JD Ostrow, Keith Fox, Martin Andersson and Sam Lubell at Theory.

NEW YORK — Architecture is always a reference point for Martin Andersson, the men’s creative director at Theory. But this time, he’s letting consumers in on the process.

On Tuesday night at Theory’s Meatpacking District store, Andersson presented his men’s pre-fall 2018 collection, which was situated next to Marvin Rand photographs that will be up in the store for a week or so. The late photographer is known for his graphic photographs of California architecture and landscape, which is documented in “California Captured,” a recently released book published by Phaidon.

“I’m really inspired by Los Angeles and all the facets of L.A.,” said Andersson. “It started with me looking at David Hockney paintings and some midcentury architecture, then we started thinking about the Theory man in L.A. and this whole little world came up. Then we had the opportunity to partner with Phaidon around this book, which captures exactly what influenced the collection.”

To further celebrate the partnership, Theory will hold a panel discussion at its Meatpacking District flagship on June 5 that will feature Andersson; Sam Lubell, who edited the book, and Giancarlo Valle, an architect. As retailers look for ways to connect with shoppers, panels are becoming a regularly utilized tool.

“I think it’s about creating an experience in the store so people can come in and not just buy clothes, but feel it and feel connected with a brand,” said Andersson. “Customers can see what’s important to us, and it’s incredibly important to have that connection with them.”

This falls in line with Theory’s new strategy, which is producing fewer clothes and focusing more on connecting with the customer.

“Because the business is not only physical, but virtual, too, there has to be emotion in the equation,” Andrew Rosen, the chief executive officer of Theory, previously told WWD when discussing Fucci, a former designer from The Row who now leads the brand’s women’s collection.

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