“The ascent of New York menswear label Public School hasn’t been the bump-free upward glide that their much-buzzed-about status would suggest. BoF sat down with designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, and stylist Eugene Tong, whose expert touch has helped put the young label’s fresh mix of sportswear and tailoring on the fashion radar, to discuss the brand’s rebirth.
“I think people give me more credit than is due,” says Eugene Tong, senior style director at Details magazine, who styles the presentations of the burgeoning New York menswear label Public School. Tong is being humble. In fact, the fashion editor and stylist is arguably the quiet force behind the ascent of what is one of America’s most promising young fashion brands.
When it comes to womenswear, stylists with a sharp editor’s eye have long been one of the most potent weapons in a designer’s arsenal. Carine Roitfeld (Tom Ford, during his Gucci years), Melanie Ward (Helmut Lang) and Venetia Scott (Marc Jacobs) are amongst the most prominent examples, whose personal style and unerring eye have helped showcase a designer’s vision to maximum advantage. But on the menswear front, the phenomenon is less common.
Tong is an especially rare case: a consultant and collaborator who both personifies the label’s ideal customer and happens to be a leading tastemaker, known for having his finger on the pulse of the menswear market and composing compelling looks that a wide range of men want to wear…” (Read more)
Denim veteran Tobias Levine teamed up with the founders of Public School—Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne—to put together a line of men’s denim jeans that are every bit as badass as New York City itself, where all the garments are made. The team works closely with the finest production facilities in the garment district to offer this rare component to their line.
The collection offers washes developed and produced exclusively by Wonderland concepts (a wash house in Kentucky owned by Dick Gaines). They also offer entirely un-washed, raw denim variations that allow the consumer to experience the fabric and customize their own pair through repeated wear. Fits include Skinny, Slim and Straight: PS 13, PS 14, and PS 16 respectively. The numbers represent the ankle opening, creating a clear distinction for the wearer as to which fit is best suited to their body. See our favorite four picks below.
Below, the PS 14 Slim fit in Gray Scale wash. A gray-black vintage wash with hand-sand, hand-staining and minor fabric hand-administered vintage treatment on the knee and hem. 14″ leg opening with a 10″ rise. Fabrication is 11.25 oz cotton-poly-spandex selvedge cone white oak denim.
Below, the PS 13 Skinny fit in Noir wash. A black crinoline waxed jean with body heat activated fit and wear acceleration. 13″ leg opening with a 9.5″ rise. Fabrication is 11.25 oz cotton-poly-spandex selvedge cone white oak denim.
Below, the PS 13 Skinny fit in Black Pig wash. A black pigment spray-over white base jean by hand-application. 13″ leg opening with a 9.5″ rise. Fabrication is 10.50 oz cotton spandex cone denim.
Below, the PS 14 Slim fit in Blue Blood. A midnight navy garment-dyed jean with hand 3D natural wear in front pocket entry and behind wearers knee. 14″ leg opening with a 10″ rise. Fabrication is 11.25 oz cotton-poly-spandex selvedge cone white oak denim.
The line is now available at Odin and select Bloomingdale’s locations. Visit Public School online for more.
Photos by Raffael Flores-Contreras.
Tags: made in new york, made in nyc, Made in USA, magic market week, mens denim, menswear denim, project las vegas, public school nyc, raw denim, selvedge denim, vintage jeans
At Project NY and then again at Project Las Vegas, the men’s denim brand 3rd & Army seduced our eyes with three bold styles that exude rock’n'roll and sex appeal. It’s no coincidence that they make an impact at first glance: Industry authority Matt Atkinson (who founded the brand in September 2012) and all associates in the super-collective have worked for major US brands throughout the years. The relatively new project (100% made in LA) packs a powerful punch thanks to its experienced design and marketing team.
The brand DNA is taken from the quintessential California lifestyle. “Our collection speaks from our life experiences through the doors of 3rd & Army. Our clothing is an expression and a combined statement of classic music, fine art, vintage fashion, and a modern lifestyle in an original way,” says the brand. We expect only great things from these guys. Check out our favorite pieces below.
Below: The tapered leg Ranchand in camo. 10 oz woven jaquarded yarn camo denim with traditional loose top and tapering leg shape to a narrow bottom. Includes antique hardware and packaging, signature Z-stitch back pockets, reinforced pocket facings, utility watch pocket, signature chain wallet loop, and newsprint inside pocketing.
Below: The tapered leg Ranchand in grease wash. Japanese red selvedge 14 oz premium red selvedge denim with traditional loose top and tapering leg shape to a narrow bottom. Antique hardware and packaging, signature Z-stitch back pockets, reinforced pocket facings, utility watch pocket, signature chain wallet loop, and newsprint inside pocketing.
Below: The straight leg Blacksmith in indigo wash. 11.75 oz organic Italian Candiani denim in a straight leg traditional five pocket fit with flat felt side seams, workwear detailing, buckle back, spade workwear pockets, reinforced pocket facing, wallet chain keyhole detail, antique hardware and trim, multiple stitching construction, and real hide branded leather patch.
Visit 3rd & Army online to learn more.
Photos by Raffael Flores-Contreras.
Tags: 3rd & Army, California style, Japanese denim, made in america, made in la, Made in USA, magic market week, men's jeans, mens denim, menswear denim, project las vegas, Selvage Denim, selvedge denim
The thing we love most about trade shows like PROJECT are how up-close we can get to the denim. We can inspect the fabric hand, design details, and special components that set brands apart from one another. Besides their adorable mini-jeans, 3×1 was equipped with the particulars to keep us around their booth for a while, from their top notch Japan-sourced denim to their made-in-the-USA finishes.
