Menswear Monday: Fashion Week

There’s more to menswear than suits and ties. Every other Monday, we’re giving the fastest developing facet of fashion the attention it deserves and introducing the designers, buyers, trendsetters, and stylists you need to know. 

Menswear in New York doesn’t get the city’s undivided attention for a week like in London, Milan, or Paris, so it can be easy to miss in the flurry of the womenswear-focused schedule of New York Fashion Week. Some of it pops up at low-key presentations downtown, some of it slides in between women’s looks on co-ed runways, and some of it even walks in high-production, men’s-only shows. This season, we’ve spent all week all over town to scout out the best of it, and asked the minds behind five of our favorite men’s collections: Who’s your man this season? From ’80s cult characters to celebrity couples, their inspirations were all over the place.

Shayne Oliver:
“I was watching Forrest Gump, and I ended up naming the collection Gump, so I guess Forrest would be the inspiration—this person who doesn’t really know the impact that they’re having, because it’s coming from a genuine, casual sensibility. That in itself is a powerful thing. It’s thought out, but the end product is meant to be oblivious in a way. I’m taking a break away from social commentary and appreciating where I’m from, kind of focusing on a homeland aesthetic as opposed to anything that’s Eurocentric. So the collection is really tight and based off of Americana—but not like in a red, white, and blue way. It’s the things that really make this country powerful. It’s taking away from being about flannels and being more about deeper American influence or attributes.”

Siki Im: “Prisoners. [laughs] Sexy prisoners. Basically what I was researching was prisons, hospitals, institutions. Prison tattoos, prison culture, prison uniforms, hospital uniforms. You see a lot of proportions that are borrowed from that subculture. I worked with my tattoo artists, Maxime Büchi. He created this beautiful tattoo print that’s a reference to the tattoo cultures of Russian prisons. And the colors come from hospital scrubs. These broken pastels are so ugly, when you go to a hospital, you get sick just from being there. [laughs] The hair comes from Eastern Promises, the David Cronenberg movie with Viggo Mortensen. The beautiful towel hats—you know when you’re hot and you wet the towel and put it on top of your head to cool down? So it’s a reference to all those sorts of cultures.”

Rob Garcia: “I’m a huge fan of Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, and then the ’90s started, and it was just like: Nirvana. They all didn’t really care about the style or the fashion. They just had it. And they also were really good about having a uniform. I think that’s always really cool, when you see someone with a really cool personal aesthetic and you see them in it daily. I wear the same thing every day for a week or two, sometimes. [laughs] So the main inspiration was definitely how much I always enjoyed the rock-‘n’-roll stage attire from the late ’80s and early ’90s—just super rock-‘n’-roll pieces with edge, but also functional. ‘Cause back then, a show was a show. These guys were jumping off speakers, it was insane. There was a lot of movement. And for those garments to be able to move like that back that was crazy. It was a challenge, the idea to fuse those stage-type of pieces with the newest fabrics to make everything more functional and give everything a sportswear feel. The challenge was to find leathers that didn’t look or feel like leathers—to have some crazy leathers this season with a lot of cool techniques that give them a completely new feel and look.

Carlos Campos: “I think this collection is all about the sports guys. You think Beckham, you think Messi. It’s thinking on that inspiration, but it’s also me. I love sport, in particular soccer. I just wake up every morning, every sunday at 9 a.m., and I turn on the TV and start with the whole Premier League in England, and then it goes through the whole South American thing, and then at midnight I watch the highlights. I wanted to take an element out of that, and so we started to develop this print inspired by the referee’s whistle. I started to play with a uniform style, so we have four colors in the collection: gray, teal blue, navy blue, and white. I wanted to keep it simple.”

Laurence Chandler:
“Actually, we were looking at Janet Jackson’s current husband, Wissam [Al Mana]. And we kept coming back to old Chad Muska images and, in this weird way, our mood board ended up with the two of them most present. But it ended up with us thinking, if these guys wear it, we’ve succeeded. In the past we’ve always done very monochromatic collections, and in a way we’ve been typecast sometimes as goth. [laughs] And there’s nothing wrong with that, but we were wondering, how do we rebel against that? So we were like, let’s do something sports-based! And then we started looking into old vintage uniforms and the construction, and so the entire collection is pulled for classic sportswear. The way we tied the collection together, we developed a bruise, so some of the models have an actual injury on them. And then we pulled all the color for the collection out of that. Bruises really look beautiful—it’s like a galaxy, almost.”

Menswear Monday runs every other Monday. For more, click here.