Alexander Wang Andrea Pompilio

Champions of Menswear: The New Menswear Pantheon

Tuesday, October 16, 2012Aaron Reese

I believe in Legends. In the gods of old and new. I believe there are people who have shaped and molded the fabric of history. I believe in Heroes, and those destined to bring light and understanding. One could say I am being dramatic, and I won't deny it. However, menswear continues to be a void in the fashion industry. Slowly the gap is closing, and the public increasingly becomes aware of the menswear industry. There are Titans who have paved the way to make this possible. Titans such as Ralph Lauren (where this blog gets its namesake), Calvin Klein, Hedi Slimane and countless others; but this post is for the new torch-bearers of menswear. This is an entirely new Pantheon of menswear heroes and designers who have made ripples in the menswear pond. Check out the stats of today's menswear heroes below.

1. Michael Bastian-  New York born menswear designer Michael Bastian launched his eponymous line in 2006 after being the menswear director for Bergdorf Goodman for five years, as well as working for giants such as Tiffany's and Polo Ralph Lauren. In 2010 Gant was launched as a bridge line for Michael Bastian while integrating womenswear later down the line. Bastian was nominated four times for CFDA menswear designer of the year and won the actual award in 2011.
Alias: Captain Americana
Powers: Reinvention of American sportswear. Integrating traditional street-wear and classic historical menswear elegance into seamless collections.
Patron god of- The new-age gentleman.
Most Memorable Collection: Spring/Summer 2012 The James Dean inspired collection.

2. Riccardo Tisci- Creative director of French power house Givenchy, Tisci has brought a graphic and melancholic edge to Givenchy that has brought him critical acclaim. The Italian born designer was appointed creative director in 2005, after launching his eponymous label the year prior. In 2010 Tisci was asked to help Jay-Z and Kanye West with the artwork of the Watch the Throne album.
Alias: Prince of Goth
Powers: Creating wearable pieces, culminating the edge of grunge and ready-to-wear with the  uniqueness of couture like pieces. Pushing boundaries, and forging truths with graphics and prints.
Patron god of-  The rebel.
Most Memorable Collection: The Fall/Winter 2011 collection with the well sought after Roitweiller graphic print T that was seen on countless celebs such as Rihanna, Kanye and Liv Tyler.

3. Raf Simons- Newly christened creative directive of Dior, Simons is one of the most talented and saught after designers in the industry. The Belgian designer has been an influential and defining force for over a decade. In 1995 Simons launched his eponymous label that is considered to this day one of the strongest contributing voices to the menswear world. In 2005 Raf became creative director of Jil Sander and has consistently proven his creative prowess collection after collection.
Alias: Super Nova
Powers:  Exquisite craftsmanship, youth culture exploitation. Balancing whimsy and morbidness to create his signature sinister kid look. Sharp lines and bold colors.
Patron god of- The fashion hipster.
Most Memorable collection: The Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2011 Neon/Color Block show.

4. Andrea Pompilio- Launching his namesake collection in January 2010, Italian designer Andrea Pompilio is the new kid on the block. And although he's a new name, Pompilio has a background that speaks for him. Prada, Calvin Klein and YSL are just a few power house brands that helped Pompilio establish his exquisite detail and expertise in the menswear designer world. Winning last year's "Who's on Next" Awards, Pompilio has already began creating a name for himself and is currently featured in several menswear magazines including my personal fav, Homme Essential.
Alias: Mr. Marvel
Powers- Making fun, high-quality sportswear for the progressive man. Using an element of humor culminated with fresh sportswear designs. Showcasing innovation through inspiration.
Patron god of- The expressive man.
Most Memorable Collection:  The Autumn/Winter 2012 collection featuring the Chimp, 'Cheetah' from the Tarzan film series.

5. Alexander Wang- Wang is hands down one of the most influential designers of our time. The 28 year old Taiwanese-American designer launched his RTW womenswear  line in 2007, and recently debuted his namesake menswear line for spring 2012. Most are familiar with his famous bridge line, 'T by Alexander Wang' which has an incredible/alternative take on menswear.  His lines are stocked globally by more than 30 of the worlds most prestigious retailers including Barney's, Neiman's, and Bergdorf's just to name a few. He is the winner of several CFDA Awards as well as GQ's designer of the year award.
  Alias: Iceman (aka the Cool Asian Guy) 
Powers: Making cool cool again, taking inspiration from the past and infusing it with futuristic, alternative designs. A symmetrical cuts. The innate ability to attract high profiling celeb clientele.
Patron god of- The cool kids.
Most Memorable Collection: His debut Autumn/Winter 2012  Menswear collection

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