Menswear, defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “clothes for men.” Simple, yet complex. Clothes for me can be more than you think. At the surface, it’s what 99% of the average human would tell you if asked. Let’s be honest with ourselves, if you take the major cities out of this conversation (you know-those that have fashion shows), most would typically have little and/or no interest. Up until three years ago, I was one of them. Sure, I wanted to look good, eat well, and present myself as though I had more than an ounce of dignity, but I really didn’t care who I was wearing or how “in” my outfit really was. Granted, I was in college, and I’m pretty sure most would agree that there were other things on my mind (academic, of course).
Fast forward three years to the present moment. I sit here typing away as an outlet. I needed to get this off my mind. Who knows how many times I’ve talk with Corey and Rob about the subject. What exactly, is the #menswear movement? What is the purpose of what we are doing? Why are we writing this magazine? Questions, questions, and more questions with answers that only lead to more questions. Obvious, I could give into the easy idea that it’s “just because, you know, we like it”. I like listening to music, cooking, meeting new people, but I am not finding myself immerse in it’s content like I am fashion. Hmm.. See, here’s where I was stuck. Why fashion, clothes, style, menswear? Am I just having a 26 year old “crisis” that finds me searching for that safe, paved path? No, it’s not that. See, I wasn’t the creative kind in my school days. Art was probably my least favorite subject. I had a limited vocabulary and had no intention of gaining a new hobby. I stuck to what was my everyday agenda. No, my father wasn’t a writer and had no interest in clothes and/or any kind of fashion. See, what changed me, quickly, was when I first stepped foot on European soil. There’s another world out there. A world un-like anything you’ve ever seen. Culture, language, ethnicity, food, clothes, architecture. Yes, it exists. This is where I started to connect the dots. You see, menswear isn’t just clothes for us. At its roots, it’s about creative expression and content. We don’t see clothes, we see works of art. We don’t care who designed it or how high their Klout score may be, we care about the mind of the maker. It’s what pushes us to do what it is we do as artists. We use the clothes that we wear as our creative outlet- a palette to express our thoughts, creativity, and mindset. We appreciate clothes the same way men might appreciate sports, cars, working out etc. Style in itself isn’t a noun , rather a verb that is used to be oneself in a world full of traditionalists.
Which brings me to my next point; Where is this menswear movement occurring? The obvious answer is NYC, Paris, London, LA, Milan, and Tokyo. They’re the hubs of the fashion world. Of course, they are included in this conversation. But there’s a deeper movement happening all across the states. Take, for example, the commercials you see on your television sets. Yes, they are selling a common product, but look at what the men are wearing in these commercials. Slim fitting dark wash denim; check. Buffalo plaid fitted button up; check. Large work boots; check. You see, companies are tapping into the menswear movement to help reach a new, younger creative audience. Look at what Baldwin denim is doing. They are in Kansas City. That’s right, Kansas City. If you would have asked me seven-eight years ago if I thought a denim company would not only survive, but make some of the best denim in the industry, I would have most likely thought you were crazy. Men and women are starting to truly appreciate genuinely crafted garments from high-skilled tailors. Hundreds of years ago they were a necessity. We take for granted what goes into our clothes and the skill labor it takes to manufacture it.
Needless to say, I appreciate what’s happening. Call it what you like, it’s here to stay.