Most of the designers I’ve spoken to don’t do traditional fashion shows. “I’m still talking to CFDA [Council of Fashion Designers of America]- they really piss me off, to be very honest with you, ”Snyder said. “They, I don’t think, are supporting American designers. I don’t feel like they’re supporting Teddy Santis, who should be considered the best new designer. Like, without exception, he should get it. He built an empire under all our noses, and he did it his way. And the same with Noah. Now, of course, everyone knows who Jerry Lorenzo is, but… Fear of God was doing the same. Same thing Virgil [Abloh] was doing. “

The industry thinks that if an American designer is lucky, he could get a job at a European luxury house. But none of these stars seem destined for the fashion machine. Most of them grew up wearing sneakers, T-shirts and jeans, listening to rap, going to hardcore concerts. They don’t care about craftsmanship, nor does the European fashion system. “For us, our dream has never been to go to a big luxury fashion house; it has always been to create our own house, ”says Lorenzo. Now the goal beyond that is a creative position in a sneaker brand, like Santis with New Balance, or Kanye West with Adidas, or Pyer Moss designer Kerby-Jean Raymond with Reebok, or the one that Lorenzo formalized with the Adidas basketball last winter. .

The new rotation of American shoes

New business models

Snyder, from Iowan, has the pragmatism of a Midwest when it comes to explaining the ethics that make his brand work. His clothes are conservative, but he is in a way the godfather of this movement. He left J.Crew a decade ago knowing how to dress a tasteful 30-something. At the time, he saw brands like Bonobos grab this customer with their disruptive, direct-to-consumer pitch, but felt that while many men might be “scared” by the excess of runway fashion, there was more than one who was stylish and silver enough that they were drawn to something more thoughtful. It’s not independent – American Eagle acquired its brand in 2015 – but it has actually allowed it to do what the old-fashioned system, with its layers of middleman retailers and relationships with the mainstream media, does. didn’t: eliminate retailers so he can speak directly to his audience. As he learned from a successful partnership he oversaw between J.Crew and Red Wing, the collaborations are getting media attention, so he does a lot, with brands like LLBean and Champion.

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Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds

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