Maybe it’s the fact that menswear is traditionally seen as the least exciting branch of fashion, or maybe we were so caught up in the revolving doors at large houses in the last few months, including Raf Simons walking out on Dior, or Alber Elbaz’s dramatic exit from Lanvin and the subsequent downing tools of its atelier. Nevertheless, there have been some exciting moves over the past few weeks.
Firstly, Gieves & Hawkes creative director Jason Basmajian, the architect of the storied English tailor’s transformation from tweedy geography teacher brand to serious menswear player (pictured above and below) is moving to Cerruti 1881, another house in need of an overhaul. Whilst Cerruti currently seems to be following the tried-and-tested Givenchy/Valentino route of selling graphic sweatshirts at silly prices, the brand desperately needs to differentiate itself in the crowded high-end men’s apparel market, sacrificing an individual identity for short-term relevance.
Ostensibly a shake-up within Hong Kong conglomerate Trinity, Simon Spurr, currently turning around the fortunes of brother brand Kent & Curwen, will slip into Basmajian’s brogues over at No. 1 Savile Row. How Spurr’s more youthful style will fit into the looser, less formal (but no less luxurious) aesthetic that has become Basmajian’s calling card is anyone’s guess, but let’s hope he is given more time by Trinity to fine-tune his proposal than ex-Cerruti designers Blaak and Richard Nicoll were.
Over to Europe, and Italian holding company Gilmar SpA announced just this weekend that London designer James Long will be overseeing contemporary fashion brand Iceberg’s menswear collections, as well as his own eponymous line (pictured above). With both labels sharing a foundation of knitwear (Long is well known for his innovative approach) and sportswear, on paper this could be a win/win situation, but can Long bring the irreverent wit and Pop Art nous which the brand is famous for? With a catwalk show inked in January’s London Collections: Men schedule, it’s only a matter of weeks until we find out.
Written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) exclusively for www.katiechutzpah.com