3 Standout Designers From New York Men’s Day

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Leandro Justen

A recent Launchmetrics study revealed that New York Men's Fashion Week generated a mere €2.1M in media impact value, where London, Paris, Florence and Milan's male-focused shows generated a combined €113M. To put that in perspective, that's only 1.82 percent revenue generated of all international men's presentations.

One initiative is hoping to flip that script.

Conceived to nurture emerging talent and consolidate top menswear designers in one venue, New York Men's Day, housed in New York's Financial District, featured 10 different designer's collections on February 4th this year. This format, while used for large trade shows, hasn't been adopted by the fashion week scene quite yet. But, NYMD is out to prove that it should.

Agentry PR, which was founded in 2010 by Erin Hawker, produces and executes New York Men’s Day. “I’m so excited to be presenting NYMD for our 11th season. We are at a point where we provide an important platform and foundation for emerging brands to showcase their collections where they might not have had the opportunity to do so elsewhere," said Hawker.

These are the three designers that blew us away and are helping to put NYMD on the global fashion map.

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Leandro Justen

David Hart

Founder: David Hart

Education: Fashion Institute of Technology, BFA in Fashion Design

Inspiration: ’90s Boy Bands

The Piece We Love: The Black Tuxedo Jacket

Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, David Hart began designing clothing at a young age. At 17, he received the Fashion Group International Scholarship Award and moved to New York City to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2004, he received his BFA in fashion design. Over the next seven years—while designing for Anna Sui, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren—Hart refined his skills, debuting his first menswear ready-to-wear collection in 2013 under the label David Hart. In 2015, he was among GQ’s Best New Menswear Designers and a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

Inspired by the heyday era of boy bands like the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and 98 Degrees, five men wore crisp suits and walked to pop music from the ’90s. Neutral suiting and sneaker combos, turtlenecks and classic tuxedo details stole the show. 

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Leandro Justen

Krammer + Stoudt

Founder: Mike Rubin

Education: San Francisco Art Institute and California Institute of the Arts

Inspiration: SoCal in the ’70s plus Surf and Skate Sub-Culture

The Piece We Love: The Leopard Jacket and Cowboy Boots

Krammer & Stoudt is directly inspired by Creative Director Mike Rubin’s life experience. Drawing from subcultures of Southern California (where Rubin was born and raised), the gritty and independent energy of Brooklyn (where he lives today and creates the collections), and the soul of the Southwest (where he chooses to decompress).

Almost always seen with a lit cigar, Rubin is the embodiment of the brand’s aesthetic, mature yet ageless in appeal, with an eclectic personal style that reflects his love of classic American design. With K&S, the goal is to establish a new American menswear vernacular that speaks to a global contemporary client, but also for luxury and sophistication in materials and execution.

The collection was presented on a series of three sets. Modelo beer bottles and caps littered the scene and cowboy boots dotted each outfit. The clothes felt like Americana at its finest, calling on a beer-on-the-porch lifestyle and IDGAF attitude.

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Leandro Justen

Ka Wa Key

Founder: Ka Wa Key Chow

Education: Royal College of Art

Inspiration: Hong Kong and Asian Culture

The Piece We Love: The Corduroy Separates

KA WA KEY is a London-based gender-fluid label which reimagines traditional textile crafts and reworks everyday streetwear with an unusual balance of simplicity and soft masculinity.

This collection's presentation was the most striking and memorable of the day. A projector was on the floor, flooding the space with directional, white light. The models began to dance—or really just move—in an organic, symbiotic manner, slowly shedding their clothes. The performance was unusual, and therefore one to remember.

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