In the 20 years since its inception, Agentry PR's New York Men's Day has become a mainstay of New York Fashion Week. In a season overflowing with stodgy and exclusive runway events, the sprawling two floors of NYMD are always a welcome reprieve, providing guests, stylists and editors with a much more malleable and inviting opportunity to take in some of the most interesting burgeoning designers on the scene. From Sebastian Ami to Kent Anthony, Tarpley and Clara Son, these are some of our favorite labels that showcased at the 20th anniversary of New York Men's Day during NYFW S/S24.
Get to Know the Burgeoning Designers of New York Men's Day for NYFW SS24
Ami's collection, entitled "Camping," was an homage to not only the aesthetics of nature, but the sense of community cemented by excursions in the outdoors. The color palette of the collection was inspired by a 1966 photograph the eponymous designer had found of Mt. Ranier, and "when you squint your eyes, you can actually see the color palette all throughout every single model."
It's really about the concept of togetherness and the concept of bringing family and friends together.
- Sebastien Ami
When we dive deeper into the ethos of the collection, he tells me: "It's really about the concept of togetherness and the concept of bringing family and friends together. And the happiness and experiences, all of these things that really help shape who we are as people. When you're with your family and friends and when you are camping, you're actually sharing things, right? All of these pieces are completely interchangeable. We wanted to be able to push that boundary."
In his second appearance at New York Men's Day, Kent Anthony again returned to his experience as a track and field athlete and industrial designer:
"ID is always going to be the foundation of my design process. This season is again relating back to track and field. After last season, I felt like I had gotten into a big championship. Now it's time to really start running. I really wanted to be able to encapsulate the energy, the work, the ups and downs that I've learned to deal with on the track and now that I've found myself dealing with in the fashion world."
Blue is—for me—a color that is always associated with hard work.
- Kent Anthony
Anthony's previous work dealt primarily in black and white, so I was curious to hear more about the invocation of a vibrant blue within the collection:
"On the track, I spend a lot of time on the ground absolutely dog tired, because I just got killed from a workout. So blue is—for me—a color that is always associated with hard work. And there's a sense of victory within just putting all you have out there. Being able to sit back and be like, I did my thing here. And so it just feels appropriate to bring it into this season."
Clara Son was showcasing for the second time in New York Fashion Week, opting to do one collection a year. Her previous collection was all about bugs, and she tells me that she brings her traumas and fears into her work as a means of transforming their meaning:
"Mostly what I did with my previous collections is that I focus on my traumas. I think fashion is great medium to bring that negativity and turn them into beautiful artistry."
I think this collection provides a powerful message.
- Clara Son
"This year I was focusing on this term called 'trypophobia'," she tells me, gesturing to the models strutting around the sun-lit room in garments punctuated by holes or other circular imagery. Trypophobia is a repulsion to repetitive patterns of holes—the central aesthetic of the collection. "When I look at it, it really deeply disgusts me. So I really wanted to just boldly come and use this as a tool to just get over with it. And I think this collection provides a powerful message."
This was Tarpley's first ever full collection, and a womenswear collection is set to drop next month. The simultaneously technical and immensely cozy clothing was styled on a series of models shoulder to shoulder, each carrying a disparate prop as part of a practice of giving each model their own story—designer Tarpley Brooks Jones explains to me.
"It's called Softwear. Natural fabrics, technical garments. I took fabrics that are more associated with home wear or cozy areas and recontextualized them into cool technical garments," he explains the design of the collection.
To me, it's not just enough to make clothing. There's got to be something there that has a story.
- Tarpley Brooks Jones
Regarding the perhaps unorthodox styling of the showcase, Tarpley tells me: "You style clothes, but for me, my models, they've got to have a background. They're a meme to me. So that's our Tennessee farmer goes to fashion week," he tells me this as he motions over to a model, cocooned in beige and tan technical garb who is also cradling a shovel. "This is our New York real estate investor goes to Wyoming to survey land," he points to a model cartoonishly surveying the room with binoculars. "To me, it's not just enough to make clothing. There's got to be something there that has a story."
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