Sartorial Superstars Part 2: Thom Browne for Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From the pages of the August issue of Avenue Magazine, Amy Smith gives you a go-to guide on menswear for the coming season…

Thom Browne

Occupation: Head designer of Thom Browne, Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers and Gamme Bleu for Moncler

Hometown: Allentown, Pa.

Celebrity fans: Daniel Radcliffe, Robert Downey Jr., Brad Goreski

What was the inspiration behind your most recent collection?

“The Fall/Winter 2011 collection is derived from the sport of hunting. I used familiar fabrics such as cavalry twill, Shetland wool, tweed and cashmere and wool suiting.”

Where once upon a now-distant time a suit was a staple in every man’s wardrobe, the current business-casual climate has left an

empty hanger, which Thom Browne is intent on filling. There’s no mistaking a Thom Browne suit. From high-water, slim-fitting trousers, to cropped-sleeve suit jackets, Browne is single-handedly reinventing menswear for the next generation. Browne floated onto the scene in 2001 making made-to-measure suits in his New York studio. Fast forward less than a decade, and Browne has not only received the CFDA Award for Menswear but has also become one of few American designers asked to show during men’s fashion week in Paris. It should come as no surprise then that the Holy Grail of American sportswear, Brooks Brothers, tapped Browne to come on as the head designer of Black Fleece, the company’s answer to a more conceptual, contemporary climate. Initially, the designer was only meant to be the first in a slew of designers for the label. However, after the initial 50-piece collection was launched in 2007, the success led to the announcement that Browne would remain in his position until Spring 2011. The success even led to Brooks Brothers opening up a stand-alone Black Fleece store on Bleecker Street in the West Village, featuring both the men’s and women’s collections. It seems unlikely that the newest face of American sportswear would be a small town boy from Pennsylvania with no formal design training, but if Thom Browne continues to create silhouettes that defy conventions, we’re happy to have him as our poster child.


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