Emerging menswear designers 2017

Style

August 16, 2016

Get to know the designers and brands taking style to new levels this season.

Fall is the season of clothes. More clothes. Wearing, buying, seeking out. It's a small opportunity to reinvent yourself—or at least, for those of us whose clothes are an important part of how we look and feel, to reaffirm. Favorite pieces are recovered from the depths of the closet, and new ones are acquired.

With that in mind, get to know a handful of young designers who are reinvigorating menswear right now. They come from all over the world—from San Francisco to New York, Shanghai to London—and bring fresh ideas about how to make and wear clothes. Their visions are modern and borderless—unburdened by ties to tradition, or the urge to reject it. Some are fresh out of design school, others have been honing their vision for a few seasons now. All of them offer compelling reasons to reconsider, or at least add something to, your personal style. You don't have to be the first guy to wear one of these new brands, but you should start tracking them now, while they're on the rise.

So we rounded them up and sent them the same questionnaire—all to introduce to you, in their own words, the emerging menswear names you need to know now.

Post-Imperial

What's your name and where are you from?
My name is Niyi Okuboyejo. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but grew up in Houston.

When and how did you launch the brand?
I did a soft launch for Fall 2013 with pocket squares. My first full accessories collection (pocket squares, ties, scarves) was in Spring 2014. I then expanded into a full collection in Spring 2016. Fall 2016 will be my second full sportswear collection.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
Post-Imperial is a lifestyle brand with a colorful and vibrant reassessment of cultural standards within fashion. It carries a strong sense of optimism for the future. It always feels familiar, even when the concepts aren't.

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
Even though I started with accessories, the main goal was to always make clothes. It is important for me to help steer the African narrative within fashion through a fresh point of view.

What was your last "regular" job?
Working as an associate designer at a fashion house.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
It's a tie between Yasuto Kamoshita of United Arrows (classic menswear vibes with all the ease and none of the stuffiness) and Yegwa Ukpo of Stranger, a concept store in Lagos, Nigeria (he's probably the only Nigerian who wears all black).

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
I usually stop buying other brands once I start making something in that category. I have not bought a tie or pocket square in years. But the last piece of clothing I bought before I expanded into sportswear was a bottle green Camoshita suit from No Man Walks Alone.

Where did you last travel to?
I was in Paris a few weeks ago presenting my collection during Fashion Week. I am usually there twice a year. I am, however, yet to visit the Louvre.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
Best new movie I've seen this year: Captain America: Civil War. Best old movie I've seen this year: Dope.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
Although everyone is welcome to wear my clothes, I don't really have anyone famous in mind that I would like to see in them. For me, I am more interested in the man who is invested in cultivating new cultural experiences. Doesn't matter if he is in the creative field or works a typical desk job.

Ziggy Chen

What's your name and where are you from?
Ziggy Chen, from Shanghai.

When and how did you launch the brand?
In 2010, the idea of making clothes came to my mind, and a year later, with the support and encouragement from my family and friends, I made the first collection. It was all so simple in the beginning. I was just following my passion, not taking too much consideration about the market or any other elements. It was purely for the pleasure of making clothes. It wasn't until the Spring-Summer 2013 season that I started seriously thinking of which path I should take as a garment maker.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
I always find it quite difficult to describe. Usually I would go: "Just like what I am wearing," or "You'll know when you see it."

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
Timeworn antique garments, old photographs, antiques markets etc.

What was your last "regular" job?
Managing a company as a so-called CEO.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
I like a person whose appearance is in line with who he/she is, not relying on a style that is expressed through extrinsic elements. I like Dou Wei (a Chinese composer/musician).

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
During the Chinese New Year holiday this year, I was in London and all of a sudden I wanted to go for a run. So I went to Peter Jones to purchase a set of running clothing from Nike.

Where did you last travel to?
I visited the Scottish Highlands last month.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
Youth. I hope to watch it again.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
To be honest, I most like to see my son wearing my collection, though he is only 13.

Sunnei

What are your names and where are you from?
We are Loris, from Grenoble, France, and Simone, from Catanzaro, Italy.

When and how did you launch the brand?
We launched the brand with Spring-Summer 2015 as a way to change our lives. Both of us were bored by the office life and decided to quit our jobs and take a jump in the void and spice things up. We always had a passion for clothing and fashion in general, so we thought that this would be the best idea.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
Everyday wardrobe staples for the creative man on the go.

