UBM’s biannual menswear event, the all-under-one-roof Project and MRket shows, ran from Sunday to Tuesday at its usual home, The Javits Center, but was joined this season by a few female-only aisles that formed the Project Womens show, which had never been held concurrently with Project in New York before.
Although several exhibitors said that traffic was light, others reported excellent results.
Stylewise, there was not a whole lot of newness on display in the men’s category for the season. Many brands seemed to rely on tried-and-true spring options such as light-wash jeans, colored chinos and shorts and floral prints (bringing to mind that line from The Devil Wears Prada: “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.”)
The dedicated denim area, Blue, was near the entrance of the show and included well-known names such as Paige and 7 for All Mankind as well as a handful of new brands. Reps from DL 1961, Slate and Blank NYC said that stretch for men continues to be important and that they were stressing lighter, somewhat retro-looking washes for summer.
Top picks from Project/MRket included:
Best retro prints: Reyn Spooner
The famous Hawaiian shirt maker has a new head designer, Doug Burkman of Burkman Bros, and he has mined the brand’s rich archive yet added his own modern spin to create a colorful yet contemporary collection for spring.
Best reflection of the unisex trend: Selected People
This new line from Denmark’s Selected Homme technically has separate men’s and women’s pieces but its overall cool look is pretty genderless–and therefore übercool.
Best interpretation of the ugly/Dad sneaker trend: Selected People
These chunky models in somewhat questionable color choices are actually perfectly on trend.
Best imported jeans line: Salvatore Galliano
We had never seen this Italian label Stateside before but were impressed by its washes, distressing and unique use of patches.
Best new denim line: Xabi LA
Launched eight months ago by a family who has been making jeans in Los Angeles for other brands for decades, this label is manufactured entirely in LA from Italian fabrics and retails between $160 and $190.
Most versatile bag: Hamilton Perkins
This model, part of a collection that is made entirely from recycled materials such as old billboards, can be worn as a backpack or carried as a gym tote. Your choice!
Best interpretation of the athletic side stripe on jeans: Robin’s Jean
We thought this red and camo variation was especially fresh.
Nicest, chicest and easiest blazer: Serge Blanco
While the rest of the spring 2019 collection is very colorful and floral, this classic striped jacket in completely featherweight nylon seems like a buy that will be wearable for many summers to come.
Best Elvis-inspired jean: Robin’s Jean
Studs? Check. Sparkles? Check. Side ankle zips? Check. The King would undoubtedly have approved. And, in addition to its core collection, Robin’s has also recently launched Red Label, a less expensive sub-label with jeans styles retailing for $239 to $269.
Coolest denim jacket: Blank NYC
This bleached model truly stood out from the others on display at Blue.
Nicest workwear inspired jacket: DL 1961
Workwear continues to be a huge influence on jeanswear for spring and this baby in a mellow blue captures the look rather perfectly.