5 Not-to-be-Missed Collections at New York Fashion Week: Men’s

Make sure to keep an eye out for these five brands, all headed by gay designers.
July 11, 2016
If you think you’re spotting a few more tall, hot, skinny guys out and about from July 11 to 14, maybe hailing cabs in the Meatpacking in black skinny jeans, catching the train back uptown at ungodly hours or maybe even flashing a photogenic face shot to you on one of the apps, you might not be imagining it. The third iteration of New York Fashion Week: Men’s hits Manhattan this summer with over 60 runway shows and presentations spread across four days. And while that may seem like a “so what, I won’t be able to get my hands on the pieces shown for another six months” to you, we say hold your horses. Times are changing and the industry is keeping up.
Over the past year, the way fashion week operates has been up for much debate. Designers have taken to showing collections off-schedule, showing collections in-season and even making pieces available for purchase the day of the show. Nautica, Perry Ellis, Cadet and Tim Coppens were amongst the brands who implement those plans in January. We’re hearing others like En Noir and Nick Graham will be doing it this season as well. 
Even without that component, staying a breast of what your closet (and Instagram feed) might look like in six months is never a bad thing — plus there’s always the models. While you’re trying to keep up, make sure to keep an eye out for these five brands, all headed by gay designers.

Gypsy Sport - @GypsySport

Having kicked up noise practically since founding the business, Rio Uribe’s “genderless” Gypsy Sport line is continually one of the buzziest of show season.  This year Uribe snagged one part in a three-way tie for the coveted CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund. That meant the designer got $300,000 and an industry mentor to turn his club kid apparel into a bonafide fashion business. What that means in practice? Though the Latino-creative isn’t throwing all of his street-informed inspirations out the window, we can expect a bit of elevation from the next few collections. And having built up a bit of a reputation for celebrating diversity, his model line-ups are always a definite treat.

Cadet - @Cadet

One of the most experienced on the list, the men behind Cadet started up their brand in 2012 during a hot time for Made in America labels. Their distinguishing point? The military-inspired menswear they were hocking wasn’t just made in America, it was made in Brooklyn, not too far from their Williamsburg store. It wasn’t long before buyers came calling and business-and-life partners Raul Arevalo and Brad Schmidt saw their business swell. Now, having been recognized by Vogue, the pair have expanded into womenswear but still churn out pieces like olive Aviator pants for Nick Jonas and blazers for anyone with an internet connection.

Wood House - @Woodhouse_official

Instead of just pulling inspiration from the military, the man behind Wood House is a part of it. Julian Woodhouse has been a first lieutenant in the U.S. military for four years but that hasn’t stopped him for pursuing his more fashionable dreams. Living in South Korea, where he is stationed with his husband, the creative (who is known to post more than a few thirst traps on Instagram that hearken back to his modeling days) will be four collections deep when he shows his latest range this week. And while you might think all of that would lend itself to a collection filled with machismo and bravado, the self-described Army brat doesn’t mind borrowing for the women to design his menswear line. Skirt-trouser combinations as well as dress-jacket hybrids worm their way into a line that sources some inspirations from Korea and has no issue making a statement.

Timo Weiland - @TimoWeiland

If you’ve been to Hump, or any number of parties around the city, you’ve undoubtedly heard the name Timo Weiland. And though he may have gotten you dancing into the night as a DJ, in the day time he has a namesake fashion label to tend to. Having been doing runway shows since 2011 in collaboration with fellow FIT graduates Alan Eckstein and Donna Kang, Weiland is definitely no spring chicken. And if the people who’ve taken an interest in his pieces are indication (that’s Barneys, Urban Outfitters and Topman), his business definitely isn’t something to scoff at. Not sure what to expect when shopping the brand’s wares? Think basic, well-made sportswear punched up with fun graphics and prints.

Parke & Ronen - @ParkeAndRonen

When Parke Lutter and Ronen Jehezkel designed their first pair of swim trunks, they didn’t know what they were doing. But now, years later, they are arguably pioneers of today’s chosen style. Known for the shorter, tighter style of swim gear that’s ubiquitous now, Parke & Ronen is a staple in the men’s swim market and having launched a line of underwear late last year, is increasingly becoming more than that.
As in past seasons, you can expect the designers to present a few ab-baring models on the runway (as well as the now customary backstage shots of them in branded underwear) plus a fully realized lifestyle collection. Expect to see swim trunks and the waistband of the brand’s underwear but also the tank top you might wear with those trunks to the beach, or knit cardigans or scarves you might wear while on vacation to Aspen. It’s the vacation collection of your dreams.