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NYC Market Week SS15 Recap Pt. 3 – Brand Harder

Our march through Spring Summer 15’s Market Week continues with today’s stop at the Capsule Show. See our earlier updates from Kingpins and Liberty Fairs to get up to speed.

Capsule has long been a mainstay in tradeshow season as they were one of the first shows to connect small, high-end, menswear labels with their retailers. This stop filled the exhibition space at Basketball City nearly to capacity with over a hundred brands showing.

Left Field

New York’s own Left Field had a couple new fabrics on display, like the below 10oz. 2×1 from Toyoshima.

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It’s got a great neppy face and a subtle dark weft for a denim that light. They’re planning on running it in both their Chelsea and Greaser jean fits as well as their Miner chino.

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They’re also putting out more fabrics in their Flight Jacket, the one below is wool blanket from Woolrich that’s based on a mil-spec weave from the Civil War.

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And experimentation continues with garment and piece dyeing fabrics in the twills and canvases on their chinos.

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As do their exploits in yarn-dyed indigo knits. The sweat below is an indigo knit version of a sample we saw this winter with a hood attached over a standard crewneck, the same way Champion did it in the 1940s.

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Christian McCann and Andrew Hamilton of Left Field

And another new development is their custom chainstitch embroidery service. They’ve managed to find the nearly impossible pair of a working chainstitch embroidery machine as well as someone who actually knows how to operate it. Left Field can now put any design, name, or pattern you want onto any of their products. Check the LF logo below.

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Big John

Japan’s first denim brand Big John is back on the scene with a new patch and a new fit. The Super Skinny slims it down to well below a seven-inch leg opening on a standard size 32. The super tight cut, however, is only feasible in a stretch denim.

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On fabrics, they’ve come up with a lighter indigo denim that starts out the same electric blue that normally comes after a few months of fading.

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And they’ve released their flagship shrink-to-fit Rare denim as a jacket. See a nearly year-old sample next to one that’s brand new below.

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Naked & Famous

Looking through Naked & Famous collection each season can be like opening presents on Christmas morning. The majority of it is expected like the fits and the general fabric types that carry over from the last season, but there are a couple mixed in there that just completely knock your socks off.

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Brandon Svarc and Bahzad Trinos

Here’s this season’s “big present”:

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The Tokushima Hand Dyed Weird Guy is probably one of the most interesting and exotic denims we’ve ever come across. The fabric combines hank-dyeing and natural plant indigo–two of the most labor and material intensive dyeing techniques–into one textile.

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They’re then woven at a ridiculously low tension to create an incredibly slubby and irregular fabric that has just as much texture as it has color depth. But don’t expect it to come cheap–N&F plans to make only 18 of these jeans for $900 each retail.

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Other standouts included this lightweight stretch slub that still captures a great deal of the depth and texture you see in full cotton heavier weight jeans. The sub-$200 price and the stretch makes these an accessible introduction to more irregular fabric types.

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Another showstopper was this denim whose yarns are spun with copper fibers, giving the fabric a sparkly metallic sheen.

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Eat Dust

Belgium’s motorcycle duo Keith and Rob from Eat Dust have taken cues from the silver screen for this season’s collection.

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The cult film The Warriors (1979) depicts a wide variety of goofy looking New York street gangs, and this shirt is Eat Dust’s homage to the Baseball Furies.

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They’ve also added sleeves to their denim vests to make denim jackets for both men’s and women’s lines.

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Baldwin Denim

Not much has changed with the denim in Kansas City. If you thought their patch couldn’t get any more minimalistic, they’ve proven you wrong by ditching the triple stitch detail and opting for bold block letters instead.

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They’ve stuck with their proprietary blend black-line selvedge from Kurabo that we saw last season.

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There’s also a surprising amount of variation between the stitching on their back pockets.

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Japan Blue

Rampuya Co.’s experimental/entry level line continues to impress. Every season looks stronger than the last, and it appears like they’ll soon eclipse the company’s flagship, Momotaro, if they haven’t already.

