Project New York was back in full swing this week after a two-year covid hiatus. A more intimate venue at Iron 23, as well as a popup shop open to the public, introduced new energy to the show, while approximately 65 men’s wear and gender-fluid brands brought the goods.
“This season we are no longer just a men’s wear-only show, we are welcoming gender-fluid brands as well,” said Edwina Kulego, VP of international and business development at Informa Markets Fashion. “Brands from all over are coming to show their personalities which has been missing from trade shows.”
Here’s a closer look at the trends seen on the show floor.
Jack & Jones
Jack & Jones is bringing the heat with its Spring/Summer 2023 collection full of vibrant colors and themes that tap into the post-pandemic consumer mindset.
On one hand, vacation-ready garments cull inspiration from upscale resorts with funky patterns and colors like hot pink, lime green, lavender and purple, setting a carefree tone. On the other, Jack & Jones is relishing the comfort of home with new graphics inspired by takeout food, according to Annie Bloomston, the brand’s sales assistant.
“While the world is slowly but surely reverting to normal, I think a lot of people still prefer to eat at home,” Bloomston said. “With that being said, we have several graphics with little tacos, hearts, bowls of ramen and more. These shirts also speak to the consumer that loves graphic tees but doesn’t want something too brand driven.”
The Bestseller-owned brand is pairing these novelties with primary Jack & Jones washes like mid-blue and black acid wash. Denim shorts, an ‘It’ item in men’s S/S ’23 runway collections, is also a category to watch. The brand expects its cut-off styles to be the most popular.
7 For All Mankind
Circularity is a key story in 7 For All Mankind’s S/S ’23 collection. The Los Angeles-based brand’s Earth Kind product range features garment made with biodegradable fabrics and tags that can be buried in soil at the end of their life. Over time, the jeans will dissolve into the earth.
The earthy concept is carried into the brand’s main color story for the season. Jose Chico, 7 For All Mankind’s men’s account executive, said the collection was inspired by many men’s gravitation toward color palettes that are “muted and are easy to mix” within their established wardrobes.
The collection makes it easy for men to keep the classic-feeling look that they love, but with an updated version that elevates a look. “He gravitates toward clean lines. He’s a professional,” Chico said. “We try to cater to our core demographic which is the elevated gentleman who loves to wear his jeans to work, but also wants to have a playful wardrobe.”
Desyree Thomas, founder of Todd Patrick, pays homage to Michigan’s landscapes and growing up in a small town in a S/S ’23 collection called “Small Town, Big Dreams.”
With an emphasis on texture, the collection features statement pieces including a pair of ecru trousers with a net overlay, a sleeveless blazer and multicolored shorts made from the scraps of unused fabrics. “I wanted the fabric choices, the cuts and the prints to feel nostalgic but still be modern so anyone could wear it,” Thomas said.
Todd Patrick is part of lnforma Markets Fashion for Change (IMFC) Incubator Program. The incubator was created to elevate and support new design talent for minority-owned brands.
Fit, fabric and function are the three F’s that DL1961 followed when creating its S/S ’23 men’s collection.
Along with increasing the amount of stretch in its 360-degree stretch fabrics, DL 1961 used a French terry knit fabric that provides comfort and retains shape, so there’s no “sag and bag” after a long day.
Neutral tones, light-wash denim, shorts and joggers are among the most in-demand styles for the season, according to a brand rep.
The collection also builds on DL1961’s commitment to sustainability. In addition to using waterless laser technology and solar power in its production, some jeans are made with high-quality recycled cotton fibers made from post-consumer textile waste from Spanish tech firm Recover.
Dead Than Cool
Dead Than Cool recently “changed its formula” from releasing a new collection every two months to a more traditional calendar of releasing seasonal collections. This allowed the brand to hone in on its voice, create larger collections and release more distinctive collections.
The breadth of Dead Than Cool’s unique look was on display at Project New York, spanning skinny, stacked and ripped fits and an “acid drip” theme. “We’re kind of giving the consumer a trip of acid through our clothes,” said Amaury Torres, founder of Dead Than Cool. “We gave a little sneak peek on social media, and it’s been getting a lot of love from our consumers so far.”
The collection also features the brand’s “well known and highly anticipated” long-sleeve polyester shirts.
While Dead Than Cool had to raise its prices this season, Torres said it was essential for maintaining the brand’s high quality and signature details. Inflation, however, is not stopping the brand from trying to expand marketing efforts. To drum up awareness of the new collection, Dead Than Cool will host three popup shops in L.A., Miami and New York before delivering to its retail partners.
In its new collection, Edwin USA focused on fresh, authentic and sustainable denim. To do this, the company opted to make a small collection to “support simplicity at its best” and not overcomplicate denim shopping for consumers, according to an Edwin USA rep.
The collection, however, does feature a variety of denim, including the Maddox jeans, a “tried-and-true” slim and an athletic fit. Between the two styles, the brand rep said Edwin USA will be offering two “great fits” that will cater to a larger demographic while also being fashionable without trying too hard.