These 6 Designers Held the Spotlight at New York Men’s Day

New York Men’s Day is upon us once again, showcasing some of the finest new talents to enter the menswear domain during New York Fashion Week. This year, the selected visionaries on-the-come-up left nothing unstated, articulating their respective brand identities via inventive presentations and focused visions. Among them, some let their tailoring expertise do the talking; many challenged binaries with genderless design codes, and the more-seasoned creatives leaned fully into cementing their aesthetics. But above all, craftsmanship bubbled to the forefront.

Below, Hypebeast rounded up six standout designers from the showcase.

Nicholas Raefski

Nicholas Raefski set his Spring/Summer 2023 collection in zero gravity, specifically at the bar of an intergalactic hotel. There, the futuristic line presented four fashionable archetypes: the crew of the ship, the guests of the ship, the robots of the ship and the “other.” Each trope, divided across 13 looks styled by Julia Wettreich, sought inspiration from the optimism of the 1950s and ‘60s. Standout ensembles included a red-grey, color-blocked suit, a David-Bowie-embossed button-down shirt and a blue-cream varsity jacket that paired with matching above-the-knee shorts. With statements at his forefront, Raefski imagines his clientele as those “who care about what they wear, but still wants to have fun in the way they dress.”

“This collection was inspired by blind optimism for the future. We did this through a retro-futuristic lens. I wanted to tell a personal narrative that I believe that the future is brighter than the present,” the designer explained. Considering the brand was born out of Raefski’s Fordham University dorm room only two years ago, the forward-looking imprint is on a fast track to industry recognition.

FRIED RICE

Just one year on the calendar, Maya Wang’s FRIED RICE has already made its sartorial vision clear: it’s marked by urban design codes; it boasts a genderless aesthetic, and it operates under the “high street” moniker. This season, the brand debuted a collection that feels like true streetwear, prioritizing oversized constructions with technical notes of utilitarianism weaved seamlessly throughout. Favorites include a green-black jumpsuit that buttons to a collar and snaps at the waist, multi-toned denim overalls decorated with a posse of pull-ties and an oversized, patchwork-style button-down draped over black, below-the-knee shorts.

“As a brand, we are completely focused on the creative community, on celebrating the diversity of creative and cultural perspectives here in our NYC neighborhood and around the world,” said Wang in a statement. “The mood and aesthetic of the brand is a kind of mashed-up creativity and energy that wells up from the dynamism of the diversity of these creative and cultural perspectives around us.”

Aknvas

For SS23, Aknvas creative director Christian Juul Nielsen felt galvanized by French pantomime Pierrot Lunaire, a character who finds himself in an Icelandic flower field upon descending to the Earth from the Moon. There, the rousing persona wears a black headpiece, ruffled shirts and oversized pants, with a touch of silver shine from outer space, all of which play into the label’s SS23 collection.

The lineup features menswear, womenswear and genderless items, including sharp tech taffeta, myriad ruffles and metallic lame fused with chunky open knit sweaters. Signature rope-like detailing decorates shirts paired with shiny, leather shorts, and pants receive frontal clasps above both legs with creases running from top to bottom. At large, the collection’s color story is simply vibrant, with illuminating neons contrasting saturated neutrals, and pinks, purples, blues and greens claiming prominence independently.

NOBIS

Hailing from Toronto, NOBIS made its debut at this season’s New York Men’s Day, with a selection of luxury, minimal outerwear. The brand’s SS23 collection serves up a number of intricate coat silhouettes, including one that drops to the thigh with a cropped interior layer and another that veers toward an hourglass silhouette with dramatic belting just above the waist. But there are also a bevy of more straightforward iterations, like a long, white coat with tactical pockets on either side and a light-green puffer with black detailing and square iconography on its arm.

A.Potts

Namesake visionary Aaron Potts is comfortable at New York Fashion Week, having first debuted at New York Men’s Day with his AW20 collection, “Some Folks and Other Things.” A veteran of the grand showcase, Potts upped the ante for SS23 with a fluid collection that does anything but adhere to the status quo. One ensemble pairs a purple, blouse-like construction with layered shorts in stark gray, and others dress the male form in long black and blue dresses with cinched detailing on the chest. All in all, A.Potts is pleasantly ahead of its time.

“My brand is about giving people tools to explore, to express and to celebrate themselves and their individuality,” said Potts. “We make clothes and moments that dull the hard edges of convention around age, gender, size and race. We make creative clothes that become a useful and versatile uniform and then layer in special, seasonal pieces that have a more ‘everyday-editorial’ vibe.”

Todd Patrick

Founded in 2016 in New York City, menswear imprint Todd Patrick kept it simple, classy and well-tailored for its debut presentation at New York Fashion Week. Designer Desyree Nicole certainly delivered on the button-up front, unveiling a slew of warm-toned top offerings with ever-so-slightly enlarged collars, as well as suits with dramatic lapels. Also in the range were a number of slim-fitting, dual-toned pants, a rave-ready mesh long-sleeve, collared vests and striped tank tops, among other iterations.

For Nicole, the best part about Todd Patrick’s inaugural placement on the official calendar was her ability to showcase her designs on a bigger-and-better platform. “So many friends and family were able to come and share that experience,” she said. “Specifically my little sister Paeton was able to see us in our element and she loved that we cast a female model for the first time. Very thankful and lets us know, we’re doing exactly what we’re meant to be.”

In more fashion week news, Private Policy SS23 is calling all the club kids.

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