As we mentioned in our earlier textile coverageJapan Blue is under the same umbrella as denim weaver Collect Mills. They’re definitely making the most of their access to an in-house weaver as almost every item we saw was made of an exclusive and incredibly inventive fabric.

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This first jean uses cotton from the west African country of Côte d’Ivoire. Most cotton used in high end denim usually comes from  Zimbabwe due to its exceptionally long staple, but the Ivory Coast’s medium staple has proven to be a hard-wearing fiber that gives denim a slight tan coloration and an incredibly soft hand.

They’ve marked the collaboration with a JB Cd’ back pocket tab as well as a split selvedge line that’s half redline, half orange/white/green to mimic the Ivory Coast’s national flag.

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Like Big John, they’ve also come up with a lighter, eye-popping electric blue.

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And if you were a fan of their 16.7oz. Monster denim, you’re in luck. Below is the Military Monster, the next iteration in the series, which features the same deep indigo warp yarn, but with a dark drab olive weft made from a mil-spec yarn.

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In jackets, they’ve spun up an indigo cotton terry cloth and turned it into a Type III.

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This fabric is incredibly light and stretchy, and in a pinch could probably mop up at least a liter of water. It’s also available in standard indigo/white 14oz. denim, if you’re looking for for something more traditional.

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But if tradition’s not your thing, then check out these cool pants!

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The ultra tweedy fabric looks like someone accidentally spilled Lucky Charms all over the loom and it’s amazing.

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Momotaro

On the other hand, Rampuya’s mainline tends more towards the conservative end of the spectrum.

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There are no new denims this time around, but some of the previous one-off fabrics were received well enough that they will now be regularly included in the line. Like blue weft denim as well as the heavyweight 18oz. slub.

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They’ve continued their indigo-dyed knits and sweats and wabash indigo shirts.

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And introduced a couple more chambray shirting fabrics as well as 70s mountaineering inspired flannels.

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And they’re getting into the long wallet game.

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Soulive

Rampuya’s also rolling out a third brand called Soulive, that will focus more on the wabi-sabi patchwork peasant aesthetic that brands like Kapital and visvim do oh so well. The fabric choices and detailing aren’t firing at the same level as the previously stated brands, but Soulive is also aiming at a lower price point.

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The check on this indigo flannel looks completely on point.

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As do many of their accents and construction details.

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But the patchwork embroidery leaves something to be desired, especially after we’ve seen it done better by Koromo and Kapital.

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Yuketen/Monitaly

Yuki Matsuda is a man of many talents. He makes shoes (Yuketen), bags (Epperson Mountaineering), and apparel (Monitaly) all under his Meg Company in Los Angeles. All three were on display.

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No slave to tradition, Yuki likes to incorporate a variety of styles and cultures into his designs. These leather soled sandals are a winning combination of Italian leisure and Mexican huarache.

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These slip-ons seem to evoke all of the fun and relaxation of cowboy boots but without the shitkicker attitude.

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And I may be going out on a limb here, but these mocs seem to represent an affinity for surfing.

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Designs are just as playful on the Monitaly side. This indigo chore coat seems a cross between early twentieth-century workwear and marching band uniforms.

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He does jeans as well. The denim is made from your standard 13oz. Cone Mills but takes design cues from Wrangler.

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Seven belt loops plus some M-shaped back pocket arcuates that look suspiciously like upside-down Ws…

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Tanner Goods

Tanner Goods has literally made their mark on many American denim brands by producing their patches. Their core line of leather goods has expanded slowly and deliberately for the better part of a decade. Slow and deliberate because once they release something, it tends to stay released as a permanent piece of the collection.

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Their focus this season is on a new line of waxed canvas bags including totes, backpacks, and messengers.

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Don’t go anywhere, we’re still not done yet! We’ll wrap up our coverage of SS15 Market Week tomorrow with a look at The Hill-Sidevisvim3sixteen, and a few others.

I swear it’s almost over…