Mens Designer Luxury

Marios Schwab Adds Masculine Magic to Zeus + Dione Collection

Marios Schwab Adds Masculine Magic to Zeus + Dione Collection

LONDON — For the better part of three years, Marios Schwab has been focusing on the female element of Zeus + Dione, the Athens-based ready-to-wear label cofounded by Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis, an investor, champion of local craftsmanship, and the wife of Greece’s prime minister.
Schwab’s clothing and accessories collections for the label have been a hit, selling at stores including Net-a-porter, Matchesfashion and Neiman Marcus, and he knew it was time to take the next step and launch menswear.

“I thought — hold on — the collection is called Zeus and Dione. So where’s Zeus in all this?” said Schwab, referring to the fearsome king of the gods of ancient Greece.

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A cream linen double-breasted blazer and embroidered shirt from Marios Schwab’s new menswear collection for Zeus + Dione.

“I was taking everything step by step, but I thought the 10-year anniversary of the brand was the perfect time to bring in menswear,” Schwab said in a video interview from Athens.

The half-Austrian, half-Greek Schwab joined the label as creative director in 2020 in the thick of the pandemic. He moved back to Athens and has dedicated himself to Zeus + Dione after putting his signature label, and other consultancies, on hold.

His first menswear collection debuted for resort 2024, and embodies his and the founders’ original mission to highlight, and preserve, Greek craft.

The new collection showcased his work with Athenian tailors, who helped him create fluid, wide-leg trousers and roomy double-breasted jackets. It also highlighted his collaboration with local shirtmakers on styles that Greek men wore from the 1920s through the 1940s.

The collection’s jacquard woven silk, and silk cotton, fabrics tapped into the traditions of the town of Soufli in northeastern Greece, while certain textures and patterns were inspired by the traditional clothing of the sponge divers of Kalymnos.

Schwab also looked to the gold and silversmithing heritage of Ioannina in the northwestern part of the country and to the coppersmith workshops in Piraeus and northern Greece.

He worked copper into hardware and wove gold and metallic silver threads into many of the pieces, including a citrine shirt with rolled sleeves that was as rich and warm as a summer sunset.

A look from Marios Schwab’s new menswear collection for Zeus + Dione.

The season’s narrative, he said, “started with the sound of tools, and with the craftsmen and women who to this day have been preserving artisanal traditions in the different regions of Greece,” Schwab said.

The designer also looked to what he calls the “golden era of Greek craftsmanship, poetry, literature, music of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.”

Black-and-white images of the Greek people and landscape by Irving Penn, Erwin Blumenfeld and the female photographers Voula Papaioannou and Nelly’s, also offered inspiration.

Schwab’s menswear collection, which debuted alongside women’s during a show in the port of Piraeus, Athens, sat at the crossroads of east and west.

Elegant pinstripe suits came with wide-leg trousers and open collar shirts with artisanal embroideries from an atelier in Argos.

A double-breasted cream linen jacket was paired with crinkly harem-like pants. Other suits were cinched at the waist with narrow belts and had military rigor, while some formal jackets were fastened with a single, silvery button.

While tailoring played a big role, there was a strong workwear element, too.

Models wore roomy trousers, white shirts with the sleeves rolled high on the arm, and scarves knotted around the necks. In some cases, Schwab finished off the looks with closed or open-toe sandals, cross-body bags with tassels, and Mykonian fisherman’s caps.

A runway look from Marios Schwab’s debut menswear collection for Zeus + Dione.

Schwab said he’ll be doing coed collections going forward and they will always weave Greek artisanal traditions together with a modern approach to dress.

He’s proud to be making these collections and it’s clear that he loves communing with the tailors and artisans.

“You need to win their respect in order to get into their world and once you do that, once you have a connecting point, it’s such a beautiful thing. You learn so much from them, but I hope they can learn also from us and our synergies,” Schwab said.

He likes working with older artisans, in particular, and said he’s hoping to inspire younger generations to take their heritage seriously and to preserve Greece’s artisanal skills in the face of rapid-fire tech developments and industrialization.

“This is something that is very close to me. I look at the Athenian streets sometimes and it’s exciting to see all of the new hotels, but then you take a closer look inside and the aesthetic is ‘globalized,’ and [not Greek], which is a shame,” Schwab. said

He believes it’s important for Greece to “preserve its aesthetic values and the characteristics that signify us,” said Schwab, who’ll continue to keep Zeus, and his wardrobe, top of mind.

How Soccer Players Became Fashion’s Latest ‘It’ Boys

How Soccer Players Became Fashion’s Latest ‘It’ Boys

Soccer and fashion may have sounded like an unlikely match until recently, but players worldwide are increasingly being noticed by fashion brands and, for their part, are embracing the fashion game more openly.
To be sure, soccer has long been associated with strong masculinity and an interest in fashion — beyond uniforms and sweats — wasn’t really considered appropriate.

In the late ’90s and early Aughts, players including David Beckham contributed to cement the “soccer look” that was glitzy and oftentimes cocky, too — think creative hairdos and logoed attire. But conservatism soon took over, stalling early fashion experiments, which were traded for no-effort activewear.

