D&A Man New York took place for the second time
28 Jan. 2013
NYC Show Reports: D&A Man and ManD&A MAN
The second edition of D&A Man, produced by Designers & Agents owners Barbara Kramer and Ed Mandelbaum and held January 21-23 in Chelsea, continued to be select and intimate with just 33 brands, including several very promising newcomers and/or first-time exhibitors.
Three were denim brands. Jean Shop, a 10-year-old specialty denim retailer in the Meatpacking District famous for its in-house brand, made its trade show debut at D&A Man and co-founder Eric Goldstein said that the experience was a positive one. Tortoise Jeans, a just-born denim label from Los Angeles, also impressed with its line of men’s-only jeans and workwear-like jackets that feature unique and 100% eco-friendly washes and a subtle tortoise logo. The jeans sell in the $110 to $160 range. This anti-“fast fashion” brand takes its name from the fabled creature who knew that being slow and steady in work or a journey leads to the best results. Also hailing from Los Angeles and making its trade show debut was Karl Thoennessen’s line Rogue Territory, which began several years ago when he worked as a bespoke denim tailor at American Rag’s World Denim Bar. Now a collection of jeans, jackets and shirts, the notable line is handcrafted with high quality denim and some deadstock fabrics. Its jeans range from dark and raw to a washed model and one made from surplus German military fabric.
Other first-timers included Justin Virgil, a New York-based barber-designer whose lovely fall collection includes wool suits and other items for the modern urban gentleman, and Alexander Jackson, another New Yorker whose first ever collection wowed with rugged canvas outerwear and small silver pins of the brand’s symbol, the hand of God from “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo. Established Italian shoe brand Officine Creative also made its US debut at D&A Man with a fantastic assortment of handcrafted leather footwear and bags.
Returning brands included Apolis, which showed in an installation called Apolis Nomad Market that featured products it has made with other brands, Public School, which showed its characteristic cool dark and camo denim and leather jackets, and Belgian brand Bellerose, which offered a large collection notable for its wool jackets, country-inspired outwear, printed vests and assortment of gorgeous knit sweaters.
While D&A Man was never jam-packed, all exhibitors did agree that buyers from the crème de la crème of retail had shopped it.
“This show is always more about quality than quantity,” said a satisfied Audrey Gingas, owner of the multibrand New York-based Archetype Showroom, about the number of buyers who had visited by day two of the three-day MAN show. (It ran January 22-24 at Industria Superstudio in the West Village). Show director and founder Antoine Floch agreed, confirming that buying teams from Saks Fifth Ave, United Arrows and Barneys New York, among others, all attended the tiny 30-brand gathering.
Though small, MAN again captivated with its tightly edited assortment of directional and hard-to-find labels.
Accessories were a particularly strong category. US brand The Hill Side showed a terrific collection of scarves, pocket squares and fabric ties, some of which featured midcentury modern prints and retro Hawaiian motifs. In another room the Japanese husband and wife team of Manabu and Keiko Okada brought their stunning bag brand Southern Field Industries to the US for the first time. Handcrafted with canvas and leather, these totes, messenger bags and knapsacks may just be our favorite new discovery of the season. Likewise, footwear designer Oliver Clark showed another swell collection of real statement-makers while Portuguese line La Paz had fine scarves and fun knit hats with pompoms.
Clothingwise, the mood was often sporty. Seattle-based Ebbets Field Flannels (named after the long-gone stadium of the former Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team) hit a homerun with its assortment of painstakingly re-created jackets, tops and caps from historical, defunct baseball teams. Its treasures included an “All Americans” jacket worn by the US team that toured Japan in the 1930s, a satin Royals top that Jackie Robinson wore before he made history by entering Major League Baseball and a baseball jacket from the Cleveland Buckeyes, a team in the former Negro League. Lacoste L!ve also had a varsity jacket along with fun graphic tees and sweatshirts.
Elsewhere, YMC offered several plaid jackets and coats along with a vertically paneled denim dress shirt in contrasting shades of blue. English import Lot 78 showed a dark, rugged, city-friendly collection with several standout black leather jackets. And La Paz had a great pale yellow seafarer coat along with an outerwear piece based on the traditional capes of Portuguese shepherds.
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