Spencer Phipps is not afraid of an ambitious narrative: exploring masculine archetypes from the time of loincloths to space tourism for his spring 2022 effort. His slick four-minute fashion film, realized at one of the largest extended-reality studios in France, flicks from a cave to a psychedelic forest to a gladiator arena and, finally, a crumpled space station.
“The tribes and rituals of manhood,” he said during a preview, wearing a John Cena T-shirt and army shorts as he stood in front of a table laid out with swords, axes, other props — and his new line of modular backpacks.
Phipps has a cinematic vision that he lets trickle into familiar garments loaded with details. He lit up fleece vests, anoraks, toggle pants and cargo shorts with neon accents, psychedelic smiley faces and all manner of badges, putting them somewhere between camping clothes and rave wear.
“Someone called us a punk Patagonia last season,” the designer said, flashing a big smile.
His bedazzled sports jerseys wink to badass athletes with an inspiring back story — Eric Cantona, Ricky Williams or Dennis Rodman — and twinkle with crystal embellishments. Elsewhere, snippets of philosophy and motocross symbols were splashed on T-shirts, making them conversation starters.
Spring 2022 marks Phipps’ first steps into women’s wear — “We have so many women customers already, and they’re asking for it,” he shrugged — and the launch of Phipps Lab, a higher expression of his sustainable ethos exalting upcycled materials and artisanal methods. Cue a “gillie suit” — what hunters and snipers wear — made of old potato sacks, and belts crafted from old bike tires.