NEW YORK — Thom Browne told Fashion Institute of Technology students on Monday night to believe in themselves and focus on craftsmanship.
“The most important thing is just stay true to yourself and design things that show people who you are, as opposed to what you think they want to see,” said Browne, who creates collections for Brooks Brothers and Moncler in addition to his avant-garde signature line. “And take seriously how it’s made because things that are well made will always be attractive to people.”
Browne, whose commercial aesthetic riffs on white-collar workers circa 1957, said he was slow to find his path as a designer. After college at Notre Dame, he moved to Los Angeles to try acting. There he developed a personal interest in having vintage suits altered in unusual ways. He then moved to New York, working in sales at Giorgio Armani and in design at Club Monaco before going out on his own.
“I had no idea it would work,” he said. “I just remember thinking I loved doing it so much, I had to make it work. Because there’s nothing else I love doing as much as this.”
Initially, Browne met only resistance to his shrunken suit proportions, which eventually became his influential signature, setting off a trend in cropped trousers and snug jackets.
“It took a good two years of doing exactly what I wanted and being told by everyone that it had nothing to do with what was going on…everyone told me my clothing didn’t fit, even friends,” he said.
“If you want to be as provocative as you can be, it’s very important to ground that in something very understandable for guys,” Browne said. “Sports or a familiar fabric are good ways to ground a provocative idea.”
Browne’s idea was provocative when baggy suits were the norm.
“So many guys had turned away from men’s tailoring because it was being done in a way that was very…just overly classic,” he said. “I loved wearing jackets and trousers, but personally wanted to wear them in a way that made them a bit younger and cooler. So I took your father’s suit and did it in a way that people hadn’t seen before.”
He reminded the students, “If you want to be in this business, you have to take it seriously and make sure that as many people as possible can actually wear what you do.”
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“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye