Popular fragrance and accessory company Byredo unveiled a special new collection during men’s fashion week in Paris last week.
Entitled Byproduct, Byredo creative director Ben Gorham staged a mock NBA draft to illustrate the aspirations and significance of this one night when dream may become reality. This portal of basketball stardom – a pipedream of Gorham’s 7-year-old self that the designer pursued until his mid-twenties – has become the backdrop for a collection of men’s suits, sneakers, bags, and hats.
Inspired by the style and tailoring choices of NBA players of the early 2000s, Gorham worked alongside A.W.Bauer & Co., a Stockholm-based bespoke tailor founded in 1863, in the creation of ten unique suits. In a palette of greys, beige, blue and white, these boxy five-button suit designs include long blazer shapes, pronounced shoulders and wide long leg trousers – harking back to the glory days of zoot-suits in the USA and the bold traditions of Italian tailoring.
Rethinking the formality of our ‘Sunday best’ for spring/summer 2020, each style is engineered to accommodate the height, ultra-long limbs and torso shape of a basketball player, honoring Gorham’s own beginnings and elevating this unconventional idea of masculine beauty.
In homage to the original basketball shoes designed over 100 years ago, the laced hi-top Byproduct sneaker is constructed to protect the ankle while remaining light and streamlined. Each pair is pieced together from left-over leather from the production of handbags, creating a patchwork effect from the curved leather fragments emphasized by zig-zag stitch and topstitch panels. Sealed on a vulcanized rubber sole with an embossed geometric toe cap, the upper of each sneaker is entirely unique and may feature a mix of suede and polished leathers, fragments of typography left by leather classification stamps, and varying shades of black and neutral skins.