Welcome to Part II of our continuing coverage of Market Week SS15. Yesterday in Part I, we had a look at the new textiles coming out of the Kingpins Show.
Today we’ll dive into the labels that showed off their samples for next spring at Liberty Fairs, one of the largest collections of upcoming and established menswear brands.
Kyoto-based Koromo specializes in traditional wabi-sabi-esque indigo pieces. Using techniques like yarn-indigo dyeing and unique Japanese fabrics like boro and patchwork embroidery, their collection evokes a Kapital-like folk look with an incredibly sophisticated eye for textiles.
They also had a pair of raw denim jeans on display with an indigo sashiko woven yoke.
Friend of the site Mohsin Sajid was also on the scene with the first showing of his brand Endrime in the United States. Mohsin has worked as a tailor and denim designer for the better part of two decades, so he brings an incredible wealth of knowledge to his label as well as a desire to try things new and differently.
His fly, for example, is constructed from a single stretch of fabric instead of the usual three-piece.
He attaches his patch in the same step as the waist, so the top stitch runs directly onto the leather.
And he continues to experiment with a variety of arcs and gussets to alter the shape and silhouette of the standard jean.
In tandem to his innovations, Mohsin also pays homage to the past and tries to be as transparent as possible about the way he produces his jeans. He displays the mill each denim came from as well as all the machines involved in creating the jean proudly on the interior of every pocket bag.
Like the name implies, American Trench started out making American made trench coats in Philadelphia. But as founder Jacob Hurwitz explains, they soon discovered a network of early twentieth-century spinning and knitting factories in Pennsylvania.
American Trench shifted its focus and now produces high-quality, low cost (some as low as $8), American made socks, hats, and other knitwear. Smart move, AT.
Oak Street Bootmakers
Chicago based Oak Street Bootmakers have been steadily expanding their line over the past several seasons. They’ve gone from handsewns, to lasted boots, to now casual bluchers.
Trench Boots and other handsewns still look great.
But the lasting on their new blucher looks a little bulbous, especially on the plain toes.
And they kinda went prep overboard when they put a sneaker sole on a beef-roll penny loafer.
Brooklyn Denim Co.
Williamsburg denim boutique Brooklyn Denim Co. continues to expand their house line. They’ve got a good eye for obscure fabrics, like the below big slub 16oz. selvedge denim they found in a tiny Thai mill.
They’re also moving into new styles, like this jean chino (read: jeano) that’s made of the same denim as their mainline but cut like a pair of khakis.
As well as with tops, like this first denim jacket sample, which is like a chore coat met a Levi’s Type III.
One of my favorite stops of the entire week was with Himel Bros.. David Himel and his small team design and produce all of their goods themselves, by hand, in their workspace in Toronto.
The craftsmanship and attention to the detail in these jackets is awe-inspiring. They skive every seam so they lay flat, add gussets in the armhole seams so they never crease, and source zippers and hardware from the original manufacturers.
But producing the best leather jacket around has its drawbacks. As Himel explains, his jackets last for decades so customers rarely need to buy another. So this season, he’s brought out an entire line of non-leather jackets and other apparel.
And it looks like there’s little lost in translation from leather over to wool and cotton. Here’s his wool varsity jacket, complete with a custom chain-stitch fill totem embroidery.
Himel scours the original manufacturers to make his jackets the best version of what the past had to offer. This wool ribbing is made in the same factory that used to produce for bomber jackets in World War II.
And he’s taken the blanket fabric you’d usually see on a jacket lining, and turned it into shirting. Very excited to see what’s next for Himel.
Tony Patella (right), one half of Tellason, came in from San Francisco. They just added a sixth fit, the Elgin, that’s already on store shelves and they’ve been busy reworking their fabric sourcing now that Cone has either slowed down or stopped production on duck canvas, black/blacks, and natural selvedge denims.
New product highlights include their chore coat and denim jacket lined with a super heavy blanket fabric. Tony and Pete found a few hundred yards of it buried in a warehouse, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. Just another benefit of producing small runs domestically!
Another new offering is this raw denim work shirt.
Not just mere chambray, this is a 2×1 weave lightweight denim that will fade in just like a pair of jeans. It’s got the pockets of a work shirt, but the shoulder accents of a western one.
He also brought along a worn pair to appease fade addicts like ourselves. These were worn for only nine months by a Minnesota construction worker, but he washed them almost every other week.
This made for some fairly low contrast fades, but a crazy washed out look and quite a few holes. Make no mistake, these jeans have seen some shit.
Not to mention a beef-jerkified leather patch.
We recently featured Scout Seattle’s whimsical selvedge sleeping bag, but we first encountered it here in all its glory.
