Mens

Jaden Smith, Ronnie Fieg Offer Advice to Apparel Industry

LAS VEGAS — This season, Agenda, Capsule and Liberty partnered to present Assembly, a series of workshops, talks and keynotes that addressed various topics or issues plaguing the apparel industry.
On Monday night, Jeff Staple moderated a keynote session with Kith’s Ronnie Fieg and Jaden Smith, the son of Will and Jada Smith, who recently released an album “Syre” and has an animated Netflix series, “Neo Yokio,” a clothing line called Msfts and Just Water, an eco-friendly water company that sells its water in a paper-based bottle.
The talk was sprinkled with a few fun facts and surprise appearances. Smith revealed that the dreadlocks he cut off and took to an award show are now encased in a clear box at his parents’ house, and rapper Fat Joe stood up at one point to thank Fieg for the free Kith product and congratulate Smith on his work. But they also offered some insight for retailers, brands and designers attempting to navigate the changing industry. Here are highlights from the talk:
On deciding which brands to work with:
Ronnie Fieg: “It’s really on a case-by-case basis. Some projects have been more appropriate because of nostalgic purposes like Iceberg. Iceberg in the U.S. is not as

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Retailers Bet Big at the Vegas Men’s Shows

LAS VEGAS — There are a lot of opportunities to capitalize on in the men’s market this year. While the industry tends to move more slowly than women’s, the continuing popularity of streetwear, heritage influences and technical fabrications are all understandable trends for the men’s shopper and are buoying the spirits of stores attending the Project, Liberty Fairs, Capsule and Agenda trade shows here this week.
Most men’s retailers are coming off a solid 2017 and believe that the fashion trends in the market will help them continue the momentum into this year.
As James Starke, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s for J.C. Penney, put it: “We had a good fourth quarter and are off to a good start in Q1. There’s a lot of newness in men’s and kids and we have a lot of new brands coming in, so we feel good for spring.”
Looking ahead to fall, Starke has similar optimism — albeit tempered with some caution.
“These shows have become a touch point for us and our suppliers,” he said. “They help validate what we’re doing for fall.”
Tom Ott, chief merchant for Saks Off 5th and Gilt, said he appreciated the shows, particularly Agenda and Liberty, for all the

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Mitsui Invests in Indochino

Indochino has a new partner.
The Vancouver-based men’s made-to-measure brand has received “a strategic investment” from Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.) Inc., that will be used to accelerate the brand’s North American expansion plans and investment in its global operations and supply chain.
Terms were not disclosed.
Drew Green, chief executive officer of Indochino, said: “I have admired Mitsui for many years and could not be more proud to welcome them as a shareholder and partner. Indochino has established a new way for men to experience well-fitting garments with ease and affordability. Our strong sales and earnings growth demonstrate that the Indochino brand resonates with consumers and has become a mainstream alternative to ready-to-wear clothing. Mitsui’s global footprint and its expertise scaling and operating international businesses will be invaluable as we prepare for the next phase of growth and scale as a global apparel brand.”
Takayuki Iwai, senior vice president and divisional operating officer of the Consumer Service Business Division of Mitsui & Co. U.S.A.) Inc., said: “We believe Drew and his team have done an outstanding job in building Indochino into one of the industry’s most innovative and dynamic companies, and are truly excited by the prospect of working together towards achieving the company’s long-term goals

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Sean John at 20: Sean Combs on Longevity and Making a Difference

While his name may have changed more times than some people change cars, there has been at least one constant for Sean Combs over the past 20 years: The Sean John brand.
The label’s founder, born Sean John Combs, has been known as Puffy, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy and now, Love. But for the hip-hop entrepreneur, they’re all just names that reflect different periods in his life. Call him what you will — his success speaks for itself.
His earnings in 2017 alone, according to Forbes, were $130 million and his net worth is estimated at $820 million, edging out even Jay Z, who is worth a mere $810 million.
Not bad for someone who dropped out of business school in his sophomore year. Now, at 48, Combs has a multipronged career that covers not only fashion but music, TV production, athletes’ beverages and vodka. And, of course, he travels with his own entourage – at his WWD shoot, 17 people arrived well ahead of the star. Given all his activities, getting face time with Combs can be a challenge, hence the reason Sean John’s vice president of design arrived with storyboards and line sheets for the holiday 2018 collection, which he

