Background information about some of today’s top menswear designers.
You see their ads in magazines, hear their names on television and maybe even own a few of their pieces but what do you really about Kenneth Cole or Ralph Lauren and other designers of today’s most popular menswear? Here is a primer for the uninformed fashionistos…
Originally a shoemaker, he learned the craft in Europe with his own hands prior to returning to North America to delight us with his exciting line of, now classic, footwear. Today, his line has expanded beyond high quality shoes to include leather goods that stress value, longevity and classic style. His clothing line has something for almost every man and looks right in place all over the world.
Hugo Boss began making raincoats and coveralls for the German army in 1923. Beginning in 1953, he began making men’s suits that have become know for their well-proportioned drapes in dark blues, grays and black. A Hugo Boss dark, three button suit should be a staple for every man – especially if he only owns one suit. Its style is timeless, its colour is flawless and its quality is impeccable. Hugo Boss, like other designers, has expanded the line to include casualwear, leather goods and a modern line of sportswear, but for us Hugo Boss fundamentalists, it is the suits that convey this designer’s true elegance.
Armani clothes are crafted with the some of the highest quality fabrics in the world. The name, most associated with “money”, is actually more accurately linked to a product of true luxury. But usually only men who have come to depend on the cut, drape and feel of an Armani suit for their day-to-day wardrobe have learned to forget the price tags. An Armani suit is said to be the most imitated garment of clothing in the world.
Pronounce it right or risk announcing your ignorance – emphasis on the first syllable. Ralph Lauren is without a doubt an American fashion icon. He reinvented American style with his trademark Polo line and crazy wide ties of the 1970s. You cannot go wrong with Ralph Lauren – there is something for absolutely everyone: young, old, short, tall, you name it. Adaptable, stylish, cutting edge yet classic, comfortable and high quality best describe this designer.
Thomas Burberry founded the company in 1856 and began making uniforms and clothing for British officers in the First World War after inventing and obtaining a patent for garbardine (a water-resistant fabric). Today, the line is most famous for its signature plaid of brown, red and dark cream. The line has evolved to include accessories, bespoke suits and sophisticated sports clothes. To wear Burberry is to revisit a classic. It is not quite preppy but not quite brash – to most, it’s just right.
Come people are always quick to discount designers as being simply a “label” but to those in the know, they are part of our history and our future. They help define our style and we help define theirs. They create high quality, investment clothing that is well suited for our individual lifestyles. So the next time you put on that Ralph Lauren button-down or throw on that Burberry raincoat, take notice of how well the item is made and remember the history from which that item has evolved.