Chilling temperatures and the Martin Luther King Day long holiday weekend did not keep visitors away from the latest edition of Informa’s Project and MRket shows which were once again held side by side and in an open floor plan at the Javits Center. Victor Lytvinenko from Raleigh Denim Workshop said he had more than 20 sales appointments each on the first two days and that the show had been “amazing.”
Special show sections such as The Tents (luxury and designer collections), Blue (denim), Project Sole (footwear) and The Foundry (hand-picked contemporary brands) returned to Project, along with a new one called N:OW, which featured cutting-edge fashion, streetwear and culture brands along with a series of speakers’ forums across all three days. At the more traditional and dressy MRket show, Made in Italy and Brits in New York once again spotlighted brands from Italy and the UK, respectively.
Generally, fall 2019 menswear at the show seemed a bit dressier, with clean bottom looks, lots of eye-catching outerwear, countless plaid shirts and an emphasis on technical or rich fabrics.
Here are some brands and items that caught our eye…
Raleigh Denim Workshop
Raleigh is marking its tenth anniversary this year and its offerings only get better as time goes by. Among the standouts are loose weave (and slightly loose fitting too) jeans in Italian and Japanese textiles and indigo dyed canvas trousers. Dusty pink items also looked fresh and on trend. Lytvinenko explained that since the brand’s own online business is taking off, the direct contact with consumers has inspired him to be more creative with the brand’s wholesale offerings, which truly shows.
Another longtime denim-based brand, Gilded Age showed in The Tents near Raleigh. Designer Stefan Miljanic is all about super-wide (one leg opening is 21”) yet cropped pants silhouettes this season, which he has paired with cropped jackets.
Good Man Brand
Living up to its name, football player Russell Wilson’s two-and-a-half-year-old brand uses sustainable materials and production and donates a portion of its profits to the Why Not You Foundation. Its sharp-looking apparel is matched this season by superclean sneakers that employ vegetable dyes in the leather.
Lords of Harlech
Speaking of shoes, this four-year-old line from Charlotte, North Carolina has just launched its own footwear, which often uses the same printed fabric that’s in its apparel, which sells well in Europe and Asia. With a polka-dot lining and rubber soles, these shoes are sure to bring some pizazz to guys’ feet come fall.
Although it was founded as a jeans line, Matt Baldwin’s collection is placing less emphasis on denim these days and instead focusing on making elegant looking fashion pieces, including a gentlemanly checked overcoat. Truly stepping things up….
7 for All Mankind
Another brand with a major anniversary this year (it’s 20th), 7 for All Mankind will be stressing its supersoft Series 7 fabrics and no fade stretch according to new global creative director Simon Spurr. As far as non-denim offerings, the wine or gray pants in technical polyester ($225 at retail) look great, are very comfortable and amazingly easy care.
Fisher + Baker
This Minneapolis-based brand aims to create performance menswear that is “timeless, purposeful and functional.” It hit the mark with this parka ($898 at retail) that has all kinds of hidden details including extra pockets and magnetic snaps.
The French sportswear brand lives up to its founder’s athletic background for fall with colorful pieces emblazoned with the word PLAY or a handsome mixed material puffer.
One of the brands showing in N:OW, three-year-old Candor nailed the animal-print jacket trend that is big in the street scene today with offerings in pink or green.
A brand new line from California, Fundamental Coast uses so-called Ocean Tech fabrics made from recycled oyster shells and PET bottles to create fine looking fleece sweats and shirt jackets.
Bed Stu & Santa Rosa Brand
A sharp looking fall boot is a seasonal essential and Bed Stu is offering some super attractive ones for next season. Likewise, the Santa Rosa Brand has some unique Tahoma chukka-like shoes with heavy crepe soles.