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Sean John: Diddy’s Days

Sean Combs may have changed his name numerous times over the years, but the aesthetic of his fashion brand Sean John has remained constant: streetwear mixed with classic tailoring.
Grooming by Nigella
Models: Markel at IMG, Fuji at Fusion and Karmay at The Industry
Fashion Assistant: Kayana Cordwell

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Puffy’s Peaks and Valleys

1990: Andre Harrell hires Sean Combs, who was then a student at Howard University, as an intern at Uptown Records. He goes on to work full-time for the label and helps break artists including Mary J. Blige and Jodeci.
1993: Harrell fires Combs from Uptown Records.
1993: Combs takes The Notorious B.I.G. with him from Uptown Records and launches Bad Boy Records. The label and its artists — which include Lil Kim, The Lox and 112 — ascend quickly, making East Coast rap more prevalent during a time when West Coast artists such as Tupac and Dr. Dre were dominating.

Notorious B.I.G and Combs
ERIK PENDZICH/REX/Shutterstock

1997: The Notorious B.I.G. is murdered in Los Angeles in a drive-by shooting that’s still an unsolved case. Combs was in the truck behind him.
1997: Following the murder of Biggie, Combs released “I’ll Be Missing You,” which topped the Billboard singles chart for 11 weeks and powered Combs’ first album “No Way Out” to platinum status. His debut single, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number one. This same year he opened a soul food eatery in New York called Justin’s Restaurant, which was named after his first-born

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Jeffrey Tweedy’s Labor of Love

Jeffrey Tweedy remembers well the day he got a call from Sean Combs about this new apparel collection he was planning to launch.
Although Tweedy had worked for some of the best-known names in the fashion industry — Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss among them — he was drawn into the hip-hop artist’s vision and decided to take the plunge.
He was Sean John’s first employee.
Twenty years later, Tweedy is still there. With the exception of a two-year stint from 2005 to 2007 — when he joined G-III as president of its sportswear division, he has been the engine behind the growth of the Sean John business since its inception.
Combs said it best when elevating Tweedy to president in 2012: “Jeff was the first employee of Sean John, and nobody understands our brand DNA better. He’s dreamed further for this brand than I even I have. Without Jeff, there would be no Sean John.”
Tweedy was also at the helm at the end of 2016 when Global Brands Group Holdings Ltd. purchased the majority stake in the brand that today boasts retail sales of over $525 million in the U.S.
Looking back at the journey, Tweedy credits Sean John’s longevity with Combs’ willingness to

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Asos Is Serious About Growing in the U.S.

British online retailer Asos on Monday held its inaugural New York presentation for the brand’s fall 2018 men’s wear collection with an eye toward growing its U.S. business, which head of men’s Nick Eley said is in second place, behind the U.K.
The e-tailer has ratcheted up its presence during New York Fashion Week: Men’s since July, when it held a party.
Primarily aimed at young adults — Eley said the average age is 20 — Asos sells more than 850 brands and its own range of clothing and accessories. The brand is making a push, offering plus sizes for men, which Eley called a “huge opportunity.”

In addition, Eley said the men’s and women’s sides of the business have started collaborating for the first time on trends, fabrics and more, the results of which will be fully realized with the spring 2019 collection.

The brand features an abundance of over-the-top fashion and glam items. After all, Asos was originally called As Seen on Screen when it launched in 1999, before its name was shortened to an acronym. “The Asos guy is going out more and is more confident with what he’s wearing,” said Eley.
The presentation was held at 393 NYC, a long, narrow gallerylike space

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Tighe to Succeed Wurtzburger at Peerless

John Tighe is switching sides.
The long-time J.C. Penney merchant is joining Peerless Clothing as president. He will succeed Ronny Wurtzburger, who has been the face of the tailored clothing manufacturer for more than 30 years.
The change is effective Feb. 26 when Wurtzburger will retire and transition to chairman of the board.
Tighe joins Peerless after 15 years with Penney’s. Before that, he was with May Department Stores.
Alvin Segal continues as chief executive officer of Peerless.

