David Hart can always be counted on for a thematic presentation and tailored clothes influenced by yesteryear, but in a bid to please retailers, the designer has started to tweak his formula.
This started at his fall 2016 presentation and for spring he pushed even further into casual sportswear with airbrushed T-shirts — a first for the designer; color-blocked tank tops; pleated shorts; Hawaiian vacation shirts, and printed board shorts. It was a youthful take on Hart’s typical aesthetic, but the references to the past were still present. Hart said he drew from the Seventies for his earthy but bright color palette, as well as from SoCal surf culture from the late Sixties, photographs by LeRoy Grannis and music from jazz artist Dick Gail.
Tailored pieces were still a key part of the collection — a blazer covered in a palm print was a standout — but the collection was a nice evolution for Hart. He’s been a press darling and mainstay during New York Men’s Day, but says he hasn’t received a lot of pick-up from American retailers.
“I get a lot of support from press, but I’m not getting a lot of interest from retailers. It’s tough,” he said.
Thankfully, he has other projects on the burner. The designer partnered with Parke & Ronen on a capsule collection of blazers, which will debut at that brand’s show Thursday, and will show his new capsule collection with tailored clothing brand Hart Schaffner Marx the same day.
Hart is emblematic of the hill many fashion designers have to climb, but this collection showed his ability to adapt for commercial pursuits while still maintaining his ethos.