But, also: What does a Zegna IPO mean for owned-brand Thom Browne? Browne was mum on a recent Zoom call about his pre-fall, although it seems business in the Browne-iverse continues to boom. Let that be a sign to all the menswear designers out there: A singular viewpoint pays off in the end.
How Meta is Menswear Going to Become?
In December, JW Anderson announced an avatar scheme for his menswear show—we’ll have scoop on that this weekend—but with all the buzz about NFTs, the metaverse, and virtual fashion coming at the end of 2021, one wonders if other menswear labels are thinking as digitally as Anderson. Live-streams, videos, and lookbooks are looking like the primary means of communication this season—but that doesn’t mean fashion is averse to meta-fashion. Digital concepts take longer to execute, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for more virtual experimentation as the womenswear season begins next month.
Are Americans Taking Over Europe’s Menswear Shows?
A cursory glance at the Milan and Paris menswear schedules will reveal an overwhelming number of American designers—saying nothing of the ways European brands have adopted the casually reassured style of American dudes. Matthew Williams moved Alyx to Milan several years ago, but on Friday January 14 at 8 p.m. CET, the brand will stage its first runway show in Italy, showing off the new square-toe molded shoes and clunky boots Williams has been modeling on Instagram all week. (Fans are already going wild.) Williams’s Alyx will be joined by Queens-native Angelo Urrutia’s 4SDesigns in Milan, which is holding off-schedule appointments. Urrutia works closely with Italian mills and factories on fabric developments not seen this side of couture—true menswear heads should check out his new tweeds for fall.
In Paris, Rhude and Airei are carrying the American mantle as Amiri postponed its show for a later date, while Canadians Joey Gollish of Mr. Saturday and Luke Meier of Jil Sander will hit the Parisian runway on the 21st. There’s also Rick Owens, the longtime American in Paris, who will stage a small in-person show on the 20th.
How Do You Say Goodbye to an Icon?
No one can replace Virgil Abloh. A generous and kindhearted creative, he was up for collaboration and discussion with anyone who came asking. Louis Vuitton’s show on January 20 was being worked on by Abloh before his death. Even with COVID precautions, we anticipate that many of his friends and collaborators will turn up in Paris to pay tribute to his legacy and work. Brain Dead’s Tremaine Emory tweeted “Virgil’s Plan” earlier this week, alluding to the idea that Abloh had done some legacy planning for Vuitton’s next chapter. Whatever comes down the runway on Thursday this is a guarantee: There will not be a dry eye in sight.
How Will Nigo Rethink Kenzo?
Nigo will be the first Japanese designer at Kenzo since Kenzo Takada himself. His debut collection on January 23 at 11 a.m. CET is likely to combine the Nigo signatures we all know, from graphic patterns to a roomy silhouette, with updates to Takada’s exuberant and elegant ready-to-wear. When he was appointed to the role, Nigo said, “Kenzo-san’s approach to creating originality was through his understanding of many different cultures. It is also the essence of my own philosophy of creativity. Inheriting the spirit of Kenzo san’s craftsmanship to create a new Kenzo is the greatest challenge of my 30-year career, which I intend to achieve together with the team.”
Last Question: How Much Does Men’s Fashion Week Matter in the Ye-lenciaga World?
Men’s fashion week has long been the less buzzed about, more experimental brother to the women’s ready-to-wear season, although Ye and Demna’s relationship and Gap collab challenges that runway paradigm entirely. When all the eyes—and click-to-buy fingers—of a new generation of menswear shoppers are looking to Ye’s daily date nights with Julia Fox for style inspiration, how much does a runway show really matter? Men’s style has always been borne from the streets, and few understand this better than Ye and Demna who are refracting wearable, utility-driven menswear back to their customers through real-life experiences. With a smaller celebrity presence at the shows thanks to Omicron, the Ye-lenciaga model is only growing stronger.