As with all things in life, what was once coveted often becomes passé and that is no exception in the world of luxury. Society has evolved and a new generation of men has emerged with wants and needs that, while still sartorial, lack the stuffiness of their father’s generation. We’ll take a look at three menswear brands that have successfully adapted to the modern menswear landscape while retaining an ethos rooted in classic mens style.
When we think of classic menswear styles of our fathers’ generation, we tend to think of golf sweaters and crested blazers worn with a buttoned up, conservative air. Not to say that there is anything wrong with those looks per se, but we are big fans of designers who can update classic looks with a distincly modern feel. Simon Spurr is a fantastic example of no-fuss modern luxury as his collections consistently display the marriage of a modern clean aesthetic paired with classic tailoring. A recent fashion up & comer, his pieces lend themselves to showing off a modern physique in the best possible light with slim cuts and neutral tones. His suits are two button, slim but not hipster-y, with an air that reflects Simon’s European roots, while maintaining the American ethos he perfected during his tenures at Calvin Klen and Ralph Lauren. Spurr’s suits, while beautiful, lack the formality of Brooks Brothers or Hickey Freeman and give you a feeling of pure swagger.
Where he is most interesting is in creating casual pieces that look like they were stolen from an east London hipster. His skinny jeans, fedoras and trenches allow young men to feel comfortable to exploring their youthful, roguish side alongside Spurr’s more buttoned up workplace looks. Check out Simon Spurr’s S/S 2011′s video here:
Gucci is a success story of both branding and reinvention. A brand of humble beginnings dating back to pre-WWI, the house of Gucci was known for high quality handbags and accessories. Quickly rising to celebrity status by the 1950’s, internal issues saw the label dip to frightening lows by the late 1980’s.
Faced with finding a menswear designer who would even consider being associated with the brand, Dawn Mello enlisted a little known American designer, Tom Ford, to help resurrect the Gucci brand. Tom’s ten year reign at Gucci (Frida Giannini took over in 2004) injected a feeling of sexiness and powerful luxury to their menswear division. Ford understood how to modernize the traditional pieces that men of stature had been wearing and successfully crossed all age brackets. He refined pieces such as the classic Italian double breasted tuxedo by slimming the leg and reducing the boxy nature of the jacket. Understanding the emergence of healthy living increasingly becoming a cultural mainstay, he created looks that showed off men with long, clean lines. At the same time he stayed true the brand’s Italian heritage by continuing to utilize their trademark luxurious fabrications throughout every season. Men no longer saw Gucci as an older, almost forgotten brand and instead saw a sexy, luxurious label to aspire to; certainly not a label for the faint of heart.
For gents of a traditional American sartorial bent, few brands have catered to their demands as consistently as Brooks Brothers. Since 1818, generations of American men have turned to Brooks Brothers for it quintessential crisp, clean American aesthetic. Although their suits have modernized over the years to reflect a slimmer look, they still employ a wider lapel and slightly roomier proportions than their European counterparts.
Its success is in the evolution of catering to younger men without wavering from its traditional roots. Its classic navy pinstripe suits, varsity ties and monogrammed shirts are some of the defining pieces of the brands fresh, yet timeless point of view on American menswear.
Whether your style incorporates bowties and crested blazers or slim fit suits and pocket squares, these brands have something to offer every man. What other brands or styles do you think do the best job of mixing classic styles with modern looks? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.
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