How todd snyder works

by Michael Macko

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It’s a good time to be Todd Snyder. The crush-worthy menswear designer just sold his company to American Eagle for $11 million, will close the second edition of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, has plans to open stores in Japan and in NYC later this year and has a handful of successful licensees. I spent an afternoon with the designer to see how he works.

1. THE FOOTWEAR Snyder has a licensee with PF-Flyers for sneakers and Cole Haan for shoes. He chose them both because he likes authentic heritage brands. “I liked PF-Flyer because they weren’t working with a bunch of other designers and I could stand out.”

2. CHAMPION Snyder’s best-known collaboration is with Champion, the almost 100-year-old athletic apparel brand that he has been collecting for over 20 years. In fact, he has over 1,000 computer-catalogued samples in his warehouse in Iowa. Snyder actually sought out Champion for the collaboration because he was such an avid fan and they’re glad that he did.

3. THE TAILORING Peerless makes Snyder’s clothing collection, which is manufactured in Chicago and retails for $795 for suits and $545 for sportcoats. It’s a smart price/value strategy Snyder started when he was the creative director for men’s at J. Crew.

4. THE KIDS Snyder is divorced with two teenage daughters who think that what he does is cool, but constantly remind him that he himself is, in fact, not cool. He even shared an Instagram exchange with his daughter about pictures from a red carpet appearance to prove it. “It keeps me humble.”

5. THE INSPIRATION Snyder finds inspiration everywhere. He travels extensively and collects art books, vintage clothes and various other ephemera. One of his favorite ‘go-to’ photographers is Paul Strand, particularly his portraits of French workers, “He was the original ‘street-style’ photographer.”