When it comes to having a finger on the pulse of the fashion world, there’s no one we trust more than our buyers. They could pick out next season’s top trends while blindfolded. (Hmmm… do we smell a reality TV show in the making?) But their savvy and wherewithal extend far beyond color forecasting or spotting a new silhouette—they could easily take credit for launching the careers of many menswear designers who we all now know and love. Not that they ever would, being the humble crew that they are.
That notwithstanding, we turned to menswear buyer Wanda Colon, VP/DMM of Men’s RTW, for the inside track on who’s been making waves on today’s fashion landscape. And these aren’t only today’s fashion darlings, but a few of tomorrow’s as well. Read on for Wanda’s own words about working with each of these hotter-than-hot and soon-to-ignite designers, and then head over to Barneys.com to see for yourself what all the buzz is about. And as a special added bonus, we also asked her what she’s most looking forward to seeing from each of them next season, but you’ll have to promise to keep it just between us.
Hood By Air
You are more likely to be greeted by a heartfelt, “Hi, Boo!” or, “Hi, Miss Thing,” than a corporate handshake when meeting Hood by Air designer Shayne Oliver. Shayne’s anything-goes ethos is evident in everything he does, and that’s what makes his collection as highly coveted as this season’s ‘it’ bag. With shows that range from including voguers to the occasional Great Dane, Shayne continues to push the envelope, which has garnered him considerable industry nods. He was named runner-up for the 2013 LVMH prize, received an invitation to serve as guest designer for Pitti Uomo 87, and topped off with a recent nomination for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear.
Looking forward to: Fall 2015 wide-leg pleated pants in leather
Alex Carapetian and Alonzo Ester of the LA-based collection LONGJOURNEY are as quiet and as introspective as their collection. Working with them as they show their artisanal menswear line made from reconstructed vintage garments is as informative as a museum visit with a well-versed guide. Every garment from LONGJOURNEY is lovingly touched by Alex and Alonzo and has a story to tell. It’s easy to be swept up by their narrative as you imagine where every item came from and the story behind it.
Looking forward to: Fall 2015 cashmere patchwork coat
FEAR OF GOD and Off White c/o Virgil Abloh
FEAR OF GOD
Jerry Lorenzo was on our fashion radar well before we were introduced to each other by his friend and fellow designer, Virgil Abloh of Off White. One meeting in our office was all it took for us to add FEAR OF GOD to our brand mix. Jerry’s flannels and oversized fleece hoodies have quickly become the uniform of many of our men’s buyers. Barneys is thrilled to have an XO (exclusive) capsule of FEAR OF GOD styles, in stores now.
Looking forward to: FEAR OF GOD, Fourth Collection
Off White c/o Virgil Abloh
The launch of Off White c/o Virgil Abloh can only be described as a series of well-timed coincidences (or as fashion kismet): A visit I took to Chicago led to the coveted email address of Virgil Abloh, who I knew as the designer of Pyrex Vision (his earlier collection), which led to a meeting in Paris over a cup of coffee where we were shown the original concept for Off White. A few months later, we placed an order, sight unseen, for the Spring 2014 collection, and the rest is fashion history. Barneys congratulates Virgil on being a finalist for the LVMH Prize 2015.
Looking forward to: Fall 2015 oversized flannel shirts and blanket scarves
Marcelo Burlon County of Milan
Marcelo’s Instagram bio reads “Creative director, party instigator, DJ, Patagonian-El Bolson based in Milan.” This more than adequately describes the charismatic Marcelo, whose collection under the label Marcelo Burlon County of Milan is as colorful and as vibrant as the designer himself. Marcelo’s t-shirts were the first pieces of his to capture our attention, from the vibrant colors of his ALAS tee to the heavily anticipated Fall 2015 ‘space gaucho’ collection. A visit to the showroom is like listening to Marcelo spin–you never know where his mixes will lead, but you keep listening all the same.
Looking forward to: Marcelo’s upcoming collaboration with Pendelton Woolen Mills on a blanket and leather perfecto jacket