Todd Snyder’s Fall ’18 Collection and Post-Athleisure Vision
Photos by Mike Chard
Over the years, Todd Snyder has become one of the marquee designers at New York Fashion Week: Men’s—a chill, Midwestern guy and a reliable player in both the designer world and in daily-use sportswear. While he doesn’t get much credit for it, he’s also a trendsetter. His long-running collaborations with Champion, for instance, preceded fashion’s fascination with athleisure. So when he speaks on the future of menswear, we listen.
Backstage moments before his Fall ’18 show, in between making last-minute adjustments to models’ outfits and chatting with his friend Hasan Minhaj, Snyder told us that he envisioned athleisure waning. According to Snyder, it’s not that sweats and sneakers are out, period, but at this point we have an issue of saturation. And his idea about how to break that up is for guys to start wearing classic British styles with loose American tailoring.
SHOP: Todd Snyder
How’s it going, Mr. Snyder?
It’s going great. Hey, I’m going to Seattle on Thursday.
Oh, cool! What are you doing there?
Meeting with Tina Aniversario, your division marketing manager for men’s.
Nice. You used to sell to Jorge Valls, men’s designer and contemporary buying director. What does it mean for you now to work with Tina, who’s more broadly in charge of sportswear?
It’s more doors. Generally speaking, it’s a good thing. It means they like you. We were born into the designer world, which is great because you can incubate, and performance isn’t as important. Then you graduate into Tina’s world, where you’ve got to perform. It’s a logical step for us and means we’ll be able to expand a bit more.
Do you think your brand is luxury?
It kind of bridges it. We have items that are luxury and items that are entry-level-priced. I look at apparel like a great car company. You have the high-performance sports car you want to drive, but most of us drive an SUV or sedan. And you look at the sports car and say, “Whoa.” We have that wow factor because we need that—if it was all T-shirts and jeans, that would be boring. Hang on a second …
[Snyder talks to a stylist and a model backstage about the clothing.]
What was your styling note there?
I was just saying they don’t need to wear the outerwear just yet. The show doesn’t start for a few more minutes.
These clothes look great, by the way.
Thanks! For me this season, I was really inspired by Tommy Nutter, a British stylist and tailor from the ’60s who dressed Mick Jagger. He’s awesome. He’s part of what popularized wide lapels. If you look at old photos of Mick Jagger, when he was dressing really well, that was because of Tommy. Savile Row was his place, and he took things out of that space and made them modern and hip. So this is me making that American. You’ll see sack suits mixed with mohair sweaters—the mohair being not so much a ’90s grunge reference as part of a retro feel. Collegiate sweaters, oversized corduroy pants. I love the volume of this pant here:
Is that wool?
Yeah, wool, drawstring cargo trouser. And then we did these awesome boots. They’re Tricker’s, an English brand, and we added Vibram soles. We did a tall boot and a chelsea boot. It’s like, what’s after the sneaker? These are so comfortable, and they give you an extra inch of height.
Looking at the collection on this posterboard back here, I don’t see a lot of athleisure.
Very little. Some looks are more street-edged, if you look at this guy, that guy, here, there. But not so much of a heavy sport influence. Everybody and their brother has a sports line. Walk down 5th Avenue and everybody has a sports store. We have to start looking for the next. And that’s what my job is, to look at what the next evolution’s going to be. I think it will be a return to loose interpretation of tailoring, and I think it will be a little more freeform. Whereas ten years ago it was about the sport coat, tie and Alden wingtip, for the last five years it’s been about athleisure. You’re starting to see in women’s that tailoring is coming back.
These looks are tailored but still so loose, the pants are almost sweatpants-like.
Yes, we have a lot of that.
[Walks to various models.]
This is a wool-cotton fabric, done in a jogger—and wearing it with this long bomber jacket is really cool. And check out this jacket here. It’s a techy nylon, but it looks like wool, with a tipped collar, so it’s a little more sporty.
This is cool.
Thanks, man! And this mohair—again it’s not really a Kurt Cobain influence, but people are going to see it that way to a degree.
Yeah, this is more pulled together, like if Kurt Cobain got a job.
Ha, yeah. A little more clean-cut.
I need to study up on Tommy Nutter.
It’s really worth it. He’s known for the swingin’ ’60s and that whole era.
That was before everybody was a stylist on Instagram, and there was such an awareness of stylists. You saw these rock stars and didn’t think anyone had dressed them that way. You just thought they were legends.
Yes. And Nutter knew how to do it all. Having that Savile Row expertise made him the right person for the job. He did Jagger; he did the Beatles’ Abbey Road cover. That’s where it started for me with this collection. The houndstooth plaids, even in this techy fabric, or this bouclé overcoat over here …
It’s England through your USA filter. Anglo-American.