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Project Elevates Partnership With NYFW: Men’s

Project continued to make its presence known at New York Fashion Week: Men’s by hosting a presentation for Michael Bastian, W.R.K., Faherty and M. Singer, four brands that often show within the Tents, the designer section of the trade show.
Project also hosted several other labels during the morning and afternoon sessions of New York Men’s Day.
Tommy Fazio, men’s fashion director of UBM Fashion, who hand-selected each brand, said this is the latest initiative in the company’s move to support American talent. It’s also an evolution of UBM Fashion’s new partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America that promotes the growth of emerging talent and the fashion industry as a whole.
“We are thrilled to have the platform outside of the trade-show floor in New York to champion men’s wear talent who represent the best of American designers. Having had the privilege of working with each designer at Project, we are excited to assist in presenting their fall 2018 collections by supporting CFDA’s NYFW: Men’s and NYMD,” Fazio said.

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Dior Homme Goes to Work on Denim

Dior Homme‘s Kris Van Assche has an affinity for denim. That much is obvious simply by looking at his expanded 28-item denim line for spring 2018. Details include the silver-embossed on black leather Dior logo, which was repositioned from the inside of garments to become a form of embellishment on the outside, and embroidered roses as patches on jacket shoulders with the word “Roses” inscribed below.
The brand on Monday unveiled a pop-up shop, which will showcase through Feb. 18 the collection at Patron of the New in Manhattan’s TriBeCa. That will be followed on Feb. 15 by an in-store shop at 424 Fairfax in Los Angeles, scheduled to operate through Feb. 25.
If the collection seems compact, the attention lavished upon it suggests that denim could become a permanent category for Dior Homme. There’s also the fact that the collection is being showcased in pop-up shops in seven international cities, an indication that this is no fly-by-night project. Besides Printemps Haussmann in Paris, where Dior Denim is available through March 15, pop-ups are set to bow in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.
“Dior Homme is continuously evolving,” said Renaud De Lesquen, president and chief executive officer North America at Christian Dior Couture and

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Men’s Fall 2018 Trend: Euro Trip

Heritage men’s wear and youthful street influences were on full display on Europe’s fall runways, where sharp double-breasted tailoring faced off against statement puffers, while pops of Instagram-friendly safety orange enlivened the season.
Monster Mash
Double Play
Pumped Up
High Visibility

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The Three Designers to Watch at New York Fashion Week: Men’s

Name: Willy Chavarria
Background: Chavarria, a Mexican-American, grew up in Huron, Calif., a small town near Fresno, and held design stints at Ralph Lauren and American Eagle Outfitters before starting Palmer Trading Co., his Made in the U.S. men’s wear line that leaned heavily toward workwear and was snapped up by Japanese retailers. Now he’s exclusively focused on his namesake assortment of men’s wear.
Inspiration this season: “Faith in humanity during dark times.”
Mentor or idol: “I love the work of film director Romain Gavras. I find a connection with it in my work.”
Goal: “I’d like to help us see ourselves in a new light.”
What’s your favorite secret spot in New York?: The lobby bar at Jolly Madison Towers Hotel on 38th and Madison Avenue.

Name: Emily Adams Bode
Background: Bode was born and raised in Atlanta, and spent her summers in New England, where she frequented antique shops and shows with her mother. Through that she was introduced to age-old techniques and fabrications. “I have always been drawn to hand-work, craft and labors of love,” the designer said. “The stories told through craft and the sense of the hand, the individual-maker, drew me to them.” Bode eventually moved to New York, where she graduated from Parsons

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DKNY Men’s Relaunch Covers All the Bases

