From dockworkers on the waterfront to tailored clothing inspired by Beau Brummell, the emerging designers who presented at New York Men’s Day offered up an eclectic assortment for the fall season.
In its traditional kickoff to New York Fashion Week, the showcase created by Agentry PR and sponsored by Hilldun Corp. brought eight brands to the Friday calendar in two separate sessions.
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The morning session featured Y.Chroma, a line founded by Max Israel, who was quick to admit he was “new to the business — I’m an outsider.” The entrepreneur, who said he has already built three successful businesses unrelated to fashion, has homed in on making wardrobes for men 40 and older. His concept was driven by the idea that once men reach middle age, “we fall out of fashion.” That notion was a spending chart that showed that once guys hit their 50th birthday, their spending on fashion “falls off a cliff.”
Israel set out to change that narrative with a collection of wearable, upscale garments in understandable menswear silhouettes offered in body-flattering cuts designed to make guys look taller and thinner. All the pants have elasticized waists and instead of the “dreaded blue blazer,” the collection offers Varial shirt-jacs in tweeds sourced from the Malhia Kent mill in Paris, made famous by Chanel, and other jackets with crocheted details.
The line is already finding its niche. Y.Chroma has been in business for nine months and already has grown into a $1 million direct-to-consumer business. Now Israel is ready to spread his wings and try the wholesale route.
Also showing in the a.m. was Sivan, a brand created by Jack Sivan, who was introducing his first ready-to-wear collection. “I’m hoping to expand beyond just me and my machine,” he said with a smile.
The Brooklyn-based designer, who founded his brand in 2020, admitted to being “passionate about the craft of garment making, menswear and its expanding definition.” He had previously focused on custom tailoring but expanded his reach for fall with a lineup inspired by the dandy Beau Brummell, but offered in a collection that straddles both masculinity and femininity.
Case in point was a “cravate suit,” which was both ‘70s-inspired menswear in its styling and ‘50s-inspired womenswear in its tailoring. There was also a flowy cape that managed to offer up a combination of structure and comfort, as well as an updated Eisenhower jacket.
A newcomer to NYMD, designer Andre Landeros Michel presented his collection, Landeros New York, a lineup inspired by Arcadia, a British pop group formed in 1985 by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor of Duran Duran as a side project during a break in the band’s schedule.
An overdose of the color pink was the starting point for Michel’s collection, referenced in a pink tailcoat with a pleated cummerbund effect on the pants, as well as a soft pink double-breasted topcoat with exaggerated shoulders — “that was kind of the jumping[-off] point for the collection to do silhouettes with strong black and then the soft colors. Typically when I do color, it’s very, very strong like acid colors, but it’s my first time in a softer palette, and combined with the music of like Siouxsie and the Banshees, combined with styling references from the ’80s, just sort of felt right,” said Michel during his presentation.
It was the groups’ dark and Gothic references that fueled the lineup that included fitted corseted coats that can be worn as a dress or an overcoat, and a double-breasted black pin-striped suit with asymmetric striping on the jacket with a strong shoulder and corseted jumpsuits with pleating details on the pants — all of which enriched the offering by combining sartorial elements with genderless undertones.
Designer Tarpley Brooks Jones returned with his brand Tarpley, creating a technical and utilitarian-injected collection that was an ode to digital identities and people he has interacted with over the years to get his brand to the level it stands at today.
“I’ve really been exploring how we’re starting to trust people we don’t know on the internet more than the people around us. That’s happening for me and my friends, as we like to get on these platforms such as Reddit, all these forums in which we interact with these people all the time and really share these bonds that almost become more trustworthy than the people we know around us,” said Jones during his presentation.
The offering was a mix of technical, streetwear and a bit of tailoring, as seen on his sharp Italian wool topcoats with angle-cut, straight-edge lapels, zip-up gillette capes in tech fabrics, a digital camouflage print seen on technical cargo pants with zipper details on the leg opening, angular-cut vests and a bikini bathing suit for women, with accessories such as a technical arm guards bag worn over jackets rounding out the highlights, in which Jones was able to harmoniously blend formal menswear staples with the technical front.
The Salting designers Michael Ward and Manel Garcia Espejo put a fashionable spin on nautical workwear for their fall 2024 collection, taking inspiration from sources like the 1954 film “On the Waterfront” and photographer Irving Penn’s “Small Trades” portraits.
“We kind of focused in on the crowd scenes when they’re all gathered and going up against the system — when you stare at them and they all gang up together,” Ward said. “We found a lot of beauty in that, and we focused on the workers, the longshoremen and their gear.”
The collection was anchored by the brand’s iterations of the work shirt, coming in crisp white variations worn under fitted jackets and peacoats, as well as transformed into thicker work jackets. The nautical vibe was seen through motifs like knotted brooches, drawstring elements and stripes.
Ward named a buffalo plaid print as a key style, which was seen in a blanket-style coat and a maxi scarf, as well as a workmen-inspired pleated short. While the brand is genderless, this season the designers introduced several pieces exclusively for women, such as knee-length skirts and shirts with narrower sleeves.
Designer Sean Coutts looks at his brand Pas Une Marque through a philosophical lens, explaining the name means “not a brand.”
“We’re a very philosophically embedded clothing brand,” he explained. “I’m a major in philosophy, so we basically try to start questioning with a lot of the stuff we do. As you can see, the key motif is very much present throughout the collection. That’s basically a metaphor for opening doors and visiting new places.”
The key motif was seen on many of the styles in the streetwear-inspired fall 2024 collection, such as printed sets, patchwork denim and embellished knits. Coutts said the keys were created from the brand’s own mold and handsewn on each piece.
Attention to detail and handcrafted elements were a reigning theme throughout the collection. Coutts highlighted a green matching set designed with flowers, which took more than two days to hand paint onto the garment. He also named a matching white set with tiers of fabric that were hand burnt as another key style.
The brand collaborated with Hong Kong-based sculptor Johnson Tsang to mimic his artwork onto several of the styles.
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