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
Our surroundings and the need for clothes we couldn't find in stores.

What was your last "regular" job?
Loris: Visual merchandiser at Gucci.
Simone: Digital PR at a fashion PR agency.

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
Loris: Hawaiian shirt in Ibiza.
Simone: Vintage Lacoste shorts in Ibiza.

Where did you last travel to?
Ibiza.

Nicholas Daley

What's your name and where are you from?
I'm Nicholas Daley. I am from Leicester, but my father is from Jamaica and my mother is from Scotland.

When and how did you launch the brand?
The brand's genesis was very natural: The London-based buyers from International Gallery BEAMS had seen my Central Saint Martins graduate collection in the press show, back in 2013. They arranged a meeting and bought the collection, kick-starting my company. The BEAMS team have always shown me great patience and support, and continue to do so. My first season, "Culture Clash," was in 2015.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
I would describe my work as a mixture of soft tailoring and workwear that evokes multiculturalism and ideas of heritage. My design ethos is based upon embedding cultural identities into my garments from both a research and production point of view. I'm crafting contemporary menswear using traditional British manufacturing and methods of production.

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
My interest in design stemmed from working in a store back home in Leicestershire called Wellgosh, and being on the skate and street scene there. Experiencing that subculture whilst studying textiles and art enabled me to develop my passion for menswear. During my A-levels, I made a coat out of ex-military fabric and came runner-up in a national competition. Traveling to London to show the work made me realize the tangibility of a career in menswear.

What was your last "regular" job?
In addition to having my own line, I am a freelance pattern maker. But my last "regular job" was probably my role as a sales associate at Dover Street Market.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
BEAMS's buyer, Tatsuo Hino.

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
The last piece I bought was a vintage British military jacket over in Portobello Road. I have been going there for a long time and find such great vintage clothing to add to my collection.

Where did you last travel to?
At the moment of writing, I'm currently in Copenhagen for the CIFF Raven International Fashion Fair, where I'm showing my Spring-Summer ’17 collection, JUTEOPOLIS.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
The Revenant.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
For me it's important that my collections have a diverse appeal and wearability. The essence of the design is about lacing cultural and historical identities into the garments, and in this way the wearer adds another layer of identity. Having said that, Don Letts was the muse for my first two collections. He walked for the press show at CSM and looks great in the clothing.

Evan Kinori

What's your name and where are you from?
Evan Kinori. Born in Philadelphia, raised in Connecticut, been in San Francisco for the past 10 years.

When and how did you launch the brand?
The first release was September 2015—I had stockpiled fabric over the previous years, and was toying with the idea of starting my own thing and deciding which three to five styles I would start with if I didn't end up working for someone else.

As I weighed my options for working as a garment designer in the Bay Area, it seemed a lot more fulfilling to see what would happen if I made a small run of those pieces and tried to sell them on a website and at two or three stores. Since I'm able to design, pattern, and sample my work, it required a lot less capital to do a trial run.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
It's funny how often that one gets thrown at you—it's like someone you've just met asking "what are you about?" It's a bit of a loaded question—and depending on the setting and my mood the answer can either be "pretty much what I'm wearing" or "pretty classic stuff, nothing really formal."

In the same way that people can't truly be classified by one genre or characteristic - I prefer to have someone see the clothes and come up with there own interpretation instead of me talking about them.

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
Originally I would say my shoes were the first thing I paid attention to—being 15 or 16 and looking down, wishing my kicks I had just skated in could look better to wear in school or something. At the time, in the early 2000s, all the skater-owned shoe companies were still around and experimenting with highly visible technology and all sorts of crap that didn't age well or look decent off of a skateboard. I thought of shoe design for a bit, but it seemed a pretty far-off reality to actually make shoes.

I always saved garments I felt connected to, even after they were torn up or too small for me. I had started my personal nostalgia archive of clothes, dating back to the ’70s—from my grandfathers, parents, and my older brother. I remember being interested by some clothes and not others, and wondered why I saved them—whether it was something in the design, tactile quality, or the memory of who wore it.

It wasn't until I was 22 or 23 and saw myself aimlessly pursuing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, so I took a few "Intro to Fashion" classes and then transferred to design school. Turns out I love pattern making and sewing.

What was your last "regular" job?
Working at a coffee shop in San Francisco before I went to design school.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
That's a tough one—it's a shifting answer, especially as I look to the past a lot. I remember my good friend Steve growing up—he would have outfits bought entirely from a thrift store that looked really cool and effortless. I think that taught me a lesson early on that it ain't what ya wear, it's how ya wear it. Also, if you look at the book Small Trades, by Irving Penn, it's clear that style transcends beyond fashion.

