With consumer spending on the mend, men’s wear brands are innovating and expanding.
Rhone launched an inaugural line of new products showcasing luxe fabrications and cutting-edge material innovations.
On Tuesday, the New York men’s wear brand debuted Nanoprojects, a range of products spearheaded by the company’s co-founding chief product officer, Kyle McClure. Exploring the limits of new materials and design techniques, the line embodies McClure’s ambition to create a “wardrobe of the future.”
“Nanoprojects is something we’ve been ideating on for a few years,” McClure told Sourcing Journal. “Product innovation is a top priority at Rhone, and we’re constantly exploring new ways to provide world-class apparel for men.” The platform will act as a product testing ground “without constraints,” giving the brand an opportunity to create clothing that not only resonates with its existing consumer “but also allows us to meet new ones,” he added.
While each new collection will tap a different source of inspiration, “consumers can still anticipate the same high-quality fabrics and innovative technology they’ve grown accustomed to with the Rhone collections,” McClure said. The introductory collection will feature elevated and tailored pieces from blazers to trousers, outerwear and more, and will retail for $98-$595—a luxury price point putting Rhone in new territory.
Sold through Rhone’s e-commerce site and at its New York City stores, products in the inaugural Nanoprojects line feature a number of new technologies, some of which were unearthed from the company’s innovation vault.
“For the Mac Coat, we used a waterproof cotton that was developed for RAF pilots during WWII so they would survive longer in the water if they were shot down,” McClure said. The collection’s blazer is crafted from a machine-washable, crease-resistant wool, while a range of trousers leverages an advanced indigo garment-dye technology that lends the fabric a hand-finished patina that evolves with wear. “Each of the pieces has something unique, but they adhere to the principle of premium performance that Rhone has been known for since inception,” he said.
The new platform “gives us the ability to get to the next level and push creative limits to continue to help the company grow and evolve,” McClure added. “This collection is designed with high-quality, luxury materials and innovative textile technologies that result in incredible, style-driven pieces that you’ll reach for in your closet time and time again.”
Rhone continues to source fabrics from a number of existing Italian mill partners for the collection, though through Nanoprojects, it’s developing new relationships with bespoke family-owned and operated mills “where the fabrics have such incredible history and personality to them, while also being incredibly innovative.” The brand produces different product lines in China, Peru, Portugal, Turkey and Vietnam.
“The goal is to grow the Nanoprojects line and continually release limited-edition collections throughout the year,” McClure said. While the new collection features blazers, trousers button-down shirts, outerwear and more, future drops “will continue to explore the unconstrained space of premium performance.”
Earlier this year, Rhone expanded its range of men’s casual apparel to include a line of top-drawer staples like Pima cotton and modal boxer briefs and trunks, undershirts and socks dubbed Everyday Essentials. The offering helped the label capitalize on comfort-focused remote-working trends.
Indochino waded into new waters as well. On Friday, the custom suiting and menswear brand teased its first ready-to-wear knits in a range of styles and colors launching later this month, which will complement its retro-inspired fall 2021 suiting collection, priced at $429.
“The world is experiencing a significant shift and, as we look ahead, we want to offer even more comfortable and casual options such as knitwear, as well as fashion forward seasonal fabrics,” CEO Drew Green said in a statement. “Our customers may be back in the office, working from home or somewhere in between, and we’re here to help them build their wardrobes—and their style confidence—on their own terms.”
The line, characterized by fabrics like glen checks and houndstooths—a nod to ‘70s styling—also features rich camels, corduroys and moleskins in shades like ivory, tobacco and mahogany. Blazers and slacks can be paired or worn as separates with the new line of knitwear, which features crew necks and short and long sleeve polos.
In addition to the new product category, Indochino augmented its range of sweaters with the Monza collection, showcasing high-quality wools from northern Italy’s Guabello mill in shades like grey, olive and stone blue. The company also recently introduced velvet tuxedos for formal events and winter weddings in emerald, black, navy, burgundy, purple and brown as an extension of its velvet suiting program.
The return to suiting marks an about-face from Indochino’s fall 2020 line, which promoted the company’s first casual, work-from-home staples as consumers spent much of their time away from the office and social engagements. Last August, Edited reported that traditional men’s workwear styles took a 38-percent nosedive from 2019, with the most precipitous drop seen in sales of dress shirts. While Indochino doubled down on dressier fare, retailers like Marks & Spencer slashed suiting stock as many consumers continue to work from home.