It’s not rare for street style photos from the men’s fashion weeks, which just kicked off in London on January 6, to skew heavily towards immaculate three-piece suits and a leather briefcase to match. However, that is not the case this year.
Sure, there are dapper gents who did button up their special order Savile Row pieces for the occasion, but a sloppier look has emerged as a larger, more widespread trend. It’s not the normcore look of yore, which was a nod to light wash mom jeans and simple white sneakers, but this new sartorial style is grungier and messier. It has a very ’90s feel, ripe with ironic windbreakers and the resounding return of the Nike Air Max ’98, (which was recently revived through a Supreme collaboration).
In fact, Alessandro Altomare, the founder and CEO of the Italian shop Maison Studio, was spotted wearing the clunky Nikelab Air Max Plus Fuse GPX. These aquatic-style sneakers are a nod to the French nickname for the shoe “Le Requin,” which translates to shark. When the original style was introduced back in 1998, they became “a favorite among street subcultures all across Europe,” Highsnobiety reported. That explains why they are being spotted, yet again, as the globe’s fashion capitals continues resurfacing obscure street wear references.
Other guys spotted on the streets of London had a particular penchant for plaid overcoats. One showgoer paired his plaid with not one, but two different camo prints, plus some baggy mint paperbag trousers, all topped off with a white Balenciaga cap. Oh, he also donned a pair of scuffed sneakers, to really complete the whole grungy dad vibe.
You might liken it to the Vetements effect, where weirder is better, as long as it comes with an exorbitant price tag. But it feels less pretentious than that. It’s a time when Gucci crossbody bags look cool on guys and Kangol hats are widely accepted. A visit to your local Goodwill shop will help you achieve the look, in the most authentic way possible, as long as you procure a long leather overcoat from your visit (à la photographer Julien Boudet), along with a pair of sweatpants. Just make sure you scrunch them up on the bottom, to show off your Vetements socks underneath.
And don’t for get to stay tuned, as Pitti Uomo kicks off in Milan today, followed by Milan Fashion Week Men’s on January 14. The style tribe will then descend on Paris on January 18 and New York on the 30. There will definitely be plenty more stylish lads (parading as ’90s dads) as the weeks carry on.