’d wear black socks, with dress shoes, with shorts. And that’s how we styled it! Very much dad style. A little bit nerdy, a little bit cool, and also street-inspired. This season more than any, I wanted to be freer and break the rules.
What’s something you wish more men would try in their dressing, maybe something that feels like a risk but is actually a good idea?
I think the biggest thing is to think there are no rules. It’s important to experiment and play with new things, whether you’re pairing a suit with a casual T-shirt, or wearing sneakers with a suit, or even wearing shorts with a pair of blucher shoes. You’ve got to remember you can always change your style without changing who you are.
You were early in collaborating with Champion. Do you feel like you inspired other brands with that partnership?
In a way, for me, it is a compliment to see more brands doing collaborations. But I’ve always enjoyed doing them, and have been doing them since I can remember. I get so much inspiration from those relationships.
What makes you proud to be a designer?
Especially today, with everything going on the world, design has stepped up and said, “We’re not having it.” I have two daughters, and it’s important for me that they see people stand up. Especially in the fashion industry, everyone from Anna Wintour to The New York Times has stood up and said, “This isn’t cool by me.” That’s what’s been inspiring. My daughters are speaking about it, the whole industry is speaking about it, and from my perspective we’re all freaked out. But at the same time I’m comforted by that reaction—whether people are talking about their values, protesting, or changing the way they do business. I’m going to make a point to hire more minorities. That’s going to be my contribution. That’s what we need right now, is a shift, and hopefully that will help make a difference.