With men's fashion weeks occurring in London, Milan and Paris this month, it is especially apparent that the men’s fashion coming out of the United States is largely governed by preppy iterations, a resurgence of Americana, and a lot of sportswear. Most designers churn out athletic-style jackets, upscale sweatpants and denim, suits and wares constructed from jersey materials, and this has come to be indicative of the U.S. aesthetic.
Cloak founder, former-Versace designer and most recently, the founder of his eponymous label (which consists of both menswear and some womenswear), Alexandre Plokhov put the menswear environment in the U.S. in perspective recently, saying: “I have this ongoing rant about preppy clothing and I don’t understand why American menswear is obsessed with remaking the same styles every two years.” While there is a place in many of our hearts for these common themes that dominate American men’s fashion (or what may be better described as menswear, for the most past), there are some brands that deviate from the norm. There are a few that truly put NYC on the map as the home of innovative men’s fashion, and these are worth discussing, not only because they are going against the grain, but because these are visionaries in their own right. Here are just a few of them …
Siki Im designed under both Karl Lagerfeld and Helmut Lang before launching his own label in 2009. Aside from being NYC’s claim to conceptual men’s fashion fame, showing collections, or mini-stories shared via catwalk as opposed to depiction in print, that defy the status quo, Siki Im has another strong point. He has managed to balance his intellectual approach to clothing (think: minimal, hospital scrub-like garments, washcloth caps and psych ward slippers for S/S 2014) with wearability and dare I say, commerciality to an extent. Designers need stockists and sales, and Im exemplifies that cerebral studies of fashion can be married with sellability, and that such non-traditional wares are a welcome addition (and in some cases, distraction) from a market so heavily dominated by preppy sportswear.
See the rest of my list, which includes Duckie Brown, Carlos Campos, and more, over at Fucking Young!