What happens when a designer teams up with an editor/stylist to create a direct-to-consumer fashion collection? We need not look any further than WARDROBE.NYC – the budding young brand just launched by Josh Goot and Christine Centenera – to find our answer. The womenswear designer (that’s Goot) and editor/bona fide street style dream/occasional Kim K stylist (Centenera) are putting forth something of a radical new take that might prove to be one of the more interesting and/or exciting things to come out of the fashion industry this year.
As Vogue’s Nicole Phelps put it earlier this week, the “project is a direct-to-consumer collection for men and women of tailored essentials and luxurious basics, created to address the fashion industry’s current pain points — not least of all the excess spiral of producing upwards of four collections a year.” With a total of just eight garments for each of the genders and with a focus on an "in-season, cohesively styled wardrobe, priced without retail margins," Centenera calls their approach “anti-fast fashion,” which is straightforward enough. In fact, WARDROBE.NYC is not the first to put forth an alternative approach.
What is particularly compelling – and also relatively new territory (more about that in a moment) – is how the collection is sold: In packs. The consumer can either buy four garments or eight. So, for $3,000, you can get a “minimally minded” eight-pack of a “Made in Italy” blazer, button-down, t-shirt, skirt, blouse, coat, knit, and leggings. For men: A blazer, a button-down shirt, a t-shirt, a hoodie, a coat, a knitted top, pants and more formal trousers.
The aim of the pre-styled, pre-packaged concept? “To streamline and simplify the process of getting dressed,” of course, and a seemingly natural result from the pairing of a designer and stylist, no?
The garments, themselves, are of “great quality” and not inherently-trend specific, according to the duo, who hope the pieces will stay in peoples’ wardrobes for years to come. Centenera calls them “the anchors” of her own wardrobe, and garments upon which additional packs, when they become available, can be used to supplement.
It appears as though Centenera and Goot are following in the footsteps of Donna Karan, who in 1985 explored a similar concept with her “Seven Easy Pieces.” The collection, which consisted of a pair of tights, a bodysuit, the classic white shirt, a pair of versatile trousers, a cashmere sweater, a tailored jacket and a skirt, provided women with access to an entire pre-styled wardrobe.
If this takes off (and there is certainly no indication that it won't), Goot and Centenary, and their "conscious and liberated model for the future of luxury," stand to single-handedly impact (and potentially change) how it is that we shop. And that is no small feat.