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How things change. Social media and the constant exposure of players — very much linked to lucrative deals on and off the field — now appear to be as important as the marvel they perform on the pitch.

Although marketing-savvy fashion companies with a viable menswear business — from Paul Smith and Thom Browne to Diesel, Boss and Armani — have long known the advantages of dressing sports champs, the fashion folks have recently jumpstarted partnerships that tend to skew more personal and focused than in the past.

They reflect both the players’ openness to express themselves creatively and to affirm their attitudes toward social and cultural issues as well as fashion’s need for value-driven ambassadors.

For some observers, in fact, fashion’s renewed interest in soccer leans on the values the new generation of players embody rather than the popularity of the sport itself.

“Sports have become vehicles for promotion and single players are currently higher in demand than whole teams, and niche disciplines are gaining momentum versus sports that would typically attract a huge following,” says Alessandro Maria Ferreri, a luxury consultant and owner of consultancy The Style Gate.

Fashion brands are seeking to spotlight the personality behind the athlete and looking for values that align with those the brands promote, he believes.

The conformist mentality of the past that led players to skew conservative in their fashion choices to align with the then-hyper-masculine environment of the sport would present a risk for brands now as they seek to celebrate inclusivity and open-mindedness.

However, that’s no longer an issue.

“I feel that the next wave of representation in the soccer community will shine a light on the voice of a more inclusive generation in sports,” says Rachael Gentner, director of activewear at trend forecasting firm Fashion Snoops.

Kylian Mbappé shot by Brett Lloyd for Dior.

Brett Lloyd/Courtesy of Dior

“We used to view athletes through a lens of unattainable perfection — and now that focus is softer, offering a chance for us to connect with our heroes in a more relatable way,” she adds.

Indeed, the sport’s dynamics have changed for good and soccer players seem to enjoy toying with fashion, as much as athletes from other disciplines have been doing for much longer.

“Marketing strategies in sports, once reserved to soccer, have broadened across disciplines, it’s more about the athlete as a role model than the sport itself,” Ferreri says.

Examples can be found in Gucci tapping into a diverse roster of sports to pick its athlete ambassadors, including tennis stars Jannik Sinner and Serena Williams.

These ambassadors across disciplines — think Lewis Hamilton fronting Valentino’s latest Pink PP campaign — come with huge followings and soccer is the one sport amassing the biggest. According to FIFA, it counts 5 billion fans across the world.

“When luxury brands and high-fashion designers approach these players to model for their collection, they recognize that they are not just receiving an athletic spokesperson, but their massive fan base as well,” Gentner says.

Cases in point: Soccer players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi regularly top the list of the most followed celebrities on Instagram and they both have ventured into fashion with lounge- and activewear-leaning lines.

“These soccer communities are truly global, offering a unique opportunity to connect across thousands of teams and clubs while allowing individuals to identify as a fan in a more communal and inclusive way,” she notes.

At the same time, soccer has increasingly trickled down to the fashion collections and not just because brands linking with soccer teams offer themed capsule collections. Wales Bonner’s spring 2023 runway at Pitti Uomo last June offered a fashion-y reinterpretation of the Adidas Samba, a classic indoor soccer sneaker, while Aimé Leon Dore and New Balance have tapped Arsenal champion Bukayo Saka to front the “Made in U.K.” campaign spotlighting soccer-inflected gear.

Here, WWD Weekend highlights the most recent fashion moments happening off the soccer pitch.

Real Madrid’s player Karim Benzema, an avid eyewear collector, has recently forged ties with Jean Paul Gaultier to unveil a reedition of the signature oval-shaped metallic sunglasses known under the code 56-6160. Popularized in the ’90s by such personalities as Tupac, they are now available in three colorways. Benzema fronts the campaign imagery and a video where he is seen strolling around Parisian landmarks amid a gold-tinged sunset.

Karim Benzema starring in Jean Paul Gaultier’s eyewear campaign for the reissued 56-6160 style.

Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier

Adidas’ friends of the house Paul Pogba, Jude Bellingham, David Alaba, Serge Gnabry, Trinity Rodman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all fronted images as part of a content creation activity featuring the Adidas x Gucci collection. According to data crunching firm Launchmetrics, the entire Adidas x Gucci campaign generated $75.8 million in media impact value, or MIV, with its online component amassing $167,000 in MIV. In particular, Real Madrid’s Alaba has been toying with fashion freely, showing a dress-up penchant and gravitating to brands such as Dior, Maison Margiela, Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta. He has appeared on the covers of GQ Hype and penned a curation of fashion items for Matchesfashion.

Dior tapping Kylian Mbappé late last year as global ambassador for the French fashion house’s men’s division and its male fragrance Sauvage generated $2.8 million in MIV, according to Launchmetrics. Mbappé’s appointment came after Dior kicked off a two-season collaboration with the Paris Saint-Germain club, where the French soccer player has been its star striker since 2017. In addition to boasting 72.4 million followers on Instagram alone, Mbappé embodies modern players’ values. He is involved in a number of charity initiatives, sponsoring the “Premiers de Cordée” association, which provides sporting initiatives for hospitalized children and founding “Inspired by KM,” an association that aims to inspire children to reach their goals. Among his other fashion gigs, the soccer champion is a Hublot ambassador.

