An Exclusive First Look at Men’s Fashion Week Shows Before They Hit the Runway

Inside the mind of a menswear designer

(Photo: Sean Zanni for Patrick McMullan).

(Photo: Sean Zanni for Patrick McMullan).

The second season of New York Fashion Week: Men’s kicks off today, and we have an exclusive look inside the minds of New York’s top menswear designers set to debut their Fall/Winter 2016 collections. The four day onslaught of runway shows and presentations range from mainstream brands like Nautica and Perry Ellis, to buzzy newcomers like Palmiers du Mal and STAMPD. Below, these designers, and many more, fill us in via e-mail on their concepts for the season with a sentence or two and a shot of their inspiration.

Some, like Hickey Freeman designer Arnold Silverstone, were straight forward, citing inspiration from the winter foliage in upstate New York. Others, like Devon Halfnight LeFlufy, just left us feeling more confused. Tim Coppens didn’t even use English.

Billy Reid: “We wanted to emphasize easy and uncomplicated shapes by blending rich textiles like soft suedes, cashmere twills, camel hair, and yak mixes to create soft tweeds, textured knits, and purposeful luxury outerwear.”

Billy Reid (Photo: Billy Reid).

Billy Reid (Photo: Billy Reid).

John Elliott: “This is our first take at a collection that is meant to predominantly live at night, in darkness.”

John Elliott (Photo: John Elliott)

John Elliott (Photo: John Elliott)

Craft Atlantic: “The new travel-patterns of the modern-day renaissance man, and the collector objects he obsesses about along the road.”

Craft Atlantic (Photo: Craft Atlantic).

Craft Atlantic (Photo: Craft Atlantic).

Devon Halfnight LeFlufy: “Post Problems > Post Irony.”

Devon Halfnight LeFlufy (Photo: Devon Halfnight LeFlufy).

Devon Halfnight LeFlufy (Photo: Devon Halfnight LeFlufy).

Hickey Freeman: “Winter foliage in upstate New York.”

Hickey Freeman (Photo: Hickey Freeman).

Hickey Freeman (Photo: Hickey Freeman).

Todd Snyder: “Celebrating our relationship to the natural elements by exploring the dichotomy between function and refinement.”

Todd Snyder (Photo: Todd Snyder).

Todd Snyder (Photo: Todd Snyder).

PLAC: “Retro Spectrum. Britpop and madchester sound infused with 1990’s Grunge. Nostalgic sports aesthetic from the late 80’s and early 90’s.”

PLAC (Photo: PLAC).

PLAC (Photo: PLAC).

David Hart: “Blue Note Jazz and the effortlessly cool musicians like Jimmy Smith, Art Blakey, and Max Roach. Photographs by Francis Wolff and graphic design by Reid Miles.”

David Hart (Photo: David Hart).

David Hart (Photo: David Hart).

Zachary Prell: “Reveal. Uncover. Experience”

Zachary Prell (Photos: Zachary Prell).

Zachary Prell (Photos: Zachary Prell).

Max n’ Chester: “Timeless and classic. The Max ‘n Chester brand remains true to it’s pillar philosophies: fabric, design, silhouettes, and comfort.”

Max n' Chester (Photo: Max n' Chester).

Max n’ Chester (Photo: Max n’ Chester).

Ordinary People Presented by Concept Korea: “There are rests in music and commas in writing. We believe that we also need rest and commas in our lives to make our days more valuable.”

Ordinary People (Photo: Ordinary People).

Ordinary People (Photo: Ordinary People).

Loris Diran:  “Sartorial meets streetwear with a distinct military attitude.”

Loris Diran (Photo: Loris Diran).

Loris Diran (Photo: Loris Diran).

Suitsupply: “Luxury, both in fabrics and construction with subtle tonal colors. Layering and shapes that compliment the man’s frame.”

Suitsupply (Photo: Suitsupply).

Suitsupply (Photo: Suitsupply).

Matiere: “Modern migration, updating the traditional traveler with the functionalities to explore today’s world.”

Matiere (Photo: Matiere).

Matiere (Photo: Matiere).

Lucio Castro: “Traveling communities in the UK in the mid-1990’s.”

Lucio Castro (Photo: Lucio Castro).

Lucio Castro (Photo: Lucio Castro).

CWST: “The San Juan Islands, a secluded archipelago, barley tucked into the Puget Sound pocket. It’s a cellular dead zone.”

CWST (Photo: CWST).

CWST (Photo: CWST).

Joseph Abboud: “A tribute to the art of fine tailoring in America. The new American Savile Row.”

Joseph Abboud (Photo: Joseph Abboud).

Joseph Abboud (Photo: Joseph Abboud).

STAMPD: “The New Soldier”

STAMPD (Photo: STAMPD).

STAMPD (Photo: STAMPD).

EFM: “Advanced Luxury – the intersection of classic, refined silhouettes with performance fabrics.”

EFM (Photo: EFM).

EFM (Photo: EFM).

Nautica: “The Modern Naviator who travels from the City to the Sea.”

Nautica (Photo: Nautica).

Nautica (Photo: Nautica).

Ovadia & Sons: “A contrast of of jewish religious cultures against the urban New York canvas.”

Ovadia & Sons (Photo: Ovadia & Sons).

Ovadia & Sons (Photo: Ovadia & Sons).

Brett Johnson: “Men at the apex of their industries who prefer to escape to the wilds of the American West.”

Brett Johnson (Photo: Brett Johnson).

Brett Johnson (Photo: Brett Johnson).

N. Hoolywood: “Extreme Condition.”

N. Hoolywood (Photo: N. Hoolywood).

N. Hoolywood (Photo: N. Hoolywood).

Perry Ellis: “Print and pattern are explored from a distance and upon closer inspection take on a different look- like landscapes in nature.”

Perry Ellis (Photo: Perry Ellis).

Perry Ellis (Photo: Perry Ellis).

Nick Graham: “Men in their natural environment.”

Nick Graham (Photo: Nick Graham).

Nick Graham (Photo: Nick Graham).

Orley: “The process of creating.”

Orley (Photo: Orley).

Orley (Photo: Orley).

Palmiers du Mal: “Kinetic Creative. Borrowing shapes from all corners of the world and utilizing luxury Japanese textiles to create a merging of cultures in a cohesive, unified voice.”

Palmiers du Mal (Photo: Palmiers du Mal).

Palmiers du Mal (Photo: Palmiers du Mal).

Tim Coppens: “WIJ ZULLEN HERINNEREN”

Tim Coppens (Photo: Tim Coppens).

Tim Coppens (Photo: Tim Coppens).

An Exclusive First Look at Men’s Fashion Week Shows Before They Hit the Runway