Billy 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.
It 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.
Our Men’s Fashion Office is all up in the mix at New York Fashion Week: Men’s, and the most photographed member of the team by far is Danny Mankin, Men’s Styling Manager. Which does not surprise us. Everyone’s looking good here, but that excellent fit you see above is pretty much a regular Tuesday for Danny.
Being bombarded with style is exciting but can overwhelm, so to get our minds right, we’ve been enjoying post-show breakdowns with our Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls.
Here’s Jorge on the difference between runway shows and designer presentations (#NYFWM has both) and the events & spring/summer 2016 collections by Suit Supply, rag + bone, Todd Snyder and Michael Bastian.
It 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.
Fun 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.
The bond between music and style is strong in any situation. But with Twin Shadow and Public School, it’s dang near familial.
Backstage before the Public School show at New York Fashion Week: Men’s, rock star Twin Shadow talked with us about scoring every Public School show so far and what specifically was asked of him for this spring/summer 2016 collection. He was also a model in the show.
New York brand Public Schoolwon 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.
See more images from the show and backstage below, and click here for an interview with Chow and here for an interview with Twin Shadow.
New 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.
Since it’s brand-new and fascinating to us, we asked our Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls for a primer about New York Fashion Week: Men’s–or #NYFWM if you’re hashtagging. He gave us solid notes over a jazzy soundtrack.
Now that we’re out here in New York to investigate, we asked Steven Kolb,CEO of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) to go further in depth about this “week,” which lasts four days on the calendar from July 13-16.
What is this thing? Specifically, what does it mean in the big picture of menswear that a standalone men’s fashion week is happening on American soil for the first time ever?
Kolb put #NYFWM in the context of an increasing flow of capital, since menswear is booming business in the U.S. He has an interesting analysis of the cultural swirl around the consumer ultimately buying all this menswear in 2015, and from the designers’ standpoint, Kolb sees justice: American menswear designers are being recognized as equally talented as the predominantly European designers who show at men’s fashion weeks in London, Milan, Florence and Paris.
Here’s Kolb talking about all that, plus identifying one up-and-coming brand to watch, naming which legends deserve props–and arguing whether or not fashion is art.
The first-ever men’s-only New York Fashion Week is upon us–that’s right, first in the history of the world–and we’ll be there July 13-16, blogging hardly. Our modus operandi will be to see shows and presentations, interview designers and writers, soak up the scene–and generally, like Kanye West once endeavored to do, give you the feeling.
So what is #NYFWM anyway? And what’s significant about this inaugural edition? Here’s our own Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls, explaining:
To build on one of Jorge’s points about the economics of this Fashion Week occurring during this specific time, market time for retail buyers, which gives buyers a chance to see designers’ presentations before they make their spring/summer 2016 buys: A direct customer impact is not guaranteed.
Nonetheless, it is entirely possible that if you peep Jorge’s Instagram feed of snapshots from the front row, you may be seeing into the future of shopping at Nordstrom.