Last week, New York played host to PROJECT NYC, a carefully curated menswear trade fair, which, in a nutshell, forecasts the upcoming season’s notable trends. For the first time ever the three-day event also included PROJECTsole NYC, a portion dedicated to shoes. Despite the ensuing blizzard outside, buyers and retailers gathered to browse collections from around the world—think contemporary sportswear and premium denim as well as Italian furs and intricate Japanese design. From 16-month-old companies to trademarked brands like Scotch & Soda, it was a small-scale Pitti Uomo brought to the island of Manhattan. Unique brands with innovative ideas hid amongst the rows of fitted jeans, leather brogues and tailored suits. While meandering around Pier 94 for hours, we noted the garments and shoes that caught our eyes. Read on for some of our top picks.
Greenwich Vintage & Co.
If you are unfortunate enough to have to adhere to strict business attire, Greenwich Vintage will bring some style back into your daily wardrobe. By sending the company a pair of shoes, you can add color and texture to your black suit ensemble—even if only on the bottom of your feet. The company receives your shoes and builds a custom sole that you design from a variety of templates. Pre-soled shoes are also available online.
Shipley & Halmos
Founded by CFDA Award-winning designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos, Shipley & Halmos displayed a wide array of garments from fuzzy shearling coats to corduroy flat-billed hats. The designers design pieces to fit into every man’s wardrobe, including their own. We particularly loved a 100 percent waterproof jacket with its interior corduroy detail and exterior waterproof zipper pocket. With its detachable hood and soft material, there is no need to reserve this jacket only for the rain.
Slate and Stone
If you need a wardrobe staple with an added bit of flair, Slate and Stone has you covered. We particularly adored the prints on classic button up shirts, like maroon floral on chambray and vintage orange and white bicycles on olive green.
We’ve known and loved Camper for a long time, and this season they have embroidered high-tops that we simply can’t resist. Available in a range of background colors, the embroidery depicts exactly what we never thought we’d see on a shoe: two people having sex, penis detail and all. Yes, that’s right. Camper you already had us, but now we’re hooked. (Not to mention the sneakers also feature the brand’s signature Himalayan sole.)
We all know the best leather comes from Italy and this Italian brand lured us in with their creative use of the material. Rather than stereotypical entirely leather coats, Etxeberria primarily employs leather as an accent alongside voluminous furs.
Sage de Cret
Sage de Cret’s display may have been small, but inside were many hidden gems. The brand applies Japanese culture–which is deeply rooted in great finesse–to their designs. Each stitch is meticulous and although the aesthetic is generally militaristic, the garments are slim and fitted. Every detail serves a purpose. The crown jewel of the collection? A multifaceted utilitarian coat. We were drawn toward the fur lining only to learn that the lining itself could be removed and worn alone. It might be categorized as menswear, but women, we could totally pull it off too.
Guys, cargo pants are back and they don’t seem to be going anywhere. We cringed at the thought too, but nearly every brand had at least one pair of cargos. Many were tailored and far less bulky than, say, a pair of Carhartt pants, but Outclass had our favorite. Their streamlined, single pocket design and slim fit made these cargo pants more like an everyday, go-to kind of pant, rather than a dreaded trend we avidly aim to avoid. The Toronto based brand claims to bring a “Canadian twist to contemporary menswear,” and if cargos are in the future, we’ll take the Canadian spin anyday.
Audience by Petrou\man
For only the second season of a fusion line, the Audience by Petrou\man FW ‘14 collection on display was cohesive and well formed. Audience brings the wildly colorful and hand-dyed garments of its father brand, Petrou\man, to a wider range of people with its lower price point. Rather than 40 hours of hand embroidery over the dye like Petrou\man garments usually incorporate, the focus of this line is color and texture. Between fur ankle boots and nomadic pants, shirts and jackets, the focus is perfectly defined.
Now can we please talk about these pants? Leggings for men have officially arrived. Sergio Davila, a Peruvian brand now based in New York, brings a level of comfort to their clothing without forgoing style. Granted, you’ll have to be a daring soul to pull these off, but we bow down to those of you confident enough to do so.
Scotch & Soda
Last but not least, the brand whose bowties we will always wear. You already love them as much as we do, however something new at Scotch & Soda caught our eyes: quilted t-shirts. The heavy material is ideal for fall weather and you cannot go wrong with the bold patterns. And of course, as per usual, their jeans, sweaters and coats are all on our wishlist.