Thom Browne is launching a new line for fall 2014 centered around the classic gray suit — just don’t call it a commercial collection.
The designer, best known for his shrunken silhouettes and ankle-baring pant lengths, will introduce a line of suits, shirts, coats and neckwear with proportions that are “slightly less extreme” than his runway collection. Jackets will be more classic, a bit longer and the lapels will be slightly wider. Trouser length will be hemmed to the shoe with no break.
The line will be marketed under the name Thom Browne; the runway collection is named Thom Browne New York.
But the designer bristled when asked if this should be considered a commercial collection. “It will definitely reach more people,” he told WWD. “But the word [commercial] has negative connotations. It will still have the same quality as my collection, but it will broaden the business.”
He said the line is targeted at a man “who likes the personality of my clothing but wants a more classic proportion and fit.” This line meets that challenge, he believes. “It’s a true American collection for people who appreciate classic, well-made clothing.”
Browne said he has “wanted to do this for some time” and a recent beefing up of his internal staff has afforded him the time. “I finally have the resources to do it now,” he said.
The designer described the line as “an homage to the world of tailored clothing and the stores that do tailored clothing really well.”
Although the collection can be worn for business, it’s not just a business suit, Browne said. “It’s for a man who wants to look good, wear tailored clothing, likes fashion and wants something that fits really well.”
There will be two styles of suits: a classic roll-lapel three-button jacket with a double vent paired with a flat-front, back-strap trouser; and a sack-style jacket with a slightly looser body, softer shoulder and single vent paired with a belt-loop trouser. Prices will start at $2,200.
“I want it to be approachable,” he said, “but for the quality, it’s a good starting point.”
For the overcoats, Browne has created a ball-collar version as well as a chesterfield. Prices for these will start at $2,800.
Shirts will be available in spread-collar, point-collar and button-down styles, and they will be pressed and packaged in custom shirt boxes. Retail prices will start at $350. Browne said the shirts are not “washed and dried” like those in his runway collection. RELATED STORY: Thom Browne Men's RTW Spring 2014 >>
The styling is based on traditional and classic American sensibility — core values the designer has become known for since he introduced his first collection in 2001. “When I decided to do this,” he said, “I wanted it to be able to stand on its own but still have the identity of Thom Browne.” The fabrics are “classic American” and “masculine,” he said, and will include step twill, wool flannel and worsted wool in a variety of weights to appeal to different markets. A made-to-measure component will also be offered.
The line will be sold in the men’s clothing departments of high-end stores. The Thom Browne New York label is generally hung on the designer floor. “I want it to sit on the clothing floor, not a fashion floor,” he said. He declined to mention specific names, but said the stores he will be targeting are those “who appreciate tailored clothing and can handle that price point. It’s not mass.”
The new collection will be made exclusively in the U.S., he said, declining to name the manufacturers with whom he is working.
“It will be a well-fitting, good-looking suit that doesn’t push too far, but it doesn’t push too little either,” he said. “I can’t imagine any guy who doesn’t want to look like that.”
Browne said he’s not expecting to add an even lower-priced offering to his arsenal. “This felt really good and right to me to expand the business in a natural way,” he said. “I think it will attract the same customer and a new customer who knows my collection but thought it was too much.”
Last year, the designer introduced a capsule collection called Thom Grey, a youthful, university-inspired sportswear line that was sold at Barneys New York, Harrods and other stores in Asia. Prices were significantly below that of the runway collection with outerwear selling for $795 to $1,100; jackets from $725 to $1,000; trousers for $325 to $550, and oxford shirts starting at $195.
Browne said Thom Grey was a one-year-only project and has been discontinued. “Sometimes success is not the best thing,” he said. “It worked really well, but we couldn’t keep up with the success. Someday we may look into it again.”
Browne launched his first ready-to-wear collection in 2003 and three years later signed on with Brooks Brothers to design its Black Fleece collection, where suits retail for $1,400 to $1,600. He also designs Moncler’s Gamme Bleu men’s collection. The designer sold a majority stake in his business to Japan’s Cross Co. in 2009 when sales were $6.3 million. He operates a shop in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood and in March opened his first store outside the U.S., in Tokyo. Browne said the plan is to eventually open more stores, but no other locations have been determined.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)