Every January and July, New York City is inundated with brands from around the world, buyers from stores from around the world, and two rogue menswear media guys from a site called Heddels. We trekked the trade show floors, yet again, to see booth after booth of the clothes that’ll be in stores two seasons out.
We’re tired. We’re jaded. Here’s what we saw.
Mill-turned-brand Dehen 1920 continues to flex its heritage muscle as they expand beyond their varsity roots. Not too far though, the company is most well known for making heavyweight woolen knits and varsities and they continue to make both superbly, but new variations included a fully knit wool hoodie and the above bombers in wool and waxed canvas.
New England Outerwear
New England Outerwear continues to do what they do best…make shoes. The newly canonized Maine handsewing operation spun out a line that’s matured past basic designs and into their own iconic silhouettes. Although they can still bang out an amazing basic design, the gauntlet for American made penny loafers has been thrown down hard.
Fortela comes from Italian industry handsome guy, Alessandro Squarzi. You’ve probably seen photos of him around the internet. Their collection mixes vintage fabrics — like used military fabrics (complete with rips, stains, and blood!), Harris Tweeds, and more — into an upcycled line of clothing that leans into the tailored side of menswear.
This was the first showing at MAN for Australian heritage bootmakers, R.M. Williams. With LVMH behind the wheel, their expansion continues beyond marsupial-laden desert plains, though everything is still made in Australia.
More socks. There’s just so many socks. There’s a new line called “Go Hemp”, which is an eco-hemp blend of the green fiber and cotton. Other than that, there are a lot of socks–chenilles, wools, cottons, patterns, plains. You name it, Anonymous Ism’s got it.
‘Made in Slovakia’ isn’t a phrase most American consumers hear too often, but it’s a badge that Novesta wears proudly. They’ve made sneakers for decades, going back to the days of Czechoslovakia, when they would outfit the nation’s army with sneakers. Today, their factory still runs and their shoes still have their signature rubber casting sans foxing tape design.
New to Velva Sheen’s lineup is a collaborative effort with famed knitwear producers, Loopwheeler. The collection is made in Japan using all cotton, and if you’ve ever tried to find a heather grey sweatshirt that’s all cotton and loopwheeled, you’ll know that they’re not as easy to find as you would think. These use American cotton with a mix of white and black threads to achieve the heathered effect, cut into a crewneck as well as a hoodie. Though they’re using loopwheeled fabric, they do have side seams for a better fit. Because, like I said last time, whose body is shaped like a straight tube?
A mix of new and vintage was a common theme amongst vendors throughout MAN. For Dr. Collectors, French fingerprints were all over the designs, which included indigo-overdyed Hawaiian shirts cut with bits of boro, vintage military liners cut with bits of boro, and other garments cut with (you guessed it) bits of boro.
Nine Lives made their return to the shows with more craziness to be had. Out of everything we saw, their collection was undoubtedly the most haute couture of the lot. There were coats made out of (several) baby cashmere goats and disappearing herringbone twills as well as a special secret project of jackets hand drawn by Milan DelVecchio and shirts made with the indigo, charcoal, and urine of Michael Masterson. Yes. I’ll wait for you to go back and read that sentence again.
Lady White Co.
Any time someone describes something as ‘elevated’ I want to take the next train straight into a brick wall. Macabre as my response to that word may be, Lady White seriously does elevate basics in a way that very, very few do. Just check out the inside of that henley. The inside seam of the collar is stitched so that the edge isn’t exposed!
From Weird Town, USA (aka Portland, Oregon), Older Brother presented their unisex line of natural dyed garments. Coffee, indigo, organic tags, fabrics that use rice paper, they’re sort of like Story Mfg. or Three Animals, but from a more minimal and androgynous lens.
Corridor furthers their tailored military vibe with, among other things, waxed indigo M-65’s and washed plaid button ups.
Eat Dust just keeps getting crazier. A menagerie of vintage outdoors inspiration and hardcore biker style leads to the production of garments like colorful reversible fleece/denim vests, furry pullover parkas and more.
For decades, Shuttle Notes was only producing fabrics and garments for other brands. Only within the past few years have they been making their own goods. The most recent season saw their collection expand beyond button up shirts to include more knits, outerwear, and bottoms, all with an experimental military slant. This time ’round, the experimentation continues in their sub-label Unbroken. It’s filled with grungy graphics, Cobain-esque sweaters, and general sad boy themes. Don’t worry, though, their usual stuff is sticking around. And if you haven’t seen their pieces in person, their button ups are some of the best out there for the price. It’s interesting to see such a tame brand branch out so far, so quickly. If it continues, then I’ll be expecting something even more wild next market week.
That wraps up what we saw at MAN for this season. Stay tuned for the next few days, where we’ll show you more from the trade show floors at Liberty Fairs, Capsule, and more.