Not all brands are created equal. As with cars, watches and fancy homes, the word ‘designer’ is often misused in clothing. Nowadays, designer fashion represents clever craftsmanship, quality fabrics and of course, a blood-rushing aesthetic that makes you have to have that thing, even if it takes your entire pay-check.
Which is why we’ve taken the shoddy away from the sleek, to give you a definitive guide to men’s designer fashion brands this season. Buy one or two, or buy them all (ca-ching!) — just don’t go dressing yourself head to toe in designer logo-ed pieces. That’s trashie, and it’s a style sin.
Sexy, smooth yet madly masculine, American designer Tom Ford is known for his precision. Balancing the quintessential with the avant-garde, Ford’s incredibly cut dinner jackets and tuxedos are his calling card, coming in a myriad of colours and prints. Or simple-and-chic, black. He also boasts a mean grooming line for men, too. Pucker up.
The Italian maison has undergone one of the most drastic directional shifts since Milanese designer, Alessandro Michele, took over the creative director helm in 2015. Nowadays, Gucci is challenging archetypal menswear, offering an eclectic and very romantic feel. But, its Italian craftsmanship and attention to detail, starkly remains.
Britain’s Neil Barrett cut his design teeth at Prada and Gucci in the nineties, before jumping fashion ship and launching his namesake label in 1999. Contemporary graphics — like the lightning bolt — and monochrome hues painted over minimalist style essentials in quality fabrics, are his forte. As is, the leather jacket.
American designer Thom Browne steeps his collections in tailoring, hallmarked by a distinct grey which dusts-up most of his quality-made, contemporary suiting. Cropped trousers and embellished separates are another signature, as well as pebble-grain leather goods. But the TB moniker isn’t his initials, but rather, a navy, red and white stripe swatch that’s stitched onto the edge of his pieces.
DOLCE & GABBANA
Needing no introduction, the Silcian duo have continued to send out some of most iconic (and extensive) menswear collections down the runway since bowing in 1985. Dolce & Gabbana‘s famous monogram only stamps itself on sleek and luxurious pieces. You can’t look past their distinctly Italian collection of suits, impeccably cut and finished for work and the weekend.
The darling of French luxury behemoth LVMH, Louis Vuitton knows what it means to be luxurious. What started out as a trunk maker in 19th-century Paris, Louis Vuitton now offers extensive tailoring and accessories, as well as riffing on a younger-gen cool with luxed-up sneakers and sophisticated streetwear pieces — thanks to LV’s head men’s designer, Kim Jones. But, it’s LV, so it’s still elegant.
More than 100 years since its 1913 debut, Prada has dressed Italian kings and adorned the backs of some of the most stylish celebs on the red carpet. As well as sharp suiting, Prada has ventured into chic athleisure and off-duty pieces, staying molto relevant under the fine eye of Miuccia Prada. Check out Prada’s casual button-ups and knits, and their reworking of classics such as the derby shoe.