Comfort, Color and Casual Were the Buzzwords at New York Trade Shows – WWD

NEW YORK — The mood was upbeat and optimistic at the New York men’s trade shows last week despite some significant headwinds that have impacted the climate in the past few months.

Although production and retail issues are still a concern for many, the majority of vendors at Project and Man showed off their colorful, casually skewed and often sustainable spring 2024 collections.

“The mood is really good, but it’s stressful out there,” said Garrett Leigh of the eyewear brand that bears his name. “I can’t recall a time this challenging, but you also have to convince yourself to take risks to build your business.”

As an example, he decided to expand his eyewear collection to include golf-specific styles and attended the PGA Show Florida in January in order to launch the new collection. He has gained a number country clubs as customers and works with them on special gifts to be given at their member tournaments.

Although he wasn’t sure how the category expansion would work, he still opted to make the leap. “I don’t know how you can grow your business without opening new channels,” he said.

Edwina Kulego, vice president of men’s for Informa Markets Fashion, owner of the Project Show, agreed that the industry has been “having a hard time the last two to three years.” Brands at the show were working hard to “figure things out,” she added, as production issues hamper their ability to produce samples and collections.

“But there’s also a lot of optimism and collaborating,” she said, adding that brands that showed at Project were quick to help their colleagues with retail contacts as well as suggestions on how to overcome their manufacturing issues. “They’re having a lot of conversations with each other and that banding together is healthy for all of us,” she said.

John Webb, from Handvaerk, was also positive. His business is doing well because the brand is built around high-quality basics like T-shirts and polo shirts. “People are past worrying these days; it’s time to get on with our lives,” he said. “Everyone wanted to dressed up after COVID[-19]” but now, they’re opting for pieces that are sophisticated yet comfortable — which is right in the brand’s wheelhouse. Retailers know that they will always have the merchandise they need because of its replenishment options.

The Project and Man show last week featured some of the most popular brands.


Brand: Agnes B Homme

Designer: Agnes B

Backstory: Agnes Trouble, born in Versailles, was exposed to music and art by her father as a child. In her teens, she wanted to be a museum curator. But at the age of 17, she married Christian Bourgois a book publisher who was also a cinema enthusiast. She then switched from curating to fashion designing and launched her first collection in 1974. Although womenswear represents more than 80 percent of sales, she has been creating menswear since 1982 and even designed stage outfits for David Bowie in the ’80s. Up until now, however, the designer has never wholesaled the men’s collection, only selling it in her own stores around the world. The designer changed that with the new season.

A look from Agnes B’s spring collection.

Key Looks: The spring collection was inspired by the south of France, Morocco and offers a variety of relaxed and chic silhouettes with neutrals and pastels. “It evokes the mentality of an elegant garden party,” said Jon Kalupa, president of the Avalon Group, which reps the brand in the States. Top pieces included a sweater-vest, short-sleeved double-face jersey tops with zip closures, a denim “suit” with a shirtwaist construction and Agnes B’s distinct take on three-button sack suits and four-button Nehru-style jackets. The traditional seersucker coat could also be paired up with pants that had an elasticized waistband at the back.

Retail prices: Shirts can be purchased for $350 – $450. Knitwear ranges from $400 – $600. Jackets are priced between $795 & $895. A suit costs $1200.

Brand: Mavrans

Designer: Michael Szklaver

Backstory: Mavrans’ vibrant, graphic style gives resortwear a fresh look. The Miami-based lifestyle label was founded in 2018 by Michael Szklaver. It offers a variety of retro hand-drawn designs on swimsuits both for men and women. Many feature nature motifs and classic beachfront locations, such as Ocean Drive or Havana.  Sustainability makes up one of the brand’s pillars, with all of its fabrics being made from 100 percent recycled plastics, coconut husks and organic cottons, and also utilizing digital printing, a practice Szklaver says helps minimize waste and dye usage. Most popular are the short-sleeved shirt-and-shorts sets, which mimic many of the prints used on their swimwear. These have been worn on celebrities including Maluma, Ed Sheeran and Joe Jonas. Szklaver has incorporated Miami into their spring collection by using tropical elements, such as plant and fruit graphics in black and mauve. 

Mavrans: A Look at the World.


Key Pieces Rainbow Crochet shirts, animal-print short sleeve shirts and a short sleeve shirt with a Dragon Fruit graphic.

Retail Prices The price ranges from $49 up to $169 for the crocheted shirts and $99 for each of the matching sets.

Brand: North Works

Designer: Toshi Ohta 

Backstory: North Works, a Japanese jewelry brand, uses silver coins dating back to the 1800s or 1900s. They turn them into bracelets as well as rings, cuffs, and necklaces. The brand, which launched in 2011, regularly uses American silver dollar coins for its pieces and keeps many of the coin’s original features for the jewelry’s design, such as the “United States of America” script or an image of the Statue of Liberty. The brand also has a line of beaded jewellery made from deadstock Murano Glass beads. 

