Saint James’ American Prep

Published August 30, 2012

Saint James, the quintessential French purveyor of nautical chic, is marrying its mariner roots with classic American sensibility. The historic clothier (and an outfitter of the French navy since 1848), known for its signature Breton-striped jerseys and wool fishermen sweaters, is teaming up with Barneys New York on an exclusive capsule collection, the first in its history, to launch this September.

Designed by Martin Carvajal, formerly of locally produced downtown gentlemen’s emporium Freemans Sporting Club, the eight-piece collection plays with the carefree spirit of American sportswear within Saint James’ Continental idiom. “I started playing with small additions to the existing patterns, and combining different fabrics and colors to add subtle details to the classic pieces,” Carvajal explained. Knitted bomber jackets, relaxed fit pants, Ivy League-style shawl-collared cardigans, and henley tees are paired with a tricolored palette, cotton ribbing details, and minimal trims, lending a new spin to the traditional design of Saint James’ core classic pieces.

To accompany the collection, Bill Gentle, of Backyard Bill, lensed a calendar featuring a who’s who of Saint James-loyal New York personalities. Among those included in the calendar are Zani Gugelmann, Kelechi Odu, Alexander Gilkes, Angus McIntosh, Judi and Marly Wong, Benjamin Towill, and former Interview editor Glenn O’Brien. “[I wanted] to capture inspiring people who already wear Saint James going about their daily life,” Gentle said.

Saint James’ Chairman, Yannick Duval, maintains that the capsule collection brings the tradition of Saint James’ enduring quality-conscious heritage to the fashion forefront. “The collection, while maintaining the high quality for which Saint James is known, is a logical extension of Saint James becoming a lifestyle for a new generation that is re-discovering the importance of a well made item with a true heritage,” Duval said.

The collection is priced from $115 to $625 and is available exclusively at select Barneys New York stores and online.