Soccer athletes now aspire to couture, too. Last July at the age of 19, Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga walked the Balenciaga couture runway show, the house’s 51st and the second since creative director Demna rebooted it after a 53-year absence. He shared the catwalk with celebrity models including Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, Dua Lipa and “Selling Sunset” star Christine Quinn. Launchmetrics estimated that his appearance generated $585,000 in MIV. He followed in the footsteps of current FC Barcelona wing-backer Héctor Bellerín, who made a surprise walk at the late Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton show in Paris for the men’s spring 2020 runway show.

Balenciaga Couture Fall 2022

Courtesy of Balenciaga

Although it maintains strong ties with the sports community at large, Gucci conscripted Manchester City’s Jack Grealish as its ambassador this year. The wonderboy of British soccer, often referred to as a modern Beckham, is frequently seen sporting Gucci items off-duty and for special magazine features and cover shoots, such as a cover of The Face magazine last May. Launchmetrics estimates that announcement has generated $2.3 million in MIV to date.

Manchester City’s soccer player Jack Grealish, a Gucci ambassador, seen sporting a duffel bag from the brand.

Courtesy of Gucci

In late 2021, Burberry teamed with international footballer Marcus Rashford, a frontman of its campaigns in the past, to support children’s literacy programs, linking with organizations working with disadvantaged children, and helping them develop their skills. As part of the partnership, the brand also donates books and funded the creation of libraries across the U.K., U.S. and Asia.

Pitti Uomo Readies Summer Edition With Wales Bonner, Soulland, Ann Demeulemeester

Pitti Uomo Readies Summer Edition With Wales Bonner, Soulland, Ann Demeulemeester

MILAN — The upcoming edition of Pitti Uomo indicates the menswear industry is moving to embrace the opportunities offered by the sector’s strong rebound, especially in key regions such as the U.S. and Europe.The showcase, which will run from June 14 to 17, is expected to attract around 640 exhibitors, 38 percent of which hail from abroad, offering a good mix of established names and up-and-coming talent. Of the total, 100 brands are joining the men’s fair for the first time.
“We’re not entirely back at it, but the number of exhibitors is already up 50 percent compared to the same edition last year. They are very active…and there’s a lot of enthusiasm to restart,” said Claudio Marenzi, president of organizing body Pitti Immagine, during a press conference here Thursday to unveil the schedule of events.

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Wales Bonner’s fashion show and the much-anticipated exhibition of Ann Demeulemeester, initially supposed to take place last January, are just a few of the events that will take place during the week.
Copenhagen-based street-inflected brand Soulland will present its spring 2023 collection with a fashion show-slash-event at a still undisclosed location as one of the event’s special projects, the other being up-and-coming brand Sapio, helmed by Rick Owens alum Giulio Sapio, who will install a presentation in a box format. This was already tested at Milan Fashion Week last January, as reported, and in Florence, it will be staged at the Galleria Discovery space inside the Fortezza da Basso.
Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of Pitti Immagine, noted the fair expects a fairly strong attendance of about 15,000. This compares with 10,000 last January and 20,000 in 2019. “Big buyers are back; real players in the economy, all the merchants know and feel they need to be in Florence,” he said.
Although there will be no initiatives to attract Russian buyers in light of ongoing sanctions against the country because of the invasion of Ukraine, Napoleone said Pitti Immagine will welcome every attendee and noted how the domestic market in Russia is not flat.
Addressing the havoc wrought by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Marenzi said the area represents around 2.2 percent of total exports of men’s fashion. “We still don’t have exact figures but given its numbers, Russia is still a relevant market but not so crucial,” he said.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the war, exports of men’s fashion are back on track. According to figures provided by Confindustria Moda, they amounted to 7.2 billion euros in 2021, up 13.4 percent versus the year prior. That is still 5.3 percent below 2019 levels.
China represented the fourth most important destination for Italian men’s fashion in 2021, with exports jumping 58.8 percent compared to 2020, but it saw a slowdown in the first quarter of 2022 in light of continued lockdowns that are denting consumer confidence, Marenzi said. This has been compensated by the U.S., where he observed an “exceptionally brisk activity.” Exports to the country increased 12.5 percent in 2021 and while this is roughly 20 percent below 2019, Pitti Immagine’s president forecast the U.S. will represent the main growth driver, alongside Europe.

