The New Classic

By
Photography wenjun liang

Published October 10, 2013

“It’s a reflection of me,” says 24-year-old fashion designer Brett Johnson of his eponymous clothing line. “A little bit edgy, a little bit upscale.” Launching with a capsule collection this fall, Johnson’s label caters to men with discerning taste. “It’s that global lifestyle: trendsetter, jet-setting,” says Johnson, who is the son of BET founders Robert L. and Sheila Johnson. Taking his father’s advice to focus on quality, Johnson spent weeks in Italy researching leathers and fabrics to use for his pieces, and he works with the same Empoli, Italy, manufacturers as Louis Vuitton, Loro Piana, Lanvin, and Balenciaga. Staples like outerwear, polo shirts, and sneakers form an aesthetic that’s understated but never ordinary: a classic motorcycle jacket is updated with suede trim; and a bomber jacket is trimmed down to a shearling-lined lambskin vest. “It’s something new, it’s something different,” says Johnson. “You just don’t see it every day.”