Landlord Breathes New Life into the Working Man’s Uniform
Six years ago Daniel Huang inherited his father’s clothing manufacturing company, Fashion Queen Management. Since the 80s, the company has operated overseas fulfilling military contracts to produce military uniforms and bulletproof vests. Huang’s interest in fashion spurred him on to found his own menswear label “Landlord” in 2015. His label still shares a space with Fashion Queen Management, and the military uniforms created there have strongly influenced Landlord’s work wear inspired collection. Huang met his creative director Ryohei Kawanishi, and pattern-maker Naoki Masuda at a Parsons MFA showcase. Kawanishi also had a strong affinity for military styles and says “In Japan, where I’m from, American military uniforms are turned into Japanese streetwear.” For his MFA thesis, Kawanishi presented a dress made entirely from a military-style backpack. This made Kawanishi the perfect fit for Landlord’s workwear aesthetic. Landlord debuted their Men’s Spring 2017 collection at New York Men’s Fashion Week titled “Please Excuse Our Appearance.” The collection is an ode to blue-collar workers everywhere, and was also partly inspired by the German contemporary artist Isa Genzken. Genzken’s installation of uniformed mannequins informed Kawanishi’s mix of urban street wear juxtaposed with modern contemporary art influences.
For spring, Kawanishi injected bold flashes of neon fluorescent hues to punch up the utilitarian workwear. Many of the work wear staples, including construction-worker garments, oversize tracksuits and traffic safety vests were painted in bright shades of neon pink, acid green and deep blue to give the collection a sense of playfulness. Other streetwear influences were seen in the long neon belts used to cinch many of the shorts and trousers, and highlighted on the many oversized shirts and wide-leg cropped trousers. Landlord’s tribute to New York’s urban environment features reflective materials and neon plastics on half-zip tees and loose basketball style shorts. The backdrop for Landlord’s Spring show included a scissor lift, random stacks of newspapers and pipes emanating form the ceiling, mirroring a real life construction environment. The set provided greater context for the wearable work wear. The collection boasts versatile menswear staples that can be easily mixed and matched, like a pair of white, tan and navy above-the-knee shorts with any number of nylon bomber jackets. A bright orange nylon shirt with matching shorts was layered over a hoodie and traffic safety vest. The beauty of the collection is the versatile layering options that allow the user to create a whole series of unique silhouettes.