G-III Apparel Group is going all in when it comes to the relaunch of DKNY men’s.
The $2.4 billion New York-based conglomerate purchased Donna Karan International, parent of the DKNY label, from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for $650 million at the end of 2016.
The women’s DKNY collection was the first to debut under the new ownership arrangement, transitioning out of its more-widespread department store distribution to become exclusive with Macy’s for spring. The men’s wear will be sold at Macy’s along with Hudson’s Bay in Canada, Liverpool in Mexico and on the company’s web site.
The men’s collection has been absent from the market since fall 2015. For three seasons, DKNY was designed by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, but the designers focused on women’s apparel only. That arrangement ended after the G-III sale was finalized.
In May, G-III signed a multiyear licensing deal with PVH Corp. under which PVH will design and distribute DKNY men’s sportswear, dress shirts, neckwear and jeans in the U.S. and Canada. The company also produces belts and small leather goods.
The first collection will be for summer and will hit stores in the first week in April; the big push will be for fall,

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Asher Levine to Release Men’s Ready-to-Wear Collection

NEW YORK — Asher Levine is ready to bring his celebrity style to the masses.
The designer, who has dressed everyone from Lady Gaga and Whoopi Goldberg to Will.i.am and Bruno Mars, has created his first commercial ready-to-wear collection for fall.
The line will be shown by appointment during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, from Feb. 4 to 7, at a location on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.
The shift in focus is part of a maturation of the label — which just snagged the women’s wear design award from Fashion Group International — that the now-29-year-old incorporated as a business in 2009.
“I started sewing as a kid,” said the Florida native during an interview at his Harlem studio, “and was president of the 4-H Silly Stitchers.” He moved to New York right after graduating from high school to attend Pace University’s business school, where he studied entrepreneurship. During college, he started working in the industry, for Geoffrey Beene and other companies, before receiving a call from Nicola Formichetti, stylist for Lady Gaga, who reached out to discuss Levine designing something for the entertainer.
He created an oversize leather biker jacket, and he was on his way.
A version of that jacket has

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Common Gender Aims to Tap Underpenetrated Men’s Market in China

SHANGHAI — It was a case of the venue determining the launch city of men’s wear label Common Gender rather than Shanghai’s burgeoning reputation as an international fashion hub.
When looking at locations for the label’s first fashion show, Lea Chan, vice president and marketing director of parent company EPO Fashion Group, searched for venues in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, but settled on the former after discovering West Bund Art Center. Once an old aircraft factory, the industrial space has held onto much of its raw, urban interior, which was in keeping with the brand’s Nineties Berlin-inspired pop-up shop and edgy, angular fashion show on Tuesday.
The pop-up store and fashion show were attended by key Chinese influencers and business partners of the brand and featured a cast of international and local male models purposefully storming down the catwalk with a performance by American twin brother electro punk rock band The Garden.
EPO Fashion Group, parent company of women’s wear brands Mo & Co. and Edition 10; cosmetics brand REC, and children’s wear label Little Mo & Co. posted group sales of 3.5 billion yuan in 2017, or $555 million. Common Gender’s launch marks the Chinese company’s move into the domestic men’s wear market.

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Upbeat Mood Prevails at New York Men’s Trade Shows

NEW YORK — New year, bright outlook.
That sums up the mood of specialty stores shopping the men’s trade shows here. A strong end to 2017, a soaring stock market and some tempting merchandise options for fall all combined to boost retailers’ spirits.
“Holiday was great,” said Ken Giddon, president of Rothmans, which operates three men’s stores in New York. “There have been some weather difficulties in January but that’s OK. We had a surprisingly strong fall so inventories are not what we had expected. My mood is good — it’s an exciting time to be a retailer.”
He said he has been working more with his suppliers to create partnerships that benefit both. “Every conversation is not: ‘What are you selling and how much is it?’ But it’s, ‘How can we work together.’ That’s what it’s going to take to make the wholesale model work today and I actually enjoy making deals almost more than I enjoy looking at merchandise.”
That said, Giddon did manage to find several brands that he liked at the shows. “I’m surprised at how many great Scandinavian brands there are,” he said, pointing to the Scandinavian Man section at Project. He especially liked Hestra gloves and Cords trousers.
In

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