Nowadays I like anyone who creates their individual style from different elements—I don't like when a shoe or garment wears the person; I enjoy seeing someone make a piece their own. Someone like Rene [Holguin] from RTH will wear the same shirt completely different than the next person—I like individuality and the fact that if you were to ask someone "how do you define your personal style?" they've thought about it. My friend Phil from Lady White Co. always looks cool. He dresses classic but often mixes in a unique item that makes the whole kit seem fresh or different.

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
I bought a pack of Lady White Co. tees from County Ltd. in Silver Lake (L.A.), and I got a PAA hat off their site.

Where did you last travel to?
I just drove back from L.A. a few days ago, but maybe I'd say I was in N.Y.C. in July, since that was more of a trip.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
I liked Michael Moore's new movie, Pontus Alv's I Like It Here Inside My Mind, Don't Wake Me This Time, Thomas Campbell's Cuatro Suenos Pequenos, Everybody Wants Some!! by Linklater. I mostly watch older stuff, though. L'homme Qui Aimait les Femmes, by Truffaut, is the best.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
Certain people would be a trip to see; maybe Quim Cardona or Mark Gonzales? Keith Richards? Big Youth? The idea of people who profoundly influenced me, wearing clothes that bear their influence in some abstracted way, is pretty radical. Other than that, seeing my friends and family wearing what I make is really nice.

Abasi Rosborough

What's your name and where are you from?
Greg: Gregory Thomas Rosborough, from Tucson, Arizona.
Abdul: Abdul Waheed Abasi, from Washington, D.C.

When and how did you launch the brand?
Greg: I moved to New York in 2006 to study menswear design at FIT and met a guy there named Abdul Abasi, who had just finished serving in the military. Design school went well, and I got my first job as a designer at Ralph Lauren. After working there a few years, I called Abdul and we met for coffee and started discussing design and concepts. We both agreed that the world does not need another designer brand, but if we were going to do something, it needed to have something to say and a strong perspective. We spent two years working on concepts and prototypes before setting out with our vision for 21st-century tailoring—based on anatomical and military research—and in January 2013 we launched the brand.
Abdul: We launched AR in 2013 after a few years of developing our design ethos. We wanted to create the next evolution in men's clothing. We wanted to push the idea of men's tailoring forward.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
Abdul: Twenty-first-century tailoring. Truly progressive menswear that is designed for the modern man on the go. It is a wardrobe that is built to work in harmony with the human body: activewear meets tailoring. AR is designed for movement and utility.
Greg: I was on a flight a few years back, and the male flight attendant, dressed in a fitted suit, was trying to help an older woman to put her luggage into the overhead compartment. The man picked up the luggage, got to about shoulder level, and couldn't reach up any higher. He had to put the bag down and take the jacket off to lift it. As a designer, sitting there watching this, it blew my mind—how are we living in the 21st century and still wearing clothing that does not respect the body's anatomy?

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
Greg: I played basketball growing up and was with the University of Arizona basketball team during my undergrad. Nike designed new uniforms for the team while I was there and submitted them to the coaches for review. I saw them and thought, I could do much better. I came up with designs, showed them to the players and coaches, everyone was into them, and submitted them back to Nike. When we went to play in Oregon, we had a design meeting with Nike, and they weren't too happy that I had submitted new designs. But, to their credit, they listened to me and updated their designs to include ideas I had presented. This was my first taste of design, and I loved it.
Abdul: I'd always had a fascination with art and design, and I felt as though designing clothing was the most tangible way to communicate my ideas. I love how people interact with clothing, how it provides warmth and protection, and how a garment can have a sentimental value.

What was your last "regular" job?
Greg: I coached youth basketball camps every summer from when I was 16 to 22.
Abdul: I served in the U.S. Army as an Apache attack helicopter missile/navigation systems technician before moving to New York.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
Greg: Abdul Abasi, hands down.
Abdul: Kevin Yanes, sales associate at Nepenthes New York.

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
Greg: I don't buy clothing anymore, as I wear AR as much as possible, but I love to go antiques shopping and find things like Navajo and African cuffs and midcentury brooches and stick pins.
Abdul: Ever since starting AR, I've only worn our clothing. However, last winter I purchased a Montbell ultralight down jacket from Nepenthes New York and probably wore it every day underneath my coat.

