Fashion Flashback: Gone But Not Out Menswear Brands

Greg Lauren image courtesy of pinterest.com

Greg Lauren image courtesy of pinterest.com

On the eve of New York Fashion: Men’s spring 2018, Fashion Reverie looks back at menswear brands that had a strong presence in the American menswear scene, but lost momentum and are no longer a part of the US men’s fashion market. Most of these brands had a distinct, signature voice and spoke to an evolving, diverse menswear audience that was thirsty for something innovative and fashion forward.

Still, though most of these menswear brands had some traction, circumstances forced them out of the menswear milieu. While some of these menswear brand creative directors have popped up at other menswear companies, their own individual creative mien is sadly missed.  And, with the current state of the global retail market; perhaps, if some these menswear brands had managed to maintain market viability, there would be more vitality and perspective in the menswear market.

Antonio Azzuolo fall 2012

Antonio Azzuolo fall 2012

One of the most highly missed menswear brands in the depressed American menswear market is Antonio Azzuolo. After honing his craft at Hermes, Kenzo, and Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Azzuolo took up the mantle of design director at Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label and Black Label in 2006. In 2008 Azzuolo launched his eponymous label and quickly became a strong presence on the US menswear scene.  a.a. antonio azzuolo is a New York–based menswear brand that focuses on street wear seen through a refined lens.

Though the brand is not technically extinct, Azzuolo has not made a new collection in a few seasons. Fashion wagging tongues confide that Azzuolo is now working for Warby Parker.

Unruly Heir fall 2013 image courtesy of fashionbeans.com

Unruly Heir fall 2013 image courtesy of fashionbeans.com

Known for their out-of-the box, irreverent presentations during New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Unruly Heir was launched in 2008 by Joey Goodwin and John Gagliano. Unruly Heir placed a tongue-and-cheek, irreverent twist on classic menswear attire, providing one-of-a-kind pieces for the tailored young man whose lifestyle goes against formal society.

You never knew what you were getting at one of Unruly Heir’s fashion week presentations. You might witness a staged catwalk rumble or food fight, but it was all fun and part of theatre that longer exist during NYFW. Though Unruly Heir’s website is still active and you can purchase merchandise, their NYC presence is all but gone.

Marlon Gobel fall 2014 image courtesy of fashionreverie.com

Marlon Gobel fall 2014 image courtesy of fashionreverie.com

One of the most innovative voices on the American menswear landscape was Marlon Gobel. In his first seven years in the menswear market, Gobel worked for some of most prestigious brands in menswear, Thom Browne and Michael Bastian. In 2010 Marlon Gobel launched in eponymous brand that was immediately picked up by Bergdorf Goodman.

Gobel’s design oeuvre was innovative construction with a penchant for glam with a modern sensibility. During NYFW, Gobel always had some of the best male models in his shows including Henry Watkins and Sebastian Suave. Though Gobel still has a Facebook presence, his website only consists of a 2015 video. Gobel has not created a new menswear collection for several seasons.

Alexandre Plohkov images courtesy of pinterest

Alexandre Plohkov images courtesy of pinterest

Alexandre Plokhov’s menswear brand is technically still in existence, but after taking up the mantle at Helmut Lang, not a lot has been going on at Plokov’s eponymous brand. Plokov established himself as an innovative designer when he launched Cloak in 2000. Cloak won the Ecco Domani award in 2003 and the 2005 CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Menswear. Plokhov became known for his military goth style that included razor sharp tailoring, details and luxurious fabrics.

After Cloak shuttered due to partnership disagreements in Plokhov launched his namesake line in 2010. Alexandre Plokhov became one of the must-see menswear brands during NYFW. However, after Plokhov moved over to Helmut Lang, Plohkov announced on Instagram in late December 2015 he would be shutting down his eponymous line. That said; word on the street is that Plokhov has bee replaced at Helmut Lang by the design team from Hood by Air.

Greg Lauren Spring 2016 images courtesy of losarys.com

Greg Lauren Spring 2016 images courtesy of losarys.com

Greg Lauren’s menswear collection had a lot of traction in the menswear market. After being the darling of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Lauren has all but disappeared. Launched in 2011, Lauren’s namesake brand set a standard for distressed aesthetics.

From his initial launch, Greg Lauren’s men’s and women’s collections were picked up by Bergdorf Goodman and many mainstream department stores and boutiques. Yet, Greg has been suspiciously absent from the NYFW scene, although his spring 2017 and 2018 collections are available for purchase through is online site.

—William S. Gooch

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