Offsite events will also animate the city of Florence during the four-day Pitti Uomo, with Gucci officially unveiling its Giardino 25 café and cocktail bar, the latest addition to the Gucci Garden experiential destination, with an event on June 16.
As reported, newly rebooted menswear brand Bagutta is making its debut under the partnership with Castor Fashion and creative direction of Albino D’Amato with a breakfast presentation on the terrace of Pitti Immagine’s headquarters in town, while Superga will throw a bash on June 14 hosted by model Emily Ratajkowski.
In keeping with the previous edition, the Fortezza da Basso fairgrounds will be organized across four main areas called Fantastic Classic; Futuro Maschile; Superstyling, and Dynamic Attitude, the latter dedicated to sportswear brands. The category represents a strong sector within menswear and it will be under the spotlight at the trade show, with sailing lifestyle brand North Sails unveiling its collection with Maserati, BasicNet-owned Robe di Kappa and Fila both returning to the fair and sustainable-minded Ecoalf marking its second attendance.
There will be room for anniversaries, too, as denim company Roy Rogers will fete its 70th anniversary with an event unveiling a short movie directed by Bruce Weber and WP Lavori in Corso, which has been driving the European agenda of sportswear distribution in Europe since 1982, will mark its 40th milestone.
The Superstyling section will feature a selection of green labels called Sustainable Style, first introduced at the onset of the pandemic, with 10 brands hailing from all continents.
Showing its support of Ukrainian designers whose work has been impacted by the ongoing conflict, Pitti Uomo has invited a range of brands from that country to showcase their collections at the fair. The young names include talents outside the fashion realm who are known for their work in pottery and textiles.
As reported, Pitti Uomo will take place as a stand-alone event, discontinuing the recent tradition of combining it with the Pitti Bimbo and Pitti FIlati fairs dedicated to childrenswear and yarn-makers, respectively. The IRL trade show will be flanked by the Pitti Connect digital platform.

Mandelli Opens Atelier in New York as Brand Seeks to Expand U.S. Footprint

Mandelli Opens Atelier in New York as Brand Seeks to Expand U.S. Footprint

Mandelli has a rich history in Italian luxury manufacturing, but the brand has been flying under the radar in the U.S. market. Now the family-owned company is hoping to change that.Last month Mandelli opened an atelier/showroom on 57th Street in Manhattan to raise its profile in America. Although the brand has been selling its high-end men’s wear in the States for a few years to such wholesale customers as Bergdorf Goodman and the Forum Group shops, the showroom is intended to introduce its collection to other retailers and directly to customers, who are invited to visit the atelier to view the line in person and place orders.
Luca Errico, senior new business development manager for Enrico Mandelli SpA, said the brand currently counts around 30 to 35 retail clients in the U.S. and the country represents some 20 percent of the company’s total volume.

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He said that retailers and customers in the U.S. who have experienced the line have been attracted to its strong price-value offering. While the quality and aesthetic is similar to other high-end Italian brands such as Brunello Cucinelli, Kiton and Isaia, the price is lower — although still firmly in the luxury arena. Prices start at around $2,500 for a basic cashmere outerwear piece and include $3,800 for a parka with a fur collar and $9,000 for a full fur coat.
Errico said Mandelli is able to offer more-reasonable price points because it owns its own tanneries and factories. It is also the second-largest Loro Piana customer in the world, according to Errico.
The brand traces its history to the early 1900s when Enrico Mandelli started a business as a leather trader near Lecco in the Lombardy region of Italy. His son, Paolo, joined the business in 1925 and helped the company expand throughout the country. In 1960, the third generation of the family, Paolo’s son Enrico, joined the company and started using its expertise in leather to create garments as well. In addition to leather, the company tarted using other luxury fibers such as cashmere and vicuña for its sportswear pieces.

Looks from the fall collection on display in the new showroom.

By the 1970s, the company began manufacturing for other luxury brands including Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana and Emanuel Ungaro. Thirty years ago, it began marketing its own collection under the Mandelli name, even though it still does work for other brands. In fact, private label manufacturing still represents 30 percent of total sales, Errico said, declining to name current customers.
Outerwear represents the bulk of the business, in natural and technical fibers and exotic leathers, but the brand also offers knitwear, trousers, footwear, bags and accessories. It works a lot in crocodile and Errico said the brand offers the thinnest crocodile leather in the market, 0.4 millimeters. It also offers more than 30 colors of vicuña — both solid and patterns. The fall 2022 Luxury Lifestyle collection includes pieces with cashmere linings, fur collars, suede details and pockets on the sides of garments, which the company said is essential for the American market.
The brand, which has more than 80 styles available for fall, is focused more on luxury sportswear than tailored clothing, a strategy that is paying off as men eschew suits for a more relaxed wardrobe, Errico said.

Mandelli currently operates two stores in Milan and Kiev and another is slated to open in Moscow in the spring. The plan for the U.S., according to Errico, is to open units in New York, Los Angeles and Miami by 2024.
Two seasons ago, Mandelli also introduced a women’s collection and it will be introduced to the American market next month.

Which British Royal Is Heir to Prince Philip’s Style Crown?

Which British Royal Is Heir to Prince Philip’s Style Crown?

LONDON — In a climate-controlled room at Kensington Palace, Edward VIII’s Savile Row bespoke cotton drill safari suit, with detachable sleeves and adjustable trouser lengths, sits folded in a special storage box, not far from the “baby presentation dress,” with a matching silk bonnet, worn by the future King George IV.An ostrich feather cap, with little holes for jewels, that belonged to Henry VIII is yet another item in the 12,000-piece archive of royal and court dress that’s housed between Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace and offers a richly textured timeline of British history.
How about Prince Harry’s gray J. Crew suit? Will the outfit he wore for his Oprah interview in March make its way into the archive? What about the velvet green Reiss jacket that Prince William wore to the Earthshot Prize in November? And where will Prince Charles’ soft and roomy Anderson & Sheppard suits end up? And his patterned ties and pocket handkerchiefs?