Where did you last travel to?
Greg: Paris for work, then Michigan to see my family.
Abdul: Paris for work, Berlin for play.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
Greg: Well, it was Zaha Hadid until she passed away. Now, I'd say Richard Serra.
Abdul: Elon Musk.

A-COLD-WALL

What's your name and where are you from?
Samuel Ross.

When and how did you launch the brand?
The brand was actually launched by accident; it was formed as a personal project, more of a case study and mood board into looking back at surroundings and environments, social constructs I had grown up within, taking note of materials and societal conversations that also formed these environments.

When someone at a party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
A reflection of melting-pot British culture, referencing both working-class and upper-middle-class groups—it carries the energy and mood of dire Britain, presented through a brutalist undertone.

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
That began through graphic prints—placements led into learning about how fabric can be composed to explain ideas.

What was your last "regular" job?
Product and graphic designer at an ad agency.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
Pops—normcore and Art Dad perfectly balanced. He once painted our entire house yellow. Those are style/taste decisions that take commitment—hah.

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
An Acne Studios jumper from a consignment store in Tokyo, around June, was the last "real" purchase.

Where did you last travel to?
Copenhagen.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
I don't really go to the cinema; I should make more of an effort. Recently rewatched No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood—both are timeless.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
Individuals who appreciate the details, the reference points, and process of dyeing each piece—those who are aware I still hand-paint each piece.

Palmiers du Mal

What's your name and where are you from?
My name is Shane Fonner, and I am the creative director of Palmiers du Mal. I'm from New York City, but originally from Harrisburg, PA.

When and how did you launch the brand?
I launched the brand in 2015 (alongside my collaborator Brandon Capps), following stints at Billy Reid, Maison Kitsuné, and Saturdays NYC. I was ready to explore more ethereal, imaginative concepts and wanted to create a collection that had an element of luxurious whimsy that I thought was missing in the market.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
Imagine if the dude had money and was lasciviously stylish...

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
I had been sketching clothing since before I can remember, and been an artist my whole life. At university, I was introduced to philosophy, and I started to form very strong opinions and concluded that beauty, among the greater goods, could be an agent of change and influence. I thought that I could use my talent to bring more beauty, freedom, and happiness to the world. I'm a bit of an idealogue, I suppose.

What was your last "regular" job?
I was a model agent and model scout from the early 2000s, before I began working in menswear proper.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
George Cortina.

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
I bought five caftans when I was in Marrakesh in April for my wedding. I could wear a caftan every damn day.

Where did you last travel to?
Odessa, Ukraine—the pearl of the Black Sea (or, "the Miami of Eastern Europe").

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
I've watched La Jetée several times this year and love rewatching Fellini's archive, specifically La Dolce Vita. Admittedly, I'm not very up on my recent films.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
River Phoenix.

Kiko Kostadinov

What's your name and where are you from?
Kiko Kostadinov. Bulgaria, living in London for the past 10 years.

When and how did you launch the brand?
I launched my brand in June 2016 under NEWGEN Men. I only graduated from Saint Martins MA in February this year.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
I don't go to cocktail parties, but if I do and someone were to ask me, I would probably say contemporary utilitarian clothes with subversive pattern cutting.

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
There is so much clothes, I find it challenging to try and do something that actually contributes to design rather than just being another pair of pants or jacket. I like that challenge.

What was your last "regular" job?
I never had a regular job. I was assisting and studying, and during weekends I would help my father at the building site. Cleaning and general help.

What's the last piece of clothing you bought for yourself, and where'd you buy it?
I got a bag of British military uniforms for £1 from a soldier at a car-boot sale.

Where did you last travel to?
Paris.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
Carlos, the documentary on Carlos the Jackal.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
Stefano Pilati and Takahiro Miyashita.

Yang Li

What’s your name and where are you from?
Yang Li. Shanghai.

When did you launch the brand?
2012.

When someone at a cocktail party asks you to describe your line, what do you say?
Destroyed luxury.

What was your initial inspiration for making clothes?
Storytelling.

What was your last "regular" job?
Chauffeur.

Who's the most stylish person you know?
Rok Hwang.

Where did you last travel to?
Salò, Italy.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?
Youth, Paolo Sorrentino.

Who would you most like to see wearing your collection?
Blixa Bargeld.


Источник: http://www.gq.com/story/emerging-menswear-designers

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