For those of us who work in the fashion industry, early summer is men's fashion season. For the past few weeks the men's fashion buyers and editors have been on a nonstop schedule of traveling from London to Florence to Milan to Paris to Berlin to preview men's fashion collections for Spring/Summer 2014. And next week they will come to New York to see what men's fashion has in store for the season. By all accounts, the runway shows in Europe were a huge success. Retailers saw many sellable styles and ideas on the catwalk that they are planning to stock in their stores. Editors raved about the fresh styling and new ideas on the runways. We've heard so much about how menswear sales have been increasing for the past few years, and SS14 is expected to be a great season for selling men's fashion.
My company, BPMW, produces the Capsule show -- one of the men's fashion events taking place in New York next week that allow retailers to discover the collections they will stock in their stores for SS14. My team and I have scoured the planet to find the most compelling men's fashion collections to bring to the NY market. So what's hot? And what's not? We've noticed that the demand for heritage labels that's been dominating menswear for the past few seasons is evolving. Men are still looking for traditional menswear constructions but want more color, more prints. A demand for performance elements and technical fabrics is also on the rise. Brands that combine traditional tailoring with innovative fabrics will do well.
While there are dozens of emerging designers making an impact for next season, I've selected 5 labels making their US debut next week to introduce to you here.
One of the most influential Young British Designers to come out of London, Shannon is a graduate of Central Saint Martins, and sponsored by London's prestigious NEWGEN MEN. His work combines elements of masculine sportswear with unexpected details such as traditionally feminine frills, folklore influences or patchwork and embroidery. Shannon's Spring/Summer 2014 collection celebrates the late-90s club scene of Liverpool (Christopher's hometown) and Manchester, at legendary clubs like Cream, Garland and Paradise.
Former Riviera Club designers Derek Buse and Joe Sadler are launching a new collection for SS14 called CWST (pronounced "quest"). The range features traditional menswear silhouettes- from slim fitting suits, to tailored shorts, to well-cut button down shirts. The fabrics are what set this collection apart. Think tropical print linen suits, and slim fitting button down shirts in the gauziest of fabrics, all made in California.
Shoes Like Pottery
The Japanese bring a lot to the table when it comes to fashion, and their attention to detail and fidelity to traditional manufacturing processes set their products apart. The rubber outsoles on these Japanese plimsolls is fired in a 120 °C (248 °F) kiln for 70 minutes, similar to the way Japanese pottery is fired. The extreme heat and pressure causes the sulfur mixed inside the raw rubber to chemically react, returning the rubber to its original shape. This process, called ka-ryu makes it possible to hand-craft small batches of some of the world's finest vulcanized shoes.
Belgian designer Jung Ho Geortay, the designer of French nautical-inspired label Armor Lux, and French contemporary menswear collection Paul and Joe, launched Saint Paul as a personal project last year, offering men's shirts with outrageously clever prints which he designs himself, as well as complementary skinny ties and a collection of outerwear.
Eary is a high-octane menswear designer best known for her intense graphic pieces. Her SS14 runway show at London Collections Men last month, called Flamingo Massacre, was based on over-saturated, bold graphics of a pink flamingo sporting a pink wig. The streets fully inform Eary's work, and her youthful, edgy, loud and in your face designs can best be described as street couture.
Read more about menswear trends on my blog- We Are The Market