PROJECT New York: The New Prep

By Candy Washington

NEW YORK, NY (JULY 2011) - PROJECT New York, driven by the theme of TO-GETHER and primarily focusing on menswear, proved that collaboration is truly the future of fashion. Held in the ever-trendy New York neighborhood of SoHo at 82 Mercer Street on July 17th, 18th, and 19th, the trade show partnered with six different fashion entities that shine on their own but brighter together. I’ve highlighted some of the collaborators below. PROJECT mixes heritage with innovation and displays some of the upcoming fashion trends for men; not-to-mention some fresh and new brands that will give Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren a run for their money.


On the second floor of the trade show lived a hub of male bloggers, giving down-to-the-minute updates on the new fashion trends, current designers, and industry buzz as it was happening. I had the pleasure of meeting Atif Kazmi, Editor-in-Chief of Por Homme, and he excited about his blog, which was one of five chosen to participate. The others included William Yan, Selectism, Madbury Club, and Denim Therapy. The bevy of boy bloggers was curated by the a famed lifestyle blogger Marcus Troy.


One of the most fashion-forward aspects of this year’s PROJECT show featured eleven exclusively selected artisanal brands to make and produce product in real time during the shows. This station embodied the spirit of spontaneity, true craftsmanship and skill, customization, one-of-a-kind pieces, and interactivity between designer and wearer. Featured brands were: Hartford Denim Co. (custom denim), Welcome Stranger (handmade bow-ties), Jon Contino (illustration and typography), Bowery Lane Bicycles (hand-crafted bicycles), Leather Head Sports (handmade footballs and baseballs), ETWAS (handmade, energy-independent bags), Joya (bespoke scented candles), Silva LTD (handmade bamboo and cowhide MacBook and iPad cases), In God We Trust (eclectic engraved jewelry and accessories), Walk Up Press (custom-designed letterpress stationary), and Gabriel Urist (hand-carved jewelry).

The dominant fashion trend throughout the show was The New Prep, think Kanye West meets Brad Goreski during his Project Zoe days. Simple solids mixed with plaids and pastels is the essence of this trend. The king of this look was The Brooklyn Circus. They had a full array of Varsity Letter jackets, leather shoes, and even suspenders, all with a hipster yet 1920′s twist. Airedale truly embraces this fashion statement with striped and printed button-ups, shorts in muted pastels and prints, and shirts, shorts, and pants in light solids. This is ideal for the Georgetown alum summering in the Hamptons. Go Hoyas.

Turn to Mulholland for their oversized Locomotive Weekender made locally from North America bison and comes in a beautiful brown for a masculine carryall. Altru offers a modern and humorous take on the classic vintage tee. Made from 100% cotton their tees with witty graphics and saying look great under your blazers or layered over long-sleeve shirts. Opt for Proper Fools if you want a more militaristic take on this look.

Falling Whistles has embellished metal and steel whistle necklaces that perfectly compliments this style. For edgier accessories Mateo Bijoux designs metal rings, necklaces, and bracelets inspired by knives, scissors, nails, and hammers.