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Given the snazzy wardrobes of their ancestors, Charles and his two sons are under sartorial pressure as the heir moves closer to the throne, and further into the public eye. They also have to compete with the famously natty Prince Philip, who died in April, a few months short of his 100th birthday.
The Duke of Edinburgh was famous for his fine dress, and attention to detail, whether he was wearing his favorite Kent & Haste tailored suits, spread-collar shirts and straight-edge pocket square for everyday business; a khaki hunting jacket and flat cap for carriage driving at Windsor, or the glittery, gold braided naval regalia for formal occasions.

Stella McCartney and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales in Cornwall during the G7 Summit.
Courtesy of Stella McCartney

Ralph Lauren described Philip’s style as “a quiet kind of elegance, understated and unfashionably fashionable. His timeless sophistication made him the epitome of a true gentleman.” Thom Browne referred to it as “effortless and sophisticated,” while Tommy Hilfiger noted that the late prince’s sense of dress was “very respectful of others, which is more important than anything one could ever wear.”
Charles and his sons just don’t have that old world charm, and ferocious attention to detail, that Philip possessed even in his last years of failing health. The three royal scions take different approaches to dress, and whether or not they happen to be chic, they remain trendsetters because of who they are.
Tailors up and down Savile Row say their customers are already asking for morning coats like the ones that Charles and his sons wore to Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle earlier this year.
“Prince Philip’s was a big changing point. It was the first time in a long time that the family wore civilian clothing — classic morning coats – rather than military attire,” said Simon Cundey, managing director of Henry Poole & Co., the Savile Row tailor that dressed the likes of William Randolph Hearst and Winston Churchill, and that recently made actor Jason Momoa’s suit for the “Dune” premiere.
Cundey predicted his clients will take inspiration from the funeral, and will be asking for similar morning coats to wear to Ascot next year.
Campbell Carey, head cutter and creative director of Huntsman, said many of his clients already see Prince Charles as a “benchmark” and “tastemaker,” especially when it comes to his morning coat. He said they’re also asking for the quarter-inch braiding on the edges of the lapel and collar, and the narrow, starched “slip” of white fabric that breaks the line between the waistcoat and the shirt.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales are seen in an undated photo circa May 1990.

The tailors said Prince Charles and his sons are among the many celebrity dressers inspiring their customers. And while Charles, William and Harry may not have the star power of, say, Daniel Craig in his pink velvet tuxedo at the “No Time to Die” premiere, or the natty-looking actors in “The Crown,” “Peaky Blinders” or the “Kingsman” film series, they remain lodestars of style.
It isn’t only the Savile Row customer that Charles, in particular, inspires. Catherine Hayward, the former fashion director of Esquire U.K. and a freelance stylist, said the prince has been a regular on the magazine’s Best Dressed list for years.
In September 2017, Esquire did five separate covers of Charles for the Style issue, using images from his younger days with the headline: “The Charles files: A celebration of the ever changing, never changing style of the Prince of Wales.”
“He’s known for being dapper, he’s very detail-oriented and he revs things up with his shirts and ties — he can be quite experimental,” said Hayward. In November, during a trip to Jordan and Egypt, Charles mixed up stripes and geometric patterns on his ties and pocket handkerchiefs, and wore lots of pastels.
Even for engagements on home turf, Charles has been looking sleek in pinstripes and patterned silks.
At COP26 last month, he tucked a handkerchief with a bold, graphic circle pattern into the pocket of his light gray suit. That might have been a bid to impress Stella McCartney, who took the future king to see her sustainable fashion installation at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum during the international summit.

Prince William wearing his green Reiss jacket and rollneck top with his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, at the Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London, England.

Although their styles may differ, Prince Charles and McCartney are kindred spirits when it comes to sustainability, organic farming and the circular economy. Those concerns have long impacted the royal’s wardrobe choices, and may even add to his allure.
“He has been a pioneer of re-wearing — and has an archive of clothes that he’s been wearing for years. He wears them to death,” said Hayward, pointing out that the morning coat Charles wore to Philip’s funeral in April was the same one he donned for Meghan and Harry’s wedding in 2018.

Some, however, would argue there is room for improvement in Charles’ wardrobe.
“Charles was once by far the best dressed – and was voted that by WWD,” said Ingrid Seward, editor in chief of Majesty Magazine. “He is very stylish but has gone a bit over the top with his ‘old clothes look’ and just looks ridiculous with patched shoes and baggy, striped double-breasted suits. Also, his hair is far too long to my mind. He has lost the edge he always once had.”
Seward added that she still loves Charles’ silk pocket handkerchiefs. “I hated the way Philip wore them straight across,” she said.
Beagy Zielinski, the creative director, celebrity fashion stylist and a founding member of the Fashion Minority Alliance, described Charles as “impeccably tailored, dapper, not afraid to dabble in trends.” Ideally, though, she’d like to see him “in a different suit cut, maybe a more straight, with a slightly slimmer trouser would be a bit more modern and form-flattering.”
She also believes that Prince Philip set the style tone for the family, “and always dressed quite cool and effortlessly stylish, almost Bond-esque in his heyday. I think the newer generation is more focused on appearing approachable and ‘normal’ than fashionable, and I think that is fitting for the times we are in,” Zielinski said.
Yet the royal men can only go so far, and have to dress within the parameters of their profession and make those around them feel at ease. They also have to pay for everything themselves, and avoid making any major statements — or the British tabloids would pillory them.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle during a visit to Morocco in 2019.

