Behind the Brand

Marcus-Wainwright-and-David-Neville1Marcus Wainwright and David Neville at the Vancouver Nordstrom 

Occupying a supremely trustable space in the designer category, rag & bone makes clothes you don’t have to think hard about. They look and feel great, every time.

Recently, rag & bone honchos Marcus Wainwright and David Neville launched Standard Issue, a line they hope you’ll consider even less carefully.

It’s not that they don’t want to engage intellectually. It’s that they want to provide an automatic option for men who seek an unflashy wardrobe foundation–and who appreciate the kind of perfection that comes from British tailoring, where the label and logo aren’t important, but a certain cleanness radiates when you’re wearing the garments.

In our view: mission accomplished.

Read on for Wainwright and Neville’s explanation of Standard Issue–they’re inspired by Japan and the military–and to see images of their office spaces.

Shop: rag & bone Standard Issue | rag & bone Standard Issue denim | all rag & bone

This way for the Q&A

{ 0 comments }

Saturdays-3108Images by Robin Stein

Surf-inspired brand Saturdays NYC started in 2009 with a staunch imperative to chill, selling espresso shots and hosting hang-outs in the storefront backyard. Years later the brand has become a serious fashion player, but the chill has not waned.

When we met with co-founder Morgan Collett at Saturdays’ showroom in New York, a zen glow hovered over him from the previous day, when he watched the sun rise and surfed in Japan with one of his idols, Kohei Chiba.

A hardcore fan of Swedish design who cut his teeth working for Acne and J. Lindeberg, Collett is also still that kid from Newport Beach, California, who got a varsity letter on his high school surf team.

Read on for our interview with Collett to learn how his brand truly represents a culture, how surfing is different in New York versus Cali–and to see images of prototype shoes in Saturdays’ SoHo showroom.

Shop: Saturdays

Full Q&A through this link

{ 0 comments }

Eton-3146Images by Robin Stein

Toward the end of our interview with Sebastian Dollinger, head of design at the Swedish brand Eton–makers of arguably the finest dress shirts on the market–he shared his love of lying:

“One time I told a reporter the whole collection was inspired by fish. And they printed it!”

So forgive us if we have doubts about the existence of his new EDM band, which he said is called Highly Sedated and appears to be un-Googleable.

Dollinger has a rock star personality regardless, and is a master designer with a deep history at Eton. He was practically born into the company and as an elementary school kid, used to sneak into his dad’s basement to watch him design Eton shirts.

Read on for a candid interview with Dollinger and photos from the Eton showroom in midtown Manhattan.

Shop: Eton

[continue reading…]

{ 1 comment }

CMRTYZ | Behind the Brand

collage5

A new brand for us, Seattle’s CMRTYZ (say each letter) operates in a downtown loft right around the corner from where Nirvana used to play. That would be about one mile south of Nordstrom headquarters. Because we’re 100% in love with CMRTYZ’s punk concert-poster aesthetic, which gets a streetwear twist in our exclusive mini collection of hockey jerseys and T-shirts, we dropped by the studio to learn more about designers CMR (Carlos Michael Ruiz) and TYZ (Ty Ziskis).

Inside, we found artwork and silkscreens on the floor and local punk band So Pitted carefully “hole-ing,” ripping holes in T-shirts for decoration. It made us laugh, looked cool and the band getting paid (“We’re huge fans,” said Ziskis) was a clear example of CMRTYZ’s ethos: support the scene that inspires you.

Nordstrom isn’t carrying CMRTYZ’s hole-y stuff. But there is a rough/degraded quality to our jerseys and tees due to Ruiz’s hand-drawn comics-style illustrations, quick cutouts and images processed via photocopier.

Check our interview below to learn about life-changing album art, how to make a bad impression during a business deal and what happens when the punks take marketing jobs–all filtered through Ruiz’s unique hand-style.

cmrtyz3

Shop: CMRTYZ | The Rail

[continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

atm-headshot

Anthony Thomas Melillo has our full respect as a fashion designer and creative individual, for the shape and hang of his clothes and for believing in himself over time. Basic casual wear with a tailored fit? Not common in the late 1980s/early 1990s. But today, his sports luxe style is everywhere and his brand ATM at the forefront, making, for one, arguably the perfect t-shirt.

We spoke to the West Chester, PA, native on the phone at his New York showroom about the importance of fit, feel and drape. And about how decades spent editing in the publishing industry at mags including Vogue and Esquire tuned him into the world and honed his instincts.

Shop: ATM | men’s designer collections

[continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

W.R.K | Behind the Brand

IMG_0165

New season, new inspiration says Matteo Gottardi, leader of the menswear brand W.R.K–seen here at The WRK Shop showroom and design studio in New York City.

This spring: Formula One racecars and their drivers, a sport that is as visually striking and glamorous as it is punishing and dangerous.

Gottardi’s interest in speedy machines makes sense: he’s a motorcycle enthusiast, his mind moves racecar fast in conversation–and his general view with W.R.K is menswear should be high performance

Because we’re never static, are we? We’re always moving at the speed of life, word to David Bowie and Xzibit

On the phone, Gottardi talked to us broadly about men and style, and took us under the hood of a few of his designs, including the rare beast known as the summer sweater.

All photos by Brad Ogbonna

Shop: W.R.K

[continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Haspel | Behind the Brand

haspel

Haspel invented the seersucker suit in New Orleans, and not like Puff Daddy “invented the remix.” This is for real.

The classic brand goes a lot deeper than one fabric, and with two new designers steering its style, we figured it’s a good time to go behind the brand with interviews and photos from Haspel’s showroom in New York.

But for one sec, let’s appreciate their heritage.

Haspel was born in New Orleans in 1909. They’ve outfitted every United States President post-Coolidge, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird and Jon Hamm in Mad Men. Without Haspel, who knows if we’d have the idea of American suits that keep you literally cool. Or suits that you could wash and dry at home. (They pioneered wash-and-wear, too.)

These days, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos are the design force driving Haspel (you may know them from their own brands Shipley & Halmos and S&H Athletics). They were hired last year by Laurie Aronson Haspel, whose great-grandfather Joseph Haspel started the company and whose grandfather Joseph Haspel, Jr., remains something of a company spirit animal.

Jeff Halmos (on the right, above) spoke to us about taking a serious but light approach to handling so much history, about what’s fresh for Haspel for spring–and about what a rad dude Joseph Haspel, Jr., really was.

Shop: Haspel | spring suits | all suits | men’s style

Portrait courtesy Jeff Halmos; all other images by Brad Ogbonna

[continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

The IG bio for photographer A.J. Ragasa highlights a holy trinity of women, whiskey and menswear–which, OK, no complaints there. But we also find his photographic compositions geometrically intriguing, his portraits alluring and in general we appreciate his view of the world—for instance, his view of the headquarters and showroom of iconic outdoor Seattle-based brand Filson.

Check out the images here and get Ragasa’s take on the brand–which has arced seamlessly from crafting garments and accessories fabled for holding up over multiple generations, to outfitting those who cavort in the city.

Hero

[continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }