Not everyone is fan, but a moccasin-style shoe is something I’ve been after for some time. It’s not a style that retailers get right for men so I’ve gone without. Until now. Seen on the feet of John Mayer (who seems to be their unofficial spokesman) and Kanye West, these Visvim FBT Elks are definitely on my list. Perhaps just not the white ones. Or are they, I can’t decide.
On a tour of Kanye West’s style diary in mid to late 2013 you would definitely see him rocking every available colour and variation from the collection. He might be a bit of a nob sometimes but the guy has got style. While the suede version are pretty great, we’re here today because of the new Visvim FBT Elk variety.
Available in white, black, tan and brown, these come with knotted leather tassels and moccasin stitching. The fringe is removable if you’re not feeling too daring but still want extremely comfortable shoes. You can get them here.
I do love a good export story. In the second part of ‘Know Your Designer‘ I bring to you Albertus Swanepoel. Born and raised in Pretoria, he began his career as a fine arts graduate turned fashion designer in South Africa before moving to the United States in 1989 with his then wife, Shaneen Huxham. For a time he constructed hats for Broadway shows like Mama Mia! and Shrek, and designed accessories, which lead him to supply Bergdorf Goodman with hand-embellished gloves as a matter of survival after a sportswear company let him go. That’s when he started work on a more summer-friendly means of income, hats, and he hasn’t looked back since.
“I was very shielded,”” he says, fidgeting with a clasp on his watch. He didn’t set eyes on a fashion magazine until he was 17, and while he prefers to keep the details of his upbringing off the record, it suffices to say his youth was bound by many rules. “I think that’s why, really, I ended up in fashion,” he says. After majoring in fine arts (to the chagrin of his parents) at the local university, Swanepoel launched a successful ready-to-wear line, Quartus Manna, in Johannesburg. “I think that repression…gives you this added drive to create beautiful things,” he explains. “Everything else might be so miserable that it’s some kind of escape.”
Today Swanepoel is gaining mainstream success with men, appearing in men’s fashion magazines like GQ and Essential Homme and appearing on the heads of young style-influencers like Jaden Smith and Justin Bieber, particularly the Tahoma hat. Shop the Albert Swanepoel range at Barney’s here.
Photograph by Tony Floyd, via W. Jaden’s photograph from GQ, Justin’s photograph unknown.
If you haven’t been able to get your hands on adidas’ Yeezy Boost 350’s or you have them and you like to accessorise, then you’ll enjoy this. Kickstarter have released an iPhone case which perfectly matches the most coveted sneakers for 2015. Available in dark and light grey, these Yeezy Boost 350 “style” phone cases are not officially from the range Kanye collaborated on, but I’m sure you don’t care.
Personally I don’t care for the 750 high-top style, but these 350s are definitely up my alley. Rumour has it adidas will reveal the latest in the hugely sought-after range as early as next week. Beluga, tan… which are you hoping to be unveiled next?
Family man, actor and occasional model, Matthew McConaughey has been the front-man for Dolce & Gabbana’s fragrance ‘The One’ since 2008. Now on it’s third leg, Dolce & Gabbana invited McConaughey back in studio to take his place as ambassador to the brand.
Photographed by Brigitte Lacombe, the latest fragrance ad features two of his children, Vida and Levi, alongside their famous father, each one looking as if they belong in any of the other Sicilian family-themed advertisements we’ve seen of late. In the latest update to ‘The One’ we have a deeper fragrance in time for winter if you’re stateside, with top notes of grapefruit, coriander and basil and a base of tobacco, ambery notes and cedar-wood. Ginger, Cardamom and orange blossom finish off the fragrance.
I’m personally a fan of the original (I’m wearing it right now!) so I look forward to giving this new addition a try.
Amanda Harlech is a writer and creative consultant who is closely linked to couturiers John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld as their respective muses. Now, one of the fashion industry’s leading authorities is starring in a short film for Fendi, wearing menswear pieces from autumn/winter 2015 to no doubt respond to fashion’s obvious fluidity today.
Set against the Capalbio countryside in Tuscany, this film was directed by Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda, with a mustached Lady Harlech in workwear shirts, patchwork suiting and oversized fisherman sweater as she rows a boat. Watch the film below.
Pictures from: Stuart C. Wilson, Farfetch.com and Vogue.co.uk
Who is Alexander McQueen? Who are any of these designers and why are they important? In the first of Man of the Cloth’s latest series ‘Know Your Designer’, I’ll be working through the phone book to help you understand who a designer or brand is in summary. Think of it as your CliffsNotes for men’s fashion. Whether you’re looking to learn the basics of the designer you love or merely as a conversation starter, Know Your Designer will help.
Born in 1969, Lee McQueen was a British fashion designer and couturier who experienced success straight out of school. His career started in Savile Row, then on to theatrical costume design for Angels and Bermans. After getting his master’s degree from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, his work got noticed (and purchased entirely) by Isbella Blow, who convinced him of a name change. In ’96 he was appointed head designer of Givenchy while continuing with his own label on a more scandalous level. His contract ended in 2001 which was when McQueen really started to thrive creatively.
