The West Coast Invasion – How Los Angeles is Changing the Way Men Dress
A CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, Chris Stamp has collaborated with Puma, and recently expanded into womenswear. Stampd LA is built on the brand’s signature DNA of contemporary streetwear with a strong military influence that includes knitwear and tailored pieces.
Chris Stamp’s aesthetic is focused on laid back wardrobe essentials such as oversize knits, relaxed trousers and signature strap bomber jackets in muted colors from olive green, navy, gray, and black. Stamp has expanded his footwear collection this season and showed the ubiquitous, Teva style sandals worn with socks, one of the top men’s trend for 2017.
Simon Miller’s Daniel Corrigan and Chelsea Hansford have steered their menswear back to the beginning. The focus? Japanese Denim and artisanal luxe basics, which have made the brand a favorite of indigo junkies since its launch in Los Angeles in 2008. It’s difficult to resist the backstories surrounding their denim development. Where hours of experimenting with treatments in tiny dye houses along Japan’s Okayama prefecture produce some of the finest denim. Simon Miller has now moved 100 percent of it’s menswear production to this part of Japan. Their low-rise, slim-fit Japanese indigo canvas trousers and jean jackets come in various washes, often faded and nicked with an authentic vintage flair.
John Elliott is poised to become a household name with his brand of luxe sporty essentials. Making him one of the most exciting menswear designers in fashion today. In a short span of just two years, Elliott’s star has risen with his burgeoning namesake menswear label that speaks to how young urban men want to dress right now. Elliott approaches every collection with a staple of versatile layers as his starting point ranging from joggers to woven jerseys and quilted outerwear. His spin on sport influenced styles embraces shorts over leggings and military inspired pieces with a contemporary casual spin.
Tokyo-based designer Hiroki Nakamura founded Visvim in 2002. His goal was to create authentic, timeless garments manufactured according to the highest possible standards. The label is focused on heritage designs and cult footwear. Nakamura has an obsession with Americana: blue jeans and chinos, cowboys and ranchers, the whole bit. There’s a twisted sense of “normality” to his aesthetic, being as it is embedded in garments we see every day, even if we’re not American, due to the overwhelming influence that culture has had across the world. Word of mouth and a celebrity clientele has made Visvim an insider’s favorite.
Street casting models for runway shows is common practice these days for designers — but the Japanese menswear brand N. Hoolywood, has been doing it for 15 years. Designer, Daisuke Obana, was working as a vintage dealer in Tokyo 15 years ago when he started making his own clothes. His friend, the stylist Tsuyoshi Nimura, encouraged him to have a runway show, but said it would be better to show the clothes on real guys, not models, so the focus would be on the clothes. The designer has had past collaborations with Reebok, New Balance, Airwalk, Porter, and Avirex, the last producing a delectable glacier-white shearling coat, of which only 40 will be made.
Rio Uribe, a California native living in New York, is the creative brainchild behind Gypsy Sport, a brand inspired by pop culture and urban streetwear. A crowd favorite at New York Men’s fashion Week, Gypsy Sport’s in-your-face gender bending catwalk show push the limits of androgynous menswear. The playful styling of urban sportswear staples featured special touches like feminine lace trim and fringe accented skirts and tunics. Gypsy Sport supremely over the top shows are notable for their creative presentation and flamboyance.
Skingraft is “grounded in performance art-inspired fashion, ” says Johnny Cota. Once a stilt walker in San Francisco vaudeville circus troupe El Circo, Cota initially learned the craft of garment construction from fellow performers as they sewed their costumes on the road. Integral to the brand DNA are second-skin leather motocross jackets and leggings, jogging-style trousers, cropped drop-crotch pants, hoodie jackets, and oversize tunics some crisscrossed with bondage-inspired grosgrain detailing are the perfect thing to wear with combat boots or high-top sneakers.