If you want a taste but the $700+ price tag seems a little steep, you can get a slice of the interior’s chambray liner in pocket square form for significantly less.
Victoria’s three-generation bootmaker, Viberg, has all but exploded in the past few months–one of their cordovan boot drops recently sold out in under 60 seconds.
With the super high-end workboot market pretty much on lock, they’re looking to expand into other silhouettes.
These work bluchers are based on a design by founder Edwin Viberg that never went into production. They feature the same double stitch construction as the boots in their line, but done up in a lighter weight Italian calf.
Another update from the past is the introduction of a raw corded sole on their boondocker repro, the combat boot of choice for WWII Marines in the Pacific. When American manufacturers ran out of rubber to make boot soles during the war, they started melting down car tires to meet demand.
Now that war rationing is over, they’re a bit harder to find. After searching for two years, Viberg finally located a manufacturer still making a raw cord sole that met their specifications. Look forward to seeing that as standard issue on their roughouts soon.
New York’s Feltraiger has been producing raw selvedge denim in the US for over five years now. Their products take traditional workwear shapes, slim them up, and strip them down. Like their Type III jacket above, which eschews pocket flaps.
Their standard five pocket also sports a sixth, they double up on selvedge accented coin pockets.
The word that springs to mind is clean: in the plain nickel and copper hardware, the regular and even fabric choices, and even the angles on their stitching. Simply well executed and plainly designed products.
Another new brand out of Japan is Buttonworks. As the name suggests, they began by producing buttons and hardware for other Japanese denim brands but have now expanded into producing their own jeans as well.
With a nice crunch and a hairy hand, this one-wash unsanforized jean have loads of character.
Despite “button” being in the name of their brand, they use a zip fly. Expect to see these guys soon at Hickoree’s.
One man leather brand Teppei Teranishi also made his tradeshow debut at Liberty. We’ve covered his indigo-dyed leather collection in the past and he had the whole set on display.
Particularly impressive is his sashiko work, which is traditional Japanese way to reinforce weaker pieces of leather. Teppei just doubles down on an already quality cut. See an example of a billfold below with waxed indigo thread, every stitch he did by hand.
When we first covered up and coming Dutch designer Olaf Hussein over a year ago, the reader reaction wasn’t pretty. Since then, Olaf has worked hard to redefine his line and it looks like he’s taken a lot of that criticism to heart.
The appeals to “our inner wanderer” are gone and what’s arrived are some seriously on point designs, details, and fabric choices that show Olaf Hussein’s ready to step up as a fashion-minded denim brand.
He’s taken many of the rote details on a traditional five pocket jean and added his own unique twist. Belt loops feature a single folded piece of denim that doubles up under the waistband.
He ditched his green leather patch for just an outline stitch, inspired by the look of Levi’s jeans after the paper patch sheds with wear.
And he’s swapped the once bright gold hardware for rubberized black matte buttons and rivets.
Rather than focusing on the traditional indigo/white (although he does have one in is line), the standouts play primarily with monochromatic whites and blacks. This white over black will fade to become darker.
And this black over white will fade to get lighter.
A shirting standout was this button-up done in a double-faced cotton.
The old heritage-y Olaf Hussein didn’t feel entirely genuine, as though it was his imitation of the predominant menswear trend rather than what he actually wanted to produce. By contrast, this latest collection shows he’s identified with his strengths and can present an honest and innovative take on the five pocket jean. Quite a remarkable growth in just a couple seasons.
Remember, you heard about him here first.
Olaf also had a pair of his fades on display from the transition period after his initial collection.
Freenote Cloth of San Juan Capistrano enters its sophomore season with a quite expansive collection of fabrics and designs. They’ve begun sourcing from more exotic denims from mills like Toyoshima including this multicolored fill blanket denim.
And trying their hand at a creating their own colors by piece-dyeing natural denim.
They’ve also expanded into more workwear inspired aesthetic with this fuller-fitting buckle-back with a triple-stitched yoke.
Richmond’s in-house denim maker’s Shockoe have developed a new fit. The Slim Six is a variation on their looser Big Six, with the same higher rise but a greater taper through the thigh and knee. Check (most of) the new cut in their new brushed cotton twill below. Left is raw, right is after one wash.
And because Shockoe produces all of their products themselves, they’re only limited by how fast they can sew instead of the seasonal release cycle. So look forward to more new product (including special orders) coming out of their shop any time of the year.
New Italian label Fortela applies Neopolitan style tailoring to denim and workwear fabrics, allowing you to sprezz out while still making some fades.
The detailing and their fabric choices are quite admirable, but it’s definitely a look that will take more finesse than a t-shirt and jeans to get right.
Think that’s the end of it? Think again–that was just one show! We’ve still got Capsule, MAN, and showroom visits to cover.