Presented at the Prince George Gallery on East 15th Street, the spring/summer Men’s Fashion Week opened Monday, July 10, with Nonich, a savvy young men’s line stemming from the University of Maryland.
The collection is designed by two talented designers, Rodrick Campbell, 22, and Damar Bess, 21. The look is socially conscious sportswear with street swagger. The brand is high-fashion with impeccable tailoring. The designs of these two young designers were quite a surprise. One could say they were a long way from home, coming from Maryland. However, their fashions put them right in the heart of New York’s fashion industry. Their clothes were inspired by life in Maryland and Washington, D.C. On the runway models, there were flashes of jewelry, otherwise known as bling, on heads and around the foreheads. Their message was a slap in the face of today’s political climate. Pants were cut off and fringed or frayed at the bottoms. There were neckties wrapped around heads, waistlines, pants legs, waistlines, hips or just hanging out of pockets. The styling of their clothes questioned the establishment. The two designers wanted to start their own business in the fashion industry. With a comfortable collection of pants, shirts, jackets and coats, they are destined for success!
The brand’s three founders Bess, Campbell and Henry Blanco are all from diverse backgrounds. The company’s clothes are influenced by a blend of Western European outerwear, Japanese streetwear and American fashion swagger. According to Blanco, “Nonich’s new emphasis on social impact is a way for the team to stay level-headed, and to keep reality in the back of their minds. There’s still more important things going on in the world.”
After Nonich, menswear designers Dexter Gill (Black designer) and Antinoo presented their collections. Gill’s clothes, presented in the afternoon, were a bit more conservative. There were several classic designs. During the evening, Antinoo showed a playful, fun-in-the-sun collection. There were tie-dyed T-shirts and vibrant yellow shorts worn under a tailored suit jacket that was well-received. Vests with white shirts and white pants made a splash. In various cuts, Antinoo’s summer pants were casual, yet newsworthy. The straw hat is back with a cowboy hat twist.