Name: Willy Chavarria
Background: Chavarria, a Mexican-American, grew up in Huron, Calif., a small town near Fresno, and held design stints at Ralph Lauren and American Eagle Outfitters before starting Palmer Trading Co., his Made in the U.S. men’s wear line that leaned heavily toward workwear and was snapped up by Japanese retailers. Now he’s exclusively focused on his namesake assortment of men’s wear.
Inspiration this season: “Faith in humanity during dark times.”
Mentor or idol: “I love the work of film director Romain Gavras. I find a connection with it in my work.”
Goal: “I’d like to help us see ourselves in a new light.”
What’s your favorite secret spot in New York?: The lobby bar at Jolly Madison Towers Hotel on 38th and Madison Avenue.
Name: Emily Adams Bode
Background: Bode was born and raised in Atlanta, and spent her summers in New England, where she frequented antique shops and shows with her mother. Through that she was introduced to age-old techniques and fabrications. “I have always been drawn to hand-work, craft and labors of love,” the designer said. “The stories told through craft and the sense of the hand, the individual-maker, drew me to them.” Bode eventually moved to New York, where she graduated from Parsons and the Eugene Lang College with a dual-degree in men’s wear design and philosophy. She used influences from the South and New England to create Bode, which launched in 2016.
Inspiration this season: The collection is called “Dear Homer,” and is inspired by conversations with a botanist about his childhood.
Mentor or idol: Homer, one of Bode’s favorite people on the New England Cape.
Goal: “To reimagine the way we think about contemporary men’s wear, and create modern heirlooms.”
What’s your favorite secret spot in New York?: “The Chelsea Flea Market during the winter. It’s much quieter, but with many of the same great antique dealers.”
Background: Designer Christopher Bevans got started early in the apparel trade, working with his grandmother, who was a dressmaker. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now based in Portland, Ore., Bevans began working as a designer for Sean John and Rocawear, where he worked on an apparel line for Kanye West, before moving to the West Coast to join Nike as global design director of urban apparel. He launched Dyne in 2015, an active lifestyle line that blends a tailored street aesthetic with advanced textile technology, a skill he honed during a stint at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That skill paid off when Bevans was awarded the inaugural Innovation award from the Woolmark Co. last month for his collection of snowboarding garments that included a water-resistant wool jacket embedded with an NFC chip.
Inspiration this season: Bevans is planning to make a bit of a political statement with his luxury, performance-skewed sportswear collection, which will feature a “nod to the late Sixties, the flowers and the rebellion of the youth culture,” he said. “It’s still about the technical skills, but in a take-a-knee, [Colin] Kaepernick kind of way [referring to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback]. We’re having many of the same fights today with discrimination, women’s rights and equality, and this is our way of acknowledging those who have championed civil rights.”
Mentor or idol: “My trajectory to this position has been through the good graces of some powerful, influential women through the years,” he said. From Stacy London, who discovered him working at a small boutique on the Lower East Side, to Mood Fabrics, “which changed my life.” Then publicist Stacie Gillian introduced him to Heather Thomson — now of Yummie Tummie — at Sean John, who brought him to Theresa Scott of Rocawear, and Mindy Grossman, who hired him at Nike.
Goal: “My goal with Dyne is to have a global luxury tech sportswear brand that anyone can relate to, employ thousands of people and change their lives,” he said.
What’s your favorite secret spot in New York?: “I’m past the days of partying, but what I really enjoy is going to the Museum of the American Indian. You look at the functionality of the Native American footwear and how it was put together from the land, and the colors. It’s really my gem.”