This season Project NY provided an especially intimate atmosphere with just over 150 brands showing in Hall 1E of the Javits Center. “It’s small but I really kind of like it!” gushed Diane Alexander, head of PR at Buffalo David Bitton.

She was not alone in that opinion. Most exhibitors and visitors agreed that the formula totally worked. On Tuesday, the second day of the three-day event, the aisles had a steady stream of retailers shopping (and placing orders) and the overall mood was upbeat.

The front of the hall featured denim and sportswear lines such as Paige, Hudson and Scotch & Soda along with a handful of footwear brands (including Cole Haan, CAT Footwear and Andrew Marc) that comprised the so-called Project Sole “section,” which seemed to be more blended into the overall mix instead of being demarcated. In the back of the hall show president Tommy Fazio again presented The Tents, a special area featuring about 60 influential, designer and higher-end contemporary labels. They showed under bright lights and white fabric that draped from the ceiling.

While brands such as Hudson and Buffalo David Bitton still showed spring/summer offerings (including black-and-white graphic sweatpants and a comfy denim-look jacket in knit fleece, respectively) there was plenty to see at Project for fall ’15. However, there were no revolutionary autumn trend themes to be discovered. Rather, designers seemed to take prior ones such as athleisure and workwear and merely bring them to the next level. The former, for instance, was visible in Paige’s jogger-style twill pants in burgundy, black and gray; Todd Snyder + Champion’s dressy-meets-activewear aesthetic and Baldwin’s luxurious wool camel trench coat that is lined in the kind of mesh fabric used in basketball jerseys. Meanwhile, workwear influences were evident in the heavy “postal twill” pants at Raleigh and the unusual double-faced denim (solid on one side, printed on the other) that designer Stefan Miljanic used for jeans at Gilded Age. Likewise, there was a sea of quilted vests, which were often used as layering pieces. Gant, Robert Graham, Rodd & Gunn and Scotch & Soda were among the many brands offering this key item.

Denim looks varied but often had vintage influences. For example, men’s designer Simon Miller at C-of-H Man (the men’s collection from Citizens of Humanity) wowed with his special “Premium Vintage” creations, including a slightly distressed retro-look tan corduroy jacket and numerous non-denim bottoms with hand as soft as peach skin. Some of Paige’s jeans also featured vintage-look distressing.




A standout new brand at Project was Craft Atlantic. Its creative director is seasoned designer Luis Fernandez (formerly of Number:Lab) who has created a clean, comfortable and highly functional assortment of sharp-looking items that can serve as both travel togs and contemporary officewear. In other words, Craft Atlantic allows guys to step off the plane and head directly to a meeting or dinner without having to get changed.

Label to watch: One Bxwd
Label to watch: One Bxwd
Another newcomer that made a strong first impression was One Bxwd, a line inspired by Los Angeles living and created by industry veteran Danny Guez. Named for his childhood address, 1 Boxwood Lane, the collection, which literally debuted at the show, marries active components such as heat-sealed seams and technical fabrics with “Cold Black” technology (it keeps the wearer cool in the sun even if he is wearing black) with fresh contemporary design aesthetic that easily transitions from day to night.

The next edition of Project runs February 17-19 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.