“There is so much that’s off-limits, and as a royal, you are really dressing for your role, and for continuity,” said Andrew Groves, professor of fashion design at the University of Westminster and the director of the Westminster Menswear Archive, which he established in 2016.
He noted that Philip most certainly dressed for his role in life. “He was not the star, the Queen was, and he also belonged to that bygone era when men were outfitted for specific occasions, like sports, business and the military.”
Groves added that royals generally have a shared sartorial language, and the aim is to dress in a way that is “inoffensive.”

“Prince Charles doesn’t have to dress any way to ‘impress.’ He is already impressive, powerful and puts everyone else at ease with his style,” said Groves, adding that the prince dresses in a very British manner, “like he saw the tailor yesterday. It’s quiet, not shout-y and only you, as the wearer, know how well your clothes are made.”
Observers believe that Princes William and Harry are still finding their feet style-wise, and are very much in tune with their Millennial peers — they don’t wear ties unless they absolutely have to, they embrace the high street — and there isn’t a pocket handkerchief in sight.
They’re also shouting loudly about the hot topics of the day — and dressing in step with their various causes.
Prince William made headlines in November when he showed up to the inaugural Earthshot Prize dressed in a forest green velvet jacket and black rollneck sweater. The jacket was from the high street retailer Reiss, a go-to brand for his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince William is the man behind the Earthshot Prize, which will be awarded by the Royal Foundation to five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism. Each winner receives a grant of 1 million pounds to continue their environmental work.

Betty Ford dancing with Prince Philip, 1976.
Courtesy of Corbis Archive

The jacket said a lot about where William might be headed sartorially: He’s unafraid to break the rules with a rollneck sweater instead of a tie, and he’s careful about spending money (although he does also favor Tom Sweeney, and those suits aren’t exactly cheap). He also displayed a sense of fun by wearing the color green, in a nod to the Earth, and diverging from his usual palette of khaki, blue and white.
Zielinski, who described William’s style as “casual and approachable,” said she’d like to see the prince add a few other colors. “A hunter green or a bordeaux now and then would be refreshing,” she said.
Hayward believes that, moving forward, the younger royals will be conscious of not drawing too much attention to themselves given that Charles wants to see a slimmed-down royal family that’s not too much of a burden on the U.K.’s finances.

Indeed, they’re under pressure — from themselves — and from the British press every single time they stand in front of the mirror to get dressed. Hayward said the press will be asking ,”‘Have they worn it before? Is it upcyclable? How much money did they spend? Did the money come from the public purse?’ It’s tricky, and they have to tick all the boxes,” she said.
And what about Harry?
All eyes are on how his style will evolve now that he’s severed professional ties with the royal family: He can no longer wear his military uniforms, and has ceased to be a working royal attending official events. Plus, he now lives in the hot clime of southern California, which means he’ll need to swap his tweeds and flannels for linens and super-120 wools.
While he’s still trying to find his style, he’s emerged as a great recycler, just like the other men in his family. The light gray J. Crew suit he wore for the Oprah interview earlier this year remains a firm favorite, while his brown suede Oxford and Derby lace-up shoes have become something of a signature.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visits the Field of Remembrance in London, England.

When he can, Harry strips off his tie, preferring an open-neck white shirt and jacket in light or dark blue. And if he’s really feeling casual, he accessorizes with a woven or webbed belt.
Some would even argue that he’s Philip’s style heir.
“Harry is closest to the modern version of Prince Philip: cool, stylishly down to earth. In a way, he has always been more relaxed in his approach to dressing, but now it is more considered and complements that of his wife, who hit the ground running in a wardrobe most can only dream of,” Zielinski said.
She added now that Harry is living in California, she’d love to see him add more color, and maybe even slip on a pair of trainers every once in a while. “Harry now has the most potential for some fashion moments, so it will be interesting to see how this develops, and whether this will be reflective of his activism, or more akin to the Edward and Wallis route.”
Zielinski was referring to Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated the throne in 1936 and married the American double divorcée Wallis Simpson. Although the two lived in exile and were estranged from the royal family, they had fabulous wardrobes, and were the toast of the town, in Paris, the South of France, Germany and the Bahamas.   

