Since working with a very cool 42 year old male client as his personal fashion stylist doing the rounds at all the stylish spots such as Bergdorfs, Earnest Sewn and Barneys I’ve come to see a major lifestyle old/distressed trend. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten wind of this trend ‘old is new’. John Varvatos has been a big pioneer in this look charging high prices for t-shirts, collared shirts, and a whole menswear line in the genre of ‘dirty rocker’. It has certainly been influenced by ‘vintage ware’ which is no longer a cheap alternative of clothing.
This tattered, ripped jean thing is nothing new ( I actually first noticed the trend a few years ago) but I’m seeing shirts that look aged almost ready for the donate pile but they are being sold as ‘new’ and over $200. Certainly the rise in price in cotton has affected the retail world. It seems this ‘cheap/aged/old look is being embraced by men who can afford luxury but chose to reject a polished suit.
The younger generation of men are way more into the Mad Men look than the current 30-50 year old men. Other companies such as Band of Outsiders, Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Rag & Bone, Vince, and many more have followed in Varvatos footsteps. What I find fascinating is that I’ve seen this trend in Jordan Eagles’s burned and aged blood in resin and glass art but also in restaurant decor.
I’m currently obsessed with visiting Williamsburg in Brooklyn on the weekends because of the inexpensive and uber hip restaurants-all of which are new in the last few years but all have ‘old world decor’. Spaces look 100 years old, ceilings appear falsely as tin ceilings or ‘original’ loft beams another era, walls are aged, furniture slightly burned, mirrors faded. Food is fresh and usually on the healthy side-they actually have kale on the menu! My go to list is currently: Walter Foods, Five Leaves, Cafe Colette, Dressler, Diner, Rabbit Hole, and Rye.
But how is a man over 30 to look polished, professional and not like he needs a closet clean out? Since when is luxury about looking like you are just out of the gutter? Is it a bi-product from the Olsen twins garbage fashion style? Or do men just like looking like they threw something on and spent no money on it?