In 2004 he started his menswear label. Before committing suicide after his mother’s death in 2010 he earned the British Fashion Council’s British Designer of the Year award four times, and was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire. After his death his long-time assistant Sarah Burton took on the role of Creative Director for the brand.
Hennes & Mauritz AB, the retail giant you may be more familiar with as H&M, launched an eight-piece capsule collection by 24 year old Ximon Lee this week. The New York based designer and graduate of The New School’s Parsons School of Design was announced as the first menswear designer to win H&M’s annual design award.
With high fashion leaning further and further into gender-neutral territory it makes sense that Lee’s line, which is available online and in-stores from 22 October, be celebrated for whichever sex you happen to be. He told WWD, “When I started working on the collection with them, they were very open to my opinions. I’m very particular in terms of the color, the material and even when it comes to snaps and zippers, I didn’t want to sacrifice any ideas that I began with. The production went really smoothly,”. His collection is made up of heavily exaggerated shapes and bonded fabric to create wearable versions of this usual work which incorporates material like plastic and cardboard.
No word on whether or not Ximon Lee for H&M will be available from the South African H&M which launches in November in Sandton City, Johannesburg.
Meet Futurecraft, the new adidas 3D printed sneakers you’re definitely going to want for yourself. This week adidas unveiled their latest endeavour into sneaker technology by “creating a flexible, fully breathable carbon copy of the athlete’s own footprint, matching exact contours and pressure points…” no doubt setting an athlete up for the optimal shoe with which to run. It comes down to time, of course; it won’t be long before footscan technologies can be utilised in-store to create your perfect midsole for your running shoes.
From adidas: “Futurecraft 3D is a prototype and a statement of intent. We have used a one-of-its-kind combination of process and material in an entirely new way. Our 3D-printed midsole not only allows us to make a great running shoe, but also to use performance data to drive truly bespoke experiences, meeting the needs of any athlete.”
Not only do these sneakers look great, but the production of the adidas Futurecraft is just so damn cool. Watch the video to see what I mean. What do you think?
Early this year it was said that Concepts’ collaboration with Diadora would produce only 25 pairs that would be reserved for friends and family. Now the sneakers are rumoured to have a release on its way tomorrow, at least that’s what Concepts’ Instagram account suggests.
The money themed sneakers come with premium suede upper inspired by Italy’s 500,000 Lire bank note. I was particularly drawn to the clean The clean color palette features off-white suede accented against dusty tones of green, blue, red and yellow. To further carry the Lire bill theme, the sneakers come with Continuing the Lire theme, each tongue features a Concepts logo mimicking anti-counterfeiting inks that appear on the notes, with insoles lending inspiration from the 500,000 Lire bill, the number of which appears on the side of the shoe. It reminds me of some of the sneaker colour ways from the 80s and 90s, which is probably why I like it so much.
No news on whether it will be available for more than a day, but there’s always eBay, right?
Kris Haigh, the designer of New York based hat label 1K is one of those men who lives their brand. Originally from Halifax in the UK, Haigh now works as Director of Men’s Concept at JCPenney while heading up his own endeavours into the hat industry.
Set against the backdrop of New York City (which alone is cause for following Haigh), his Instagram account boasts 55k+ followers, and offers a look into the life of a trendy, quirky and, well, kind-of-ridiculously-good-looking designer.
He also has the chops for designing head gear. Personally I used to stay avoid caps because someone warned me the lack of air and the added pressure on your head encourages your hair to fall out; that was enough to put me off for ten years. Today however, with a far more casual approach to my dress-sense, I think this would not only serve well as an accessory, but simply too. By checking out Kris’ Instagram you’ll see how he so subtly weaves his hats into mostly two-toned palettes, but basic application. That simplicity speaks volumes of his taste factor and I enjoy his aesthetic very much.
Check out Kris Haigh on Instagram (above) and his online store here.
There’s that David Gandy in his underpants again. Additional pieces to the David Gandy for Autograph collection from M&S (that’s Marks & Spencer for those of you in America) have just been released. The latest pieces we’ve seen from David Gandy for Marks & Spencer really is the perfect compliment to both brand and the face of the brand; the personification of masculinity meets elegance. Talk about living the brand.
Modelled of course by David, these photographs (snapped by the incomparable Mario Vivanco) indicate the new direction taken by Marks & Spencer in their partnership with the British Supermodel. They are sophisticated, classic and are no doubt on my wish list. Who doesn’t want herringbone underwear?
Look forward to loungewear, sweat pants and sweatshirts, in addition to full pyjama sets and who knows, maybe even another swimwear extension to follow.
Click here to see the existing range of David Gandy for Marks & Spencer.
Yesterday we got access to Thom Browne in the studio. Thanks to the New York Times, this series allows us to see what settings different designers work in. I find it particularly interesting as it can show off the designers personality and how that has an effect on their end-product.
The studio, which comprises mostly of marble walls, terrazzo floors and blinds (in grey and white), certainly works as an extension of the brand, Browne even comments that grey is his collection staple.
From the interview:
“I think the tailoring aspect of what I do is very in tune with the way that I live, and my office, and my store, and even my house, because of the uniformity of it, and the rigidity. Especially for women, I love to keep pushing the idea of uniformity, and not so much choice. I think there’s something really refreshing when things don’t change too much.”