Marcus Wainwright is feeling twisted these days.
For the spring men’s collection, Wainwright, the founder and chief brand officer of Rag & Bone, “mashed things up” by taking the brand’s key pieces and updating them to appeal to a street and sports fan.
Wainwright said the collection just returned to New York after being shown to buyers in Europe, where it received a strong reception from retailers.
“Our men’s business is really strong,” he said. “Men’s in general is having a prolonged moment and ours is very stable and growing nicely.”
But what customers were clamoring for, he said, was “more fashion.” Not over-the-top trendy items, but pieces that “push the line and the tenets of the brand,” he said.
So for spring Wainwright answered the call by designing “a more twisted Rag & Bone,” he said during a walkthrough of the line at the company’s Meatpacking District showroom in Manhattan. “Every season we go back to workwear, British tailoring and military references but we’re also bringing in sports elements.”
Case in point: part of the spring offering was “very loosely inspired by tennis from the 1920s onward,” Wainwright said, pointing to a collection of sweaters with V-neck ribbing and other details specific to the sport.
Other sports-related pieces included a bomber jacket whose silhouette was familiar, but this version was reversible with vintage navy nylon on one side and a vibrant Hawaiian print on the other. That same print was offered up in a camouflage tone for a coach’s jacket.
Other mashups included an “unexpected fishtail parka” in a blue and white Japanese workwear shirt fabric — “It may not be commercial, but it’s my favorite piece,” he said — as well as a pinstripe jacket and Army pant with a British regalia stripe down the side. A blue and red Abraham Moon coat looked fresh with its traditional gold buttons and some pop details such as a bright red undercollar.
Jeans, a perennial bestseller for Rag & Bone, were updated as well with regalia-style stripes down the side; cargo pants were offered in safety orange, and button-down shirts were updated with red pockets and black elbow patches on a blue ground.
Wainwright decided against doing a show or any special film or presentation during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, which was held in early June, but said he may do something during women’s fashion week in September.
Instead, he opted to showcase the spring men’s wear on skateboarder Evan Mock on location in upstate New York. “He’s a super cool guy,” Wainwright said, “and he’s got pink hair, so that helped.”