Jason Basmajian, the former chief creative officer of Gieves & Hawkes, which holds a number of royal warrants, having initially supplied royal military uniforms hundreds of years ago, would agree with Zielinski about Prince Harry.
Basmajian believes that Harry and Philip have so much in common, including their “outsider” status.
Although Philip was loyal to Queen Elizabeth, he was also independent-minded, stubborn and a force for change within the family. He’d had a tough upbringing and while distinguished in his naval career, was (relatively) penniless when he married Princess Elizabeth.
“They’re both guy’s guys, sporty and military veterans with an explorer’s, adventurer’s spirit. If you look at their pictures as babies, they even looked alike. Like Prince Philip, Harry is a little bit of the rogue royal, and he polarizes people.”
He believes that Harry’s style has “sharpened up” considerably over the years, pointing to the velvet dinner jacket the young royal wore to the evening soirée following his wedding. “He and Meghan were so chic — they looked like a Hollywood couple,” Basmajian said.
“Harry’s style is casual-classic and effortless. It will be interesting to see how that vocabulary will evolve in the years to come.”
And speaking of years to come: Don’t forget Prince George. While he’s only 8, the world will be watching closely as the third in line to the British throne moves into his teens and 20s and no doubt sets a style all his own.

Thom Browne’s Seeks to Inspire With a Vision of Solitude

Thom Browne’s Seeks to Inspire With a Vision of Solitude

Pull up a chair, grab the popcorn and settle in — Thom Browne is taking you on a journey.
The designer has created a 30-minute film that checks all the boxes he has become known for: American heritage-inspired fashion, gender-fluid silhouettes and sports references.

Thom Browne Spring 2022 
Courtesy Photo

The film, which was shown Sunday morning during Paris Men’s Fashion Week, builds on the movies he created for his last two collections: the first in the L.A. Coliseum last October for his spring 2021 line that featured Olympic athletes, and the second one in March that featured Lindsey Vonn skiing down Solitude Mountain in Park City, Utah, in a Thom Browne tuxedo to showcase the fall line.
This version, while just as dramatic, spotlights a single figure — Dominique Hollington, a model and marathon runner, who has worked with Browne for more than a decade.

“He’s one of the guys I’ve used in my shows for a long time and he’s a runner,” Browne told WWD in a virtual interview from Milan. “It was important for me to work with somebody I’d known for a long time. He’s a really young guy, but there’s something really old soul about him. You really felt like this was a true story and he was living this life. I didn’t realize how perfect he was for this until I saw the initial footage and I really believed it.”

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The film, titled “Looking Forward to Tomorrow,” opens with a panoramic shot of an open field and the only sounds are those of birds chirping. Eventually, a lone runner is spotted way off in the distance and the viewer watches while he makes his way through the field on a dirt path created by tire tracks. Hollington is wearing compression tights and top in Browne’s signature gray with red, white and blue accents.
The path ultimately leads him to an open wooden box that Browne created in the middle of field and which replicates his bedroom, complete with a bed, table and chair.
“The initial idea I had was being in the middle of nowhere,” Browne said of the location outside Santa Fe, N.M. “I think there was something really special about conceptualizing how he lived and where he lived — just the beauty of the nothingness is such a part of the film.”
After a good night’s sleep, Hollington dresses in a Thom Browne seersucker jacket and skirt, tops it off with a straw hat, laces on sneakers, puts a shoulder strap bag on his back, grabs a suitcase and sets out walking. He winds up at a coliseum structure where the scene and the music changes. Hollington, the other athletes and the crowd are transformed into figures created from circles, squares, ovals and triangles. These figures compete in sports ranging from swimming and cycling to gymnastics. The last sport is the marathon, where Hollington’s figure is eventually victorious. He then returns to his solitary home in the field.
“I’ve gotten really interested in being able to create moods and show how I approach things in different ways over this year and a half,” Browne said of his move toward movies. “With film, there’s something really special in creating something that can last and tell a story — and that’s what I wanted to do. It was a story to speak to what really inspires you. To me, it’s athletes at the height of the Games but also someone who is confident in their own being and being by themselves. That’s really what this story is all about. Of course, it’s about a runner who has competed against the same runner for his whole career but is very comfortable living his own life and very singularly focused on doing something really well.”
Browne said that although the compression tights and sneakers are new to the collection, the rest of the pieces are familiar. And by having Hollington wear a skirt, it reinforces a direction he feels strongly about.

“The accessories are ideas that have been around for a while and the seersucker has been around since Day One,” Browne said. “And I love the idea of the pleated skirt becoming a part of a man’s wardrobe.”

Thom Browne Spring 2022 
Courtesy Photo

But since Browne is planning to show in New York in September to support to his longtime partner Andrew Bolton, who is curating a show on American fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, this effort was not intended to be a collection reveal.
“Because I’m doing the show in September, I wanted the clothes to be part of his life, but I didn’t want it to be a big part of the story,” Browne said. “I wanted who he was and what he does to be what the film’s all about.”
The film also allowed Browne to remain involved in Paris Men’s Fashion Week, where he’s shown his collection for the past few years. “I feel like I always need to be doing something,” he said. “I had the idea and I really felt strongly about bringing the idea to reality. I love being in Paris and it’s important that I always have a presence in the men’s week in Paris. But I also feel that it’s interesting that I show things differently. Of course, I can do in-person shows and big productions in person, but this being a new approach and image piece is also something that I feel strongly about for men’s wear.”
Browne wouldn’t reveal what he has in the works for New York, but said: “It’s going to be really special. I really put the pressure on myself to do something that is going to make the world see there’s a lot of interesting things happening in America.
“But this film speaks for itself and I want people to just fall into the beauty of it and the solitude of it. The quiet nature of the film and the length of it really speaks to just enjoying it and falling into this beautiful, singular world,” he concluded.

