The menswear scene gets rare moments to shine during New York Fashion Week. Last night, Bergdorf Goodman hosted Town & Country’s Men of Measure, celebrating some of the well-heeled gents in Manhattan. T&C Editor-in-Chief Jay Fielden and BG’s Men’s Fashion Director Bruce Pask, who recently joined the team after a storied career on the fashion editorial side, were there alongside Jay McInerney, Anne Hearst McInerney and gastronomical giant Geoffrey Zakarian. The diverse crowd got us to thinking. The menswear scene has developed considerably over the past decade, and the shopping is no longer left to wives and girlfriends. There was even an entire day at NYFW dedicated to relaxed menswear presentations, instead of high-octane runway stomping. Big Brands are recognising that guys want a piece of the pie served in their own way.
Enter Jace Lipstein, the anti-blogger blogger. Lipstein started Grungy Gentleman in 2010 in the pursuit of covering menswear without frills. He hails from Rockland County, New York, and could have been considered your run of the mill Indiana University frat boy before discovering the menswear mafia. These days, he has an eye for business over street style photos. This came to light last week at the Grungy Gentleman menswear presentation at The Hub at The Hudson Hotel, where Jace became the first blogger in recent history to make his foray into the design world with a full men’s ready-to-wear collection.
While walking us through the collection, he strays away from the ambiguous buzzwords designers rely on – journey, inspiration, lines, juxtaposition, etc. For Jace, it comes down to dollars and cents. “Basically we started as a blog, and transitioned to an online publication with a managing editor and an editor for every section. Then we started doing one-off collaborations, and we would do one shoe or one pant,” Lipstein says, “but what happened was, there was really no home for these when we took it to a retailer. It was really difficult for them to put one garment on a rack and be able accept it in the store. So we partnered with the rapper Nas on a capsule collection first, and I guess that gave us a little bit of confidence to try and go out on our own.”
Despite a few impractical items (leather pants should never be permitted for men according to Jace, a lonely view) the collection has an apparent quality to it in its luxurious weight and firm seams. It’s half “grungy” and half “gentleman” – buttoned-up looks with a hint of street, but only time will tell if Grungy Gentleman the collection will be landing on a store rack nearest you.