It’s 2018. Men in skirts shouldn’t be prepared to field questions about their masculinity anymore. The issue of constrictive masculinity, or the idea of masculinity warped to fit society’s mould of acceptance, is no longer a realisation just dawned. And menswear designers have a pivotal role in the matter. It’s up to the new blood to offer fresh perspectives on how men today might, could and should be presenting themselves.
As we enter the pandemonium of men’s fashion month, we’ve put together a list of young menswear designers who are boldly broadening the scope. Whether showing on or off the fashion week schedule, they’re the ones that’ll grab your attention and stir conversations.
From Berlin’s discowear to Tbilisi’s gender-blurring label, the eclectic perspectives coming from this crop of subversives are sure to spice up the menswear sphere. Scroll down, and keep them on your radar for the coming season.
(Main and featured image: GmbH)
If the name Misbhv doesn’t already spell out the label’s tendency for disruption for you, let its clothes content speak. The Polish label has its own alternative glam-louche twist on streetwear: Reflective nylon co-ords, light washed jeans with extra long hems pooled at the bottom, raw-cut sleeveless hoodies. First started as a parody t-shirt brand, the brainchild of IRL couple Natalia Maczek and Thomas Wirski has since shown multiple times in New York and is revered by swathes of followers. It’s all set to show its first men’s presentation in Paris this month.
Launched two years ago, GmbH has been steadily honing its aesthetic, often looking towards the storied nightlife of Berlin, where it’s based. In fact, founders Serhat Isik and Benjamin Alexander Huseby, along with their frequent collaborators, found each other on the city’s dance floors. While the label has already established its cool, woke-kid persona via campaigns fronted by second-gen immigrants or presentations chockfull of plasticky PVC pants and leatherette bombers, this Fall 2018 season will mark its first full show in Paris. Expect nothing less than an explosion of utilitarian-edged after-hours statement pieces.
A massive spotlight is on Georgia’s burgeoning fashion scene, with large due credit to Vetements and Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia. Although womenswear is still the prevailing category, Gola Damian is one of the few who are shifting their focus to menswear. Brazenly youth-fuelled, Damian’s Spring 2018 show that was part of Tbilisi Fashion Week sent troupes of boys in techno-inspired attire — think pussy-bow shirt layered underneath graphic tees — challenging the conventional idea of masculinity.
One of eight Finnish designers to represent the country at the upcoming Pitti Uomo, Aalto fashion graduate Rolf Ekroth is a budding talent. Not shying away from unusual menswear materials like Swarovski crystals and chainmail knit, Ekroth’s work is futuristically outlandish yet wearable. The Craig Green of Finland, if you like. His upcoming collection promises a melange of rap culture-inflected outerwear, designed in reflection of his adolescence in the ’90s.
Heron Preston first started his career in the industry by making bootleg Gucci monogram-printed Nikes and consulting as art director for Kanye West, before biting the bullet and debuting his streetwear collection in Paris last year. He then introduced womenswear in July. If grit, camo prints, and industrial track pants are your thing, look no further than Preston’s galvanic takes. His third collection will be shown as part of the upcoming Paris Men’s Fashion Week.