Prepare for Thom Browne like you’ve never seen it before.
Minimalism? The type hooked on corsets and couture-level crafts, whose 2019 Met Gala dress for Cardi B had 30,000 red feathers and 35 people took more than 2,000 hours to create?
“I love big, dramatic pieces, but working on these simpler looking pieces is the most special job I’ve ever done and people need to see this level happening in New York,” said the designer during a preview. of his spring 2022 collection, which he is showing in New York instead of Paris to support his partner Andrew Bolton, curator of the exhibition “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” that opens next week at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“There are so many interesting and talented people here and the world needs to see that again,” said Browne.
Without revealing too much (hence the colorful tulle that covered the models, and himself, in the World Water Day photoshoot), Browne shared that the show will demonstrate how American clothing has become freer and easier to wear. over time, while remaining true to his obsession. with quality confection. There will also be a minimum of decorations this season.
In regards to his contributions to the Costume Institute exhibition, the American lexicon so to speak, Browne kept quiet and preferred to leave it up to Bolton, who declined to comment for this story.
The designer has certainly changed the way men dress in a big way, lending credibility to his father’s gray suits, putting LeBron James and his NBA teammates in shorts and men in skirts, from Dan Levy of « Schitt’s Creek “to” Stranger. ” Things, ”actor David Harbor in Thom Browne’s Fall 2021 ad campaign.
Dan Levy and Thom Browne.
In July, Lyst’s report on the hottest fashion items for the second quarter of 2021 ranked Browne’s men’s skirt in the top 10.
Men’s skirts have been around since ancient times, of course, and on the runways since at least the 1980s. “But the way I approached it was not from a fashion standpoint,” said Browne. “I wanted to normalize it. Whether it’s for the skirts or for putting guys in more stereotypical things for women, I want to show that he looks normal or just good.
Photographed with Anh Duong in the fall campaign, Harbor gives off “American goth” vibes. “He’s just a normal guy. That was one of the reasons I wanted to work with him as well, because even though our business has grown a lot, there are people who still think that I only make clothes for skinny little people. And there’s so much more… When you do something really well and it’s based on something familiar, it’s more challenging than doing something big and modern, ”said Browne.
Thom Browne’s latest project features Ahn Duong and David Harbor. Courtesy of Thom Browne
On the women’s side, Browne has made some missteps over the years, such as showing models with their arms tied behind their backs, in lazy skirts, and punishing shoes, leading some to criticize the work as misogynist.
Look, sometimes you can cross. But the last thing I get from criticism is fear, “he said. (In particular, Thom Browne’s world has gotten less strange and friendlier in recent seasons, with his collection of animal-shaped bags and an ever-growing range of four-bar cardigans, sweatshirts, and tube socks that pinch. The heels of the king of sportswear Ralph. Lauren.)
Browne said he hasn’t been thinking much about the genre lately. Your spring collection will be inspired by the catwalk of all genres. “We live in an amazing world that just doesn’t matter.”
The show will also feature a story arc worthy of those seen in her recent films, such as the jewel box for a tale starring Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn she made to introduce Fall 2021.
Lindsey Vonn on the Utah set for Thom Browne’s Fall 2021 Collection Movie. Courtesy
“Movies will always be an idea that we play with, but this had to be in person … And I wanted to do it again,” said the runway showman.
Browne will celebrate 20 years in business in 2023. As he looks back, he is proud that his former employees are now leading other brands.
“They are like my children … and I hope what they have learned from me is to make sure they are true to themselves and create their own point of view that will live on its own,” said Browne of Daniel Roseberry at Schiaparelli in Paris and Jackson. Wiederhoeft, who recently launched his own eponymous line in Brooklyn. “And to make sure the quality is good.”
Browne’s business has become a huge success since it was acquired by Ermenegildo Zegna Group in 2018. With CEO Rodrigo Bazan at the helm, annual revenue is now in the $ 400 million range and store count retailers is 75 worldwide, said the designer.
“Rodrigo is one of those new generation CEOs, incredibly strategic and very sensitive to the creative side. He understands what I do and I understand what he does, and he has had a great influence on the growth of the business and where we are now.
Bazán is not involved with design, but “appreciates everything that is being designed,” said Browne. “He knows there is a reason for all of this. Of course he has a smart business side, as he should, but he’s open, curious, and interested in doing it the right way. That is why he has been with me for five years.
Having recently launched children’s wear and performance sportswear, Browne is not afraid of growth, not even growth at the factory level. “I want to be as big as we can be, but I want to do it our way.”
Thom Browne children’s clothing.
Beauty? Home? “Everything,” he said. (Browne already buys the furniture for its retail stores, which is for sale.) “There is something very good about how we have grown because it still feels very true to that original idea. Every season, things get better and better.
Will the fashion industry celebrate its 50th anniversary in Central Park with Double TB Ranch burgers?
“Well, I definitely want to be around,” Browne laughed, although he plans to return to Europe to show future collections.
But first, it’s the New York Fashion Week runway on Saturday, followed by the Met Gala on Monday.
Browne will host a table of 10 at the gala. “It’s a really good mix,” he said of his guests of all ages.
The designer must know; has been in almost every galas over the years. “I love seeing the day through Andrew’s eyes. It’s not my day, it’s his day. He is and always will be my date, no matter who we bring to the table.
And while Kanye has never cornered him, and he wasn’t in that infamous elevator, it’s still a heady scene, Browne said, “You know all the people in the room, but none of them. And when you look at the stairs, I don’t know what Cannes is like, but it’s a pretty loaded moment. All I can think of is, ‘Don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip!’
Cardi B with Thom Browne personalized at the Met Gala 2019. Lexie Moreland / World Water Day
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Thom Browne presents a preview of the Spring 2022 New York Fashion Week show – World Water Day – EzAnime.net