Inner City Blues

by MR Magazine Staff

NOTE: BLUE runs July 24 to 26 at The Tunnel (12th Ave. and 27th St.), New York.

Collective’s cooler, hipper little brother, BLUE, makes its second appearance on Monday—watch that little guy grow! Here is a smattering of the new vendors debuting at the Tunnel next week.

Prep League is a new collection out of L.A., working a vintage sport, Americana, and Native American history vibe with Southern California style, in athletic T’s, polos, hoodies and track jackets.  Extra soft washes make them feel like your “new old favorite pieces.”

Zen by Robert Graham

Zen by Robert Graham is the latest brainchild of founder and designer Robert Stock – it’s a “casual redux for an eclectic fashion customer.” Denim-friendly, the Zen design process incorporates complex fabrics and dye techniques, reduced to original and disarmingly effortless style.

3rdborn, from Bali, is a graphic driven line of T’s, polos and wovens with an overall theme of “peace in paradise.” Ah, how restful.

Brave is a Canadian belt line made from soft Italian leathers and great hand made buckles.

Converse by John Varvatos expands upon a three-year collaboration with the iconic sneaker company. Varvatos has added a full-fledged men’s and women’s sportswear collection. The line is priced anywhere between $55 and $125 for T-shirts to $175-$195 for denim, and is inspired by Brit cool. Skinny jeans are layered with thin knits and thermals, puffy parkas and a military-inspired pea coat. Long, striped scarves and suspenders complete the collection.


Self-described urban nomad Markus Klosseck designs Aemkei. The brand has a work wear vibe, with utility pockets, rough zippers and worn fabrics; and includes a capsule denim collection. The brand is hot in German, France, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and Canada.

Brown Label is a new men’s and women’s denim collection, also from L.A. A premium denim collection from designer Jason Verhoeven, a Chip n Pepper alumnus, Brown Label launched last August.

Italian collection Guru is a men’s and women’s sportswear collection in the denim tradition of Diesel and Replay.

A number of the lines at Blue will have Japanese origins. Among the standouts:

Few, by designer Eiichi Endo, started in 2004 with a Tokyo flagship store called Output. The collection’s concept is to respect the style of basic things that exist in our lives and look at them from a new perspective. (See for more.)

Garz is the brainchild of Masataka and Kohei, who have worked in a denim industry for 10 years in planning and designing denim of noted brands such as Levi’s and Comme des Garçons.

To “do a rat” means to alter an operation, or change direction. It’s also military slang for “dispatching a traitor.” The Doarat collection, by Toshimi Watanabe and Kenji Tokunaga, blends underground influences from music, fashion and art. They often sponsor club events in Tokyo and Fukuoka and collaborated on designing T-shirts for the movies “Triple X” and “The Harder They Come,” as well as the Giants baseball team.

LenyLayLack conceives its clothing line as a single work, creating all items to follow that theme. This season, the theme is “first inspiration.” Items are produced one at a time to reflect the notion of individuality, which cannot be created through bulk production. (For more, see

Watch for daily updates on Collective and Blue.