North Works' silver coin jewelry

North Works’ silver coin jewelry.


Key Looks: The brand’s focus this season is on silver coin jewelry. It offers a selection of rings, necklaces and bracelets. 

Retail prices: Prices for American silver dollar coin pieces start at $150 and can go as high as $1,000. 


Brand: Marina Leight Atelier

Designer: Marina Leight

Backstory: The designer has had a long career in fashion. She’s been making clothes since she was in the second grade, studied under a Savile Row tailor, is a master cutter, and apprenticed with a couture house in Rome for three years before returning to L.A. to open her own design agency, factory and custom atelier. She decided two years ago that it was time for her to launch a line under her name. The wife of Garrett Leight, an eyewear designer, grew in the San Juan islands near Seattle. She also spent summers on Alaskan fishing boats. Her collection is therefore ethically and sustainably produced.

Marina Leight Atelier’s spring collection.

Key Looks: The spring/summer “sticks and stones” collection is inspired by driftwood and rocks that she found on the beach near her home as a child. The neutral color palette and simple, unstructured silhouettes — many of which are genderless such as a short-sleeved snap-front romper and wide-legged trouser — evoke warm summer nights and soft waves. To appeal to both men and women, Leight sizes each piece from 1 to 6 but the label flips over to detail more-traditional men’s and women’s sizes and washing instructions. All of her fabrics are biodegradable because of her love for nature and history. Top pieces include an unlined California trench in cotton flannel; a button-up shirt with an exaggerated pocket; slouchy Ts; convertible mini tunics; drawstring drop-crotch pants, and a corduroy mechanic’s jumpsuit, an updated version of what she wore on her family’s fishing boats when she was a child.

Retail prices: The California trench retails for $530 and most pieces range between $250 and $400.

Brand: Vintage Heavy

Designer: Jason Geter

Backstory: Geter launched Vintage Heavy (2017) with the intention of creating products that were high quality and had a vintage-like feel. All garments are produced in America in limited numbers to ensure quality and avoid overproduction. The brand’s aesthetic, while some pieces may be made with deadstock fabric, is inspired by vintage styles. It incorporates fades, washings and distressings into its pieces.    

Vintage Heavy’s spring styles.

Vintage Heavy

Key Looks: Vintage Heavy is focusing on its fleeces for spring 2024, specifically its license with animated series “Peanuts.” The animated characters are featured on an array of washed-out sweaters designed in a range of colors. 

Retail prices: The brand’s fleece sweaters range from $250 to $460. 

Brand: Richter Goods 

Designer: Mario Guajardo and Bronte Treat 

Backstory: Based in San Antonio, Texas, Richter Goods was launched by business partners Mario Guajardo and Bronte Treat to pay homage to the brand’s hometown and Western roots. The menswear label focuses on Western-inspired men’s shirting, giving a nod to Texan motifs through design details like plaid prints, pearl snaps and chain stitching. The brand is made up of a group of 10 seamstresses, who make each piece by hand using materials and fabrics from Italy and Japan.

Richter Goods spring 2024 collection

A style from Richter Goods’ spring 2024 collection.

Richter Goods

Key Looks: The designers chose as a spring highlight a chain-stitched jacket with original artwork. The brand’s signature men’s shirting is also key for spring, including a green plaid long-sleeved shirt and a blue and white striped short-sleeved shirt. 

Retail prices: Richter Goods’ men’s shirts range from $160 to $250. 

Brand: MonoStereo

Designer: Colby Black

Backstory: Locals living in Malibu and a dash of the surf and skate culture of California from the ’70s and ’80s serves as the starting point for MonoStereo. The made-in-Los Angeles brand’s third season offers a vintage, unisex look, featuring a range of wearable silhouettes, including French jacquards, Japanese roll goods, and garment dyeing techniques. This season’s inspiration: California Hippie meets Western Hippie. The brand comes as a joint venture from industry veterans Alex Seastrom — one of the cofounders of Mowgli Surf, dedicated to tie-dye and the aesthetics of surfwear from the ’90s, and Colby Black, former chief product officer at Urban Outfitters.

MonoStereo spring 2020:

Key Pieces The collection includes oversized jackets and pants, military pants made of hemp cotton twill (perfect for the winter in California), surf jackets with a French-inspired jacquard, as well as oversized jackets with cowboy graphics, and jacquard trousers with cowboy graphic.

Retail Prices The price range for Ts is $65-$195, for shirts, it’s $175-$225, and for jackets $295. Pants are $245-275.