With the second season of New York Fashion Week Mens taking place earlier this month, menswear was on display to tease us for what we can expect during Fall/Winter 2016. From Feb 1st - Feb 4th, designers showcased an array of outerwear, denim, accessories and more. Each night, a major designer closes the day’s events at Clarkson Studios, the hub of menswear shows for this much anticipated CFDA backed platform. On the final night of NYFWM, Todd Snyder (far right backstage at NYFWM FW16) and his eponymous collection closed the Fall/Winter 2016 season with looks that are bound to be on the must have look of men. They showcase the bridge between structured suiting and the luxe nature of what athleisure and premium fabrication, craftsmanship, military tailoring and a distinct New York aesthetic. In 2011, he launched his line in Fall exclusively in premium retailers including Bergdorf Goodman, Ron Herman and Neiman Marcus. In the following year, his line was picked up by Barneys New York and select Nordstrom stores. The Americana designer continued to obtain notoriety with a nomination from the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear and was named one of GQ’s Best New Menswear Designers. In 2013 he was selected as one of the esteemed CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists.
Before attending his show, we had the opportunity to sit down with the man himself to talk about his upcoming collection (including get a sneak peek on the line from the designer whose last name literally means, “one who makes outer garments”), retail store and his collaboration with heritage brands such as, Timex. In addition, Giorgio Galli (to the left), Timex Design Director was also on hand to talk about the importance of the watch brand’s focus on maintaining their rich heritage as well as continuing to innovate.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What fashion houses did you work with prior to creating your namesake brand?
TODD SNYDER: I studied textile and clothing design at Iowa State University and learned the art of cutting and sewing at the Des Moines haberdashery, Badowers. During the next two decades, I honed my skills here in NY. I designed outerwear for Polo Ralph Lauren, was the Director of Menswear for the Gap and SVP of menswear at J. Crew. While there I revamped men’s styling, introduced formalwear and launched a number
of collaborations with heritage brands that to this day I still see people wearing. Being able to curate these items during my time at J. Crew was a great experience.
AM: What are the inspirations that you drive you within your collection?
TS: I really like the classics and love being able to go into the archives to bring back something that I used to wear or would have liked to have worn. I like attention to detail, great fabrics and having a bit of rustic charm.
AM: What is the “Gentleman Explorer”?
TS: My collections start with a scene and place. When I started this one, I thought of Mount Everest. Throughout the collection there is a mixture of suits that are styled under jackets to showcase its active nature with tailoring and vintage. The “Gentleman Explorer” merges classic style with my Iowa roots. The collection has raincoats, shearling coats, sweaters, etc. that reimagine activewear staples for the Todd Snyder man. These pieces work with you and are effortless, and to that end, partnering with Timex with this collection was a natural synergy of this idea. Watches are an essential accessory and I love going back to the classics.
Giorgio Galli: Working with Todd is mutually beneficial as we love to do what we do best and he really gets what our brand is about. We truly feel that he is one of the best classic American designers which fits with who we are.
AM: How will the Timex Red Wing watch (featured in the show) come about in the collaboration?
TS: I love going through the the archives of my watches and seeing great designs that I owned or wish that I had owned. Timex has been a great brand to partner with in the past and when I was at their design studios in Tokyo, I saw a watch that grabbed my eye. It was Red Wing leather that was made in the US but the face was a Timex watch. I knew that I wanted to bring it to the US.
GG : Working with Todd is mutually beneficial as we love to do best and he really gets what our brand is about. We truly feel that he is one of the best classic American designers which fits with who we are.
AM: In addition to the Timex Red Wing watch, will there be additional watches within your line?
TS: Yes we will roll them out throughout the year. I am really excited about the revived Bullseye which is a classic military watch from the 70s. It’s really cool and comes in two strap options, olive and navy. I have always been a fan of their watches because they were meant for the military. A number of the designs were created by Timex to supply troops during World Wars with truly wearable timepieces. This makes sense to my brand as I focus on heritage and utility.
AM: With this mix, what statement is being made in terms of where menswear is going in American fashion?
TS: There is a focus on elevating activewear and modernizing it. This is something that we have done with our collaboration with Champion and their sweatshirts. There is a new way where guys are still dressed up but they’re dressing less formally. Even I find myself wearing sneakers more than anything.
AM: With your brand being acquired by American Eagle, what does this mean for expansion and your stores - including the soon to open,
New York flagship?
TS: The acquisition allows me to go forward on collaborations that I may not have without the support. For the flagship, I see it as a place where a guy can come in and get everything they need in one place from something for the gym to going out at night. In addition, it’s about providing an assortment of curated items from a number of brands and including them in the product mix in a way that is differentiated.