EDITOR’S TAKE: RETHINKING GENDER-NEUTRAL

by Karen Alberg Grossman

Admittedly, I did not enter Canoe Studios on Friday morning with an open mind, knowing one of the themes of this season’s New York Men’s Day was gender-neutral apparel, a concept I’ve had trouble deciphering. That said, the presentations turned out to be provocative and exciting, offering a fresh take at what men’s fashion could be if more retailers took more chances. I’m not saying that menswear merchants should start filling their suit racks with skirts and dresses (although much of the gender-neutral fashion on both male and female models looked terrific), but rather that the more fluid shapes, bolder colors, interesting patterns, imaginative fabrics (many from deadstock, thus intrinsically sustainable) and unexpected creative touches looked surprisingly saleable. In other words, we (myself especially) need to get out of our comfort zones and embrace change!

A.Potts

Among the Big Ideas offered by NYMD emerging designers: statement overcoats, artisanal knitwear, sculptural shapes, wide-legged bottoms, indigenous designs (jackets made from Tulu rugs, Navajo blankets and even an antique Irish lace tablecloth were outstanding at STAN; pictured at top), fluid tailoring in deep jewel tones (well executed at Teddy VonRanson) and, at A.Potts, numerous sexy romantic looks for men and women. William McNicol from William Frederick showed beautiful topcoats and jackets in traditional menswear fabrics, modelled by his friends from Cleveland!

William Frederick
Teddy VonRanson

Kudos to Perry Ellis America for their fabulous preppy/heritage relaunch (loved the tweed puffer coats and graphic sweaters), for sponsoring New York Men’s Day, and for offering a capsule collaboration opportunity to one of the NYMD emerging designers (winner chosen by Perry Ellis America designer Thomas Harvey).

Thomas Harvey and the new Perry Ellis America collection

And last but not least, Congrats to Erin Hawker and her hard-working Agentry PR team on this 17th edition of New York Men’s Day, and her unwavering belief in fostering emerging talent, even (and especially) in menswear.

A.Potts