Nathan Bogle is well aware that most menswear today looks like workwear. He could actually take credit for making it so uniformly popular: natural leather, selvedge denim, and waxed canvas were all part of the vocabulary that Bogle pushed when he co-founded Rag & Bone with Marcus Wainwright in 2002. “We really identified with the Americana thing that was starting to emerge, the history behind the five-pocket jean and things like that,” he remembers. “We kind of locked onto that.” By the time Bogle left the company in 2006, the rest of the industry had caught on too.
Seven years later, with workwear ostensibly going just as strong, Bogle is rethinking things. His latest venture in menswear, Jardine, launched last year with a clean-cut purpose. “I’ve kind of stripped things back a little bit,” he says. “Just every part of my life is more about essentials, and I think aesthetically in design, something cleaner and more minimal is what I respond to.” For Jardine, that means a palette of mostly grays, blacks, and blues on a range of pared-down outerwear, shirts, pants, and knits. “I really respond, as do a lot of my friends, to clothing that I can just go back to—that are staples in my closet,” he explains. “What I wasn’t finding was really beautifully made and well executed—with fantastic fabrics and materials—those kinds of elements and those kinds of pieces.”
With any luck, Bogle’s sense for what’s next will prove as strong as it did at Rag & Bone. “I think that in the United States, the more refined, cleaner—I don’t want to say simpler, but you know, it does come down to that—sort of sensibility will become more accepted and a bit more worn, away from perhaps some of the heritage and the more casual look,” he offers. “I think men seem to dressing up a little bit more.”
He also has plans for womenswear. “Not concretely,” he insists. “But I’ve sketched a lot. Actually, girlfriends of mine are really wanting to wear some of the knit from the men’s side. So there’s a kernel there—that the aesthetic can translate.” Possibly, he says, as soon as next season.
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