EXCLUSIVE: Berluti Sets New Course, Bids Adieu to Kris Van Assche

EXCLUSIVE: Berluti Sets New Course, Bids Adieu to Kris Van Assche

Add Berluti to the list of fashion’s Frank Sinatras — all doing it their own way.
The luxury men’s wear brand will now set its own schedule for upcoming collections and wind up its collaboration with Kris Van Assche, its artistic director since 2018, WWD has learned.
“In order to maintain our commitment to both savoir-faire and innovation, we have decided to let Berluti lead its own rhythm and give freedom to its presentation schedule,” Berluti chief executive officer Antoine Arnault said in a statement.
The house, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said it would “take a new approach to the collection calendar, choosing its own path for presenting its exceptional products, including collaborative projects and pieces.”

A men’s wear star who succeeded Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme in 2007 and helmed that brand for 11 years, Van Assche brought meticulous tailoring, zesty color, and runway razzmatazz to Berluti, transposing the patinas of its famous footwear to clothing and putting Gigi Hadid in a mint green suit flecked with feathers.

Gigi Hadid walks in Berluti’s spring 2020 show. 
Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

It is understood that Berluti’s decision to forge a different direction coincided with the end of Van Assche’s employment contract, and no successor will be named.
The Belgian designer, 44, told WWD he would finish up some projects and make his final exit from Berluti in a few weeks. “I’m excited about what could be next,” he said.

In his statement, Arnault thanked Van Assche, “who throughout his journey within the LVMH Group has shown remarkable talent in the world of men’s wear. He has brought his own vision to Berluti, particularly by integrating new codes into its signatures.”
Almost synonymous with black suits, Van Assche was upfront that Berluti’s aesthetic was challenging for him, yet he leaned into its heritage to exalt unique features like patinas and the Scritto, an 18th-century manuscript motif. He challenged the maison’s artisans to push this savoir-faire into new areas, building up from a brown leather suit with patina edges in his debut show to the mesmerizing color-gradient clothes presented on April 8 for winter 2021.
That collection, his last, received warm reviews, with WWD noting the designer had “reached a new level of fluency with color” in a collection inspired by the abstract paintings of Berlin-based Russian artist Lev Khesin.

Kris Van Assche 
Dominique Maitre/WWD

During his tenure, Van Assche brought more esthetic coherence across Berluti’s ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear, while propelling the brand into new areas including customized vintage furniture. He created a new visual identity based on letters carved into a wooden shoe tree dating back to 1895, the year Italian founder Alessandro Berluti established himself as a shoemaker in Paris. Van Assche also introduced a new Signature canvas for travel bags and personal accessories.
“I definitely think I became a better designer thanks to my work at Berluti and I couldn’t thank enough my studio and the artisans there,” Van Assche said in prepared remarks. “I have always loved working with ateliers — be that on tailoring or leather goods — and the level of expectations on quality and research was definitely stimulating.”

Acquired by LVMH in 1993, Berluti expanded into leather goods in 2005 and in 2011 recruited Ermenegildo Zegna veteran Alessandro Sartori, who partnered with Arnault to expand the elite cobbler into a lifestyle label for men with complete clothing collections.
Sartori returned to Zegna in 2016, and was succeeded at Berluti for a few seasons by Haider Ackermann until Van Assche arrived amid a designer shakeup at LVMH that saw Kim Jones move from Louis Vuitton to become artistic director of men’s ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Dior, and Virgil Abloh arrive as men’s artistic director at Vuitton.
A graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Van Assche moved to Paris in 1998 and was part of Slimane’s team at Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme before joining him at Dior Homme. He started a signature label in 2005 — two years before he took the top design post at Dior — and put it on hiatus in 2015. Known for youthful tailoring and loads of athletic and workwear influences, the Kris Van Assche collection also dabbled in women’s wear.
Berluti now boasts more than 60 stores worldwide, and offers head-to-toe bespoke services at its workshops on Rue Marbeuf and Rue de Sèvres in Paris. It remains famous for its court shoe fashioned from a single piece of leather without any seams, and its polishing parties — with Champagne as the final buffing element.
LVMH does not break down sales by brand in its core fashion and leather goods business group, which includes Dior, Vuitton, Fendi, Celine, Givenchy and other famous brands. Industry sources estimate the brand generates revenues in the region of 200 million euros.
In the most recent quarter ended March 30, the division saw organic sales in the linchpin division rise 52 percent year-over-year.
Amid the coronavirus crisis and a shift to more seasonless fashions, a host of brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Off-White and Bottega Veneta have set their own timetables for presenting collections.
See also:
Antoine Arnault on Millennials, Respect and Luxury
Kris Van Assche Shutters Own Label
EXCLUSIVE: Kris Van Assche Rebuilding Berluti From the Shoes Up

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