Slim fit raw denim 12oz 2% stretch green caste selvedge denim from Kurabo, Japan.
White low rise standard straight let jeans made of 12 oz white selvedge denim from Kurabo Japan. These jeans feature a vintage stone wash that results in a soft hand.
Black coated slim fit 12.5oz black selvedge denim from Kaihara Japan. These jeans feature a coated finish, which results in a very cool reception of light and gradual wearing that will make your jeans truly unique.
Photos by Raffael Flores-Contreras
—Raffael Flores-Contreras & Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: black jeans, coated jeans, custom jeans, Japanese denim, made in america, made in new york, Made in USA, raw denim, Selvage Denim, selvedge denim, white jeans
We just had the awesome opportunity to speak with Maurizio Donadi, Global Senior Vice President of Levi’sXX. Levi’s XX is an independent creative division of Levi Strauss & Co, which houses two exclusive brands, Levi’s Vintage Clothing and Levis Made & Crafted. He granted us this exclusive interview, discussing the amazing brand that stems from the household name we all know to be synonymous with denim.
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning.
Levi’s Made & Crafted: First of all, I am not a designer. What was interesting and inspiring for me in the beginning was the opportunity to work on a project so deeply rooted in history (with the Levi’s® Vintage Clothing line) and on bringing a sense of modernity and true innovation into the Levi’s world with the Levi’s® Made & Crafted™ line. Both brands are about high quality, fanatical attention to details and serious craftsmanship. It is indeed a unique project.
DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
Levi’s M&C: Our brands are both product and lifestyle driven instead of category-driven. For example, we design the shirt, sweater, jacket, chinos and jeans all at the same time within a story, a concept narrative. For us, we set very high standards and look at brands, companies and projects in the market that are not necessarily fashion/apparel related.
DT: Does your team have any pre-designing rituals?
Levi’s M&C: We are all engaged in the design process together from design and merchandising to product development and production. We as a team have an exercise internally called: The Creative Week. This ritual is more about developing the origin together until we each set off to get it done!
DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer – the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
Levi’s M&C: We typically design into what the brands’ foundation is – not necessarily for a customer. The definition of customer is debatable. Fundamentally we have a dialogue with those that have a deep respect for the history of denim and most often for Levi’s®. And that is who we are. However, we are lucky that we are capturing a new type of audience who is intrigued about our point of view so we have an opportunity to educate them about what it is/who we are in new ways. With Levi’s® Made & Crafted™, we focus on quality, details and functional relevance to modern needs like travel and work, in a city or small town. The flexibility encourages mixing of our pieces with others because in the end, we want our personalities to show through, not just the clothes. All of that is for us very innovative, subtle and elevated. This creative positive tension between heritage and innovation is a magnetic story. It is also a story about testing, experimenting and finding new solutions.
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
Levi’s M&C: Every retailer is free to buy what they think is the best assortment for their clientele. So if one shops at: Fred Segal in Santa Monica; Barney’s New York; Liberty in London; Fred Segal Melrose; Present in east London; American Rag LA; Brooklyn Denim; Isetan Tokyo; Antonia in Milan; Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter and LNCC online; and many others around the world, one will find a very personalized selection and depth. What’s next from us will not be necessarily a trend but nothing else than a strong point of view on fits and finishes. We design with longevity in mind, not for a quick seasonal trend. However I think that our Made IN USA assortment for both brands is quite remarkable in terms of quality, the natural aging of fabrics and original fits selection.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
Levi’s M&C: With Levi Strauss himself! Therefore, no plans for the future.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favourites, and how would you style them:
Levi’s M&C: Levi’s® Made & Crafted™ has an amazing selection of classic chinos in a range of fits and finishes. The Sander Cinch, for example is a modern interpretation of the Levi’s® Spring Bottom pant, a style Levi’s® started producing 1880. For women, the Pins Skinny is a deep blue coloured classic skinny fit jean. It has hand sponged ageing that gives it a natural worn feel.
DT: Do you have any favourite/least favourite denim trends right now?
Levi’s M&C: Everything that is truly authentic, simple, well made and fun is a good trend to me.
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high-end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
Levi’s M&C: The galaxy of blogs is an interesting one. And as in a real galaxy you can find stars/blogs that are exploding, imploding, disoriented and gone mad. Some of them are a case study, some are fascinating and some are truly rubbish. We look at them with a telescope …… from a safe distance. Different matter is the inspiration that comes from the Street. Generally speaking, people utilize inventive spirit in order to make a statement about their personality and characters. Clothing creates an interesting way of showing up publicly and is quite different from person to person. The beauty of being humans is that we can really add a twist on every expression of self. It is the Circus of the Human Condition. Therefore a good show to go see.
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
Levi’s M&C: Enough – it runs the gamut from vintage collector pieces to the one pair that I wear almost everyday and get mended every time I go to San Francisco’s Levi’s® Tailor Shop.
DT: Favourite celeb wearing your brand?
Levi’s M&C: In our own world we are all celebrities. With and without clothes on!
You can visit their website to see more styles from the Made & Crafted Collection.
Tags: american rag, Barneys New York, Fred Segal, fred segal santa monica, Levi Strauss, Levi's, levi's made and crafted, levi's xx, lncc, Made in USA, Maurizio Donadi, Mr Porter, Net-A-Porter, net-a-porter.com, skinny jean, vintage denim