FairPlay Brand has been around since 2014, but the company has gone through several iterations since its founding.
Originally, it was “a quick-to-market bottoms brand” that was sold at PacSun, according to brand director Jeff Scott. But after Scott joined the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based company in early 2015, he drew on his background as a buyer for Tillys, Urban Outfitters and others and set out to reinvent the label. His goal was to create a streetwear-influenced aesthetic that could sit between the fast-fashion brands and the expensive labels such as Fear of God, whose prices are out of reach for most young people.
So today, FairPlay offers primarily a cut-and-sewn collection at what Scott refers to as “a conscious price.” For example, knitwear retails from $32 to around $80, bottoms are $60 to $120 and outerwear sells for $70 to $180. “It’s attainable versus exclusive and appeals to the traditional and surf-skate guys,” he said.
The collection, designed by Bianca Tolentino, has also expanded beyond bottoms and now offers long- and short-sleeve T-shirts, button-downs, sweaters, joggers, pants, shorts and jackets for men as well as a smaller assortment of casualwear for women. Scott said the plan is to eventually offer a full-fledged collection for women.
The line is carried at specialty stores such as Urban Outfitters, Zumiez, Zebra Club and Wish as well as Nordstrom in the U.S. It’s also offered in Canada and Asia.
At Project, FairPlay will showcase its Eye in the Sky collection, which Scott said is a bit “Orwellian,” with “hot neon colors, bright prints and patterns.” The 50-piece assortment will include graphic T-shirts, checkerboard wovens, thermals and an assortment of bottoms.
Over the years, the brand has collaborated with such companies as Playstation, The North Face and MTV, the latter of which it has a deal with through 2020. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
Kut From the Kloth
The Los Angeles-based brand designed by Evelyn Ober and owned by Swatfame was founded in 2006 and sells in Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Von Maur, Stitch Fix, Evereve and more than 1,000 specialty stores. Known for its Fab Ab Fit Solution jean and its vegan fur jackets, the on-trend women’s brand is launching its first Premium Heritage Denim Collection this season.
Designed and manufactured in L.A., the Heritage collection establishes a vintage look using laser technology to achieve the looks of age and wear, which will become more authentic the more they are worn.
Other highlights for spring include tops and dresses in soft, earthy fabrics such as linen and cotton as the line goes “back to nature” with soft, romantic ruffles in shades of energetic yellow and blush pink. Ties, tassels and lace create a desert-inspired background with colors of mint haze, oat beige and olive green. Hand detailing, embroidery and beading add delicate texture, standing out against bold color splashes of stripes. — MARCY MEDINA
Saint La Vie
The Cancun, Mexico-based bag line, designed by Jennifer Olson, retails from $80 to $180 and sells in Nordstrom and Anthropologie as well as 150 retailers nationwide and a few stores in Japan. Founded in 2015, this year marks its Project Womens debut as well as the launch of jewelry.
“We spend a lot of time in Tulum and in San Diego,” Olson said. “I wanted to create handbags and jewelry that could be worn in both places. Our collection is fun, colorful and adventurous.
The Stella woven tote shown here is one of its bestsellers. Said Olson, “We are making them with recycled plastic now, so we are very excited about that.” — MARCY MEDINA
British tennis legend Fred Perry was a household name in England in the Thirties when he won three consecutive Wimbledon Championships on his way to winning 10 Majors.
And while Perry may no longer be with us, his legacy lives on, especially in fashion. In the late Forties, Perry teamed with Australian soccer player Tibby Wegner to create what is believed to be the first wrist sweatband. The success of that product led the men to expand into a polo shirt that they branded with a laurel wreath — the original symbol of Wimbledon — and then presented to players and other dignitaries at the matches in 1952.
An immediate success, the Fred Perry brand soon was adopted as a symbol of the Mod movement that took over the U.K. in the Sixties and later. Its now-iconic twin-tipping accent on the collar and sleeves was added shortly after.
Today, the brand offers a full collection for men, women and children, much of it still centered around that laurel wreath polo. But there is also swimwear and shorts, track jackets, footwear and bags for men. The line is broken down into a sports authentic collection, much of it with exploded Fred Perry and laurel wreath graphics, as well as an assortment of reissues of signature pieces such as a two-color textured knit shirt, a red tartan button-down and a tennis bomber jacket.
And for the past decade, there has been a special collection designed by Raf Simons who Bennett Polen, brand account manager for the U.S., said grew up as a fan of the brand. His collection, which has its own dedicated web page, is “rooted in his reinterpretation of iconic pieces,” Polen said.
This fall, to celebrate the decade-long partnership, Fred Perry will embark on a guerrilla marketing-style promotion where 100 pieces from the archive will be vacuum sealed and randomly dropped in locations around the world. “And if you find it, it’s yours,” Polen said.
While it’s unlikely that Liberty Fairs will be one of those locations, the brand will be bringing both its Sports Authentic and collaboration product to the show. In addition to Simons, the brand has a partnership with musician Miles Kane and Art Comes First, an online site for men’s contemporary fashion and streetwear. The company is also working with Arktis, a military gear manufacturer, to rework some of the brand’s signature designs using Arktis’s camouflage pattern. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
Owned by Justin Deanda, a licensing industry veteran, Dumbgood launched in 2016 with the goal of creating pop culture merchandise that was nostalgic, affordable and geared toward Millennials. Dumbgood, which is sold at retailers including Urban Outfitters and Dollskill, licenses product for entities including Streetfighter, NASA and Nickelodeon.
“We pick brands that matter to us and our friends. Like a movie you saw as a child and still reference 20 years later,” said Amelia Muqbel, Dumbgood’s creative director. “Sometimes they are huge names that everyone knows and loves, but often they are more niche with a strong cult following. We focus capturing key moments or subtle details that stay with fans for eternity.”
At Agenda, the company will show new pieces from its VHS collection, that feature screenshots from classic movies including “The Goonies” and “Beetlejuice.” It will also present a capsule of Nineties Nickelodeon-embroidered Champion hoodies. — ARIA HUGHES
Mali + Lili
Designed by JoAnne Wannarachue Lord, Mali + Lili is a new brand at Los Angeles-based vertically integrated handbag manufacturer Emperia Handbags, which does private label for Nordstrom, Belk and New York & Co. The PETA-approved, vegan line, named for Wannarachue Lord’s daughters, launched last October on nordstrom.com with a convertible belt bag that captured the fanny pack trend.
The designer describes the label’s aesthetic as “feminine, playful and chic” and inspired by global culture, the Southern California lifestyle and Nineties supermodels. New iterations and silhouettes of the crossbody include novelty fabrics like floral and palm tree prints, straw and clear PVC.
Retail prices range from $46 for crossbody bags to $64 for a faux leather backpack and $68 for a canvas tote. For holiday, Mali + Lili is introducing twinsets for $120. “These are essential girl-on-the-go bags,” Wannarachue Lord said.
For spring, a key style is the Charlotte, a round and spacious faux leather handbag with an adjustable crossbody strap and gilded metal top handles. Its luxe features include contrasting fabric lining, interior zippers and wall pockets. Available in blue and black, it retails for $78. — MARCY MEDINA