New York Fashion Week Men’s has just wrapped up its fifth season. It’s fair to say that it still doesn’t receive the same kind of attention as London, Paris or Milan – or carry the same kind of clout – but in a way it has that exciting promise of something new. There was Raf Simons’ collection held under a bridge, complete with trains rattling overhead and an underlying political theme running through a lot of collections that brought back that grassroots feel to fashion week that is now so often lacking. The future of New York Fashion Week Men’s remains to be seen but for now we’re focusing on what makes fashion fashion, and celebrating some of the best brands to come out of New York City.
If there’s one designer that epitomises New York cool, it’s Alexander Wang. After being mentored by fashion veteran Diane von Furstenberg, Wang launched the first line of his eponymous label in 2007 and has been growing from strength to strength ever since. With men’s and women’s collections made up of deconstructed staples, a sport luxe aesthetic, and effortless black basics, Alexander Wang is the first word in urban-grunge.
rag & bone
rag & bone may have been founded by two Brits – David Neville and Marcus Wainwright – but the brand is very much a part of its founding city: New York. With no formal fashion training but simply the desire to create clothing that they’d like to wear, the duo launched rag & bone in 2004 with an emphasis on authentic, everyday clothing that favours good design over loud branding. Expect some of the best denim in the industry and simple, well-cut basics.
Decade-old Loeffler Randall produces those understated, city-perfect, elegant shoes every woman wants in her wardrobe. With a focus on craftsmanship, Loeffler Randall shoes are directional yet timeless – think lace-up metallic sandals, scalloped-edged slip-ons and perforated espadrilles.
Polo Ralph Lauren
The king of polo shirts, Polo Ralph Lauren has been synonymous with preppy style since the early 1960s. A quintessentially American aesthetic and a casual yet sophisticated attitude make up the line; the brand’s versatility enabling it to be adopted by streetwear fans as well as the Hamptons-holidaying banker.
When New York forms a part of your brand name, you’ve got to live up to high expectations – and DKNY does just that. The younger diffusion line to Donna Karan’s eponymous label, DKNY symbolises the city’s casual urban luxury like no other. Expect boxy tees, sleek backpacks and everyday tote bags.
Like Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs is one of those New York designers that seems as though he’s embedded in the city – in a good way. The brand’s diffusion line – Marc by Marc Jacobs – was launched in 2001, with playful re-workings of classic designs and contemporary, fashion-forward twists on the staples.
Famed for its ‘morning after bag’ (MAB), Rebecca Minkoff is an industry leader in accessible luxury handbags. With classic designs updated each season with on-trend details, Rebecca Minkoff bags are some of the most coveted among fashion insiders.
Words by Angharad Jones