IT’S THE LIFESTYLE THAT BRANDS ARE PROVIDING CONSUMERS THAT IS FASHION
Gone are the days of doing a national ad campaign and buying an ad in a magazine as your way of selling your product. Today brands need to create an environment. They must provide an experience. They also should portray a lifestyle to get consumers to pay attention and purchase what they are selling.
We started seeing fashion companies brand themselves as “streetwear.” Streetwear is its own big business within the fashion industry… A business that many in the fashion industry are just getting around in accepting. Recently we started noticing fashion companies steer away from the term “streetwear” and choose “chillwear” and “smokewear.” You can now wear this shirt when you get high and these pants when you just want to chillax.
Fashion has always been a great way to express oneself. It is usually the first thing someone sees when they see you. Today menswear has never been hotter. Just check out the lines of young guys waiting outside cult stores like SUPREME. The lifestyle and experience that companies like SUPREME have created is worth more than any ad they could have taken out in a Vogue or a GQ.
So what is the next SUPREME?
We have no idea and probably no one really does. What we do know there are lots of awesome menswear brands out there. Here are 12 brands that focus on the lifestyle their products will bring that we are really digging at the moment:
[+] SUNDAE SCHOOL
The self-proclaimed ‘Seoul-based smokewear brand that produces ‘high’ street apparel and accessories for honor rollers’ first grabbed our attention with what appeared to be their satirical look at Korean stoner culture. Sundae School takes you to the underground weed scene in Seoul where the kids are there to chill out, have some fun and express themselves in ways that aren’t culturally accepted by their more conservative, religious parents.
[+] EASTWOOD DANSO
Eastwood Danso is still in his teens, yet after only one collection, Nike has taken notice. Perhaps it’s because he has a Junya Watanabe meets Virgil Abloh vibe without the narcissism. But what has us swooning over his designs is his raw, self-taught talent. Each piece seems carefully constructed and crafted with a keen focus on fabrics. What you are seeing from Danso and his eponymous brand is a focus on how fashion interacts with everything else. Fashion is not a separate entity or only something to see on the runway. It is something that should work with everything else in our life.
[+] SELF MADE BY GIANFRANCO VILLEGAS
Gianfranco Villegas grew up in Florence, Italy as the son of an immigrant Filipino Mother. This Self-Made designer pulls inspiration from his Filipino origins as well as his deep passion for contemporary art and Hip-hop. We are especially impressed with Villegas tailoring and embroidery skills. We are not sure anyone does tailored streetwear as skillfully as him.
[+] DOUBLE RAINBOUU
“Take me down to Paradise City on a Xanax Holiday to tide nowhere. Run Ocean Drive on cruise control or aqua plane. You can hitch hike or high roll. This is the leisure industry, it’s Russian Roulette on a Black Sea Holiday. It’s your Indian Summer…” reads Double Rainbouu’s website. We first were introduced to Double Rainbouu and their super vibrant yet oddly subtle prints last spring. They have now become our go-to for beachwear. They also make for the perfect festival outfit, if that’s your thing.
[+] NOON GOONS
Noon Goons pays homage to Southern California’s youth culture: surfing, skating, lounging by the pool, listening to some mediocre punk rock band out of your friend’s garage, trying hard to be anti-establishment while being half-dazed. However unlike many southern Cali brands before them, we have a feeling that Noon Goons is the real deal. They appear to understand the construction of clothing and how certain silhouettes actually work better on a skateboard or a bike than others. Usually a brand that clearly tries so hard to be anti-establishment falls flat and well establishment, Noon Goons clearly are not posers.
Winner of this summer’s UOMO 2017 “Who Is On Next? — the fashion contest for young talent in menswear, Luca Magliano only recently entered menswear — first designing a womenswear collection. He is a welcome addition to the at times crowded yet thriving menswear industry. Instead of getting inspiration from one thing, or designing a collection around one idea, Magliano designs for the basic wardrobe while signaling out elements that exaggerate proportions to create what he calls “post-casual silhouettes.” We are all about the post-casual (while still being casual).
StayCoolNYC is a retro inspired chillwear – clothing, surfer, skatewear and streetwear – brand. According to StayCoolNYC they are heavily inspired by the retro style, culture, and attitude of the 80s and 90s. I mean, who isn’t? We are digging their casual, approachable and soft look so much that we have been seen wearing some of their looks at music festivals this summer and at home alone on Sundays. They also have a hat with and embroidered stack of pancakes on it!
[+] NICHOLAS DALEY
For British subculture look no further than Nicholas Daley. Daley has taken a new spin on what it means to be a British ‘contemporary man’ by infusing his own multicultural heritage. Music is key for Daley. So is history. So is what is going on in the world especially throughout Europe and immigration. You may see updated silhouettes but he will use fabrics and prints you are accustomed to. According to his website Daley is “formulating a new lexicon by which to define the 21st Century sartorialism.” We are all for a new lexicon!
[+] PALMIERS DU MAL
This modern luxury resort collection founded in New York City has become a must for those addicted to fabric and luxury textiles. According to their website Palmier Du Mal “addresses the need for freedom – freedom to live leisurely, freedom of abstract thought, to indulge in pleasures, freedom from technology, to pursue debauched relaxation, to be comfortable doing absolutely nothing.” Although Palmiers Du Mal can get a bit full of themselves as well has as occasionally putting their foot in their mouth, it’s hard to deny their genius when it comes to fabrics.
[+] HERON PRESTON
The self-proclaimed true embodiment of an artist born of the post-internet generation, Heron Preston is a multi-faceted and genre-bending brand known for their bold aesthetics. You may recognize Preston’s aesthetics if you are fan of Kanye West. If there is one brand right now that represents the millennial movement is it perhaps Heron Preston (although Off-White is a close second which makes sense because Preston and Abloh are friends) and their e-commerce platform HPC Trading Co. Currently we are digging that side stripe track pants.
According to their site, “Wekaforé’s design idiom explores on the re-interpretation of urban african style prior to Americanisation. Delicately mixing an array of fabrics and placing subtle feminine elements into comfortably-active ready to wear men’s clothing.” Wekaforé created his brand in-respect to the work of his grandfather who lived and died in a Nigerian village and never got the change to see fashion in city life. By just looking at his recent collection it’s hard not to think that his grandfather is looking down with pride.
[+] ACNE STUDIOS
The most well known on this list — and perhaps the one that might turn fashion insiders off from this list — but Acne Studios seems to do no wrong lately. They have managed season after season to understand not only what their customers want but also influence many other designers. Head to toe this is the most well-rounded brand for the stereotypical millennial (and that is not a bad thing). Their prices are out of reach for most, but all you got to do is wait a little and products influenced by Acne Studio will be is fast fashion stores after hitting the runway.