Six brands at the top of their gamepowered by seven hard-working guys. We met with some of our favorite designers in New York City and Los Angeles and talked about their style inspirations, fall collections andno jokepower animals.
Todd Snyder influenced menswear from behind the scenes long before he started his namesake label. He brings his reputation for expert tailoring to his fall collection.
"I think it's really important to know how something's built, to really kind of make it differentchange it. You know how it's constructed, so you can always work with the factory on how to make something... And all of a sudden, they think OK, this guy knows his stuff, and they let you into their world. And then you start to really push the envelope more and more."
A former fashion director turned award-winning designer, Michael Bastian has one goal with his fall collection: to prove there's more to American style than Cape Cod and country clubs.
"I'm from way up north, upstate New York. And this is all like woods and hunting, and my vision of preppy was more backwoods preppythe old Shetland sweaters with holes in the elbow, down vests and work bootsit wasn't so precious. It was how real guys dressed, rather than this weird country club version of it, which I don't really subscribe to."
Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos started their first clothing label while attending University of Colorado Boulder. Ten years later, they're creating menswear (and drawing power animals) from their New York workspace.
"I'll wear the same pair of pants for two weeks straight. I'm just like, 'I'm real into these right now, and there's no reason for me to change them.' Once they get dirty, then I'll change them. I think a lot of guys are like that. They have a rotation. So we make some of those staple products, like a great pair of chinos." Jeff Halmos
Creative Director Cuan Hanly understands the Jack Spade equation perfectly: vintage kitsch, a keen modernist eyeand a wry sense of humor.
"We don't really follow color trends, so we create a lot of our patterns and colors ourselves. You're not going to see this type of pattern anywhere else. The color combinations feel interesting. We don't always put the 'right' colors together, which I think is something that people kind of like."
Band of Outsiders founder Scott Sternberg sparked a menswear revolution from Los Angeles with his bright, preppy collectionsall updated with slim-cut fits.
"[The 1964 film] Band of Outsiders is like a gangster movie about gangster movies. It completely is a work of art and this great film, but it really is making fun of the genre of film. We're not making fun of preppy clothes, and we're not making fun of fashionthese are great clothesbut there's always sort of a further investigation into…slight ridiculousness."
Born, bred and still living in the South, Billy Reid is the master of city meets country, with his newest collection inspired by the '60s style scene of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
"What we really strive for is, whatever that piece is, you want it to be their favorite piece... You want that to be the coat they really love. You want the sort of quality that they'll keep it and pass it on down... We want to make pieces that you can be walking down the street in Nashville or Florence, Alabama, and just as easily take that same piece and wear it right down the Bowery."