GQ celebrates Best New Designers 10th anniversary with alumni capsule
GQ has been responsible for introducing a number of promising, talented American menswear designers to the mass market through its Best New Designers in America initiative, including CFDA nominees and winners Alexander Wang, Billy Reid and Todd Snyder, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Baldwin, and International Woolmark Prize USA finalist David Hart.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Best New Designers in America initiative, the publication has selected four alumni to create a capsule for Gap stores. The 2016 Best New Designers in America are Michael Bastian, Steven Alan, Morgan Collett, Colin Tunstall and Josh Rosen of Saturdays Surf NYC, and John Elliott.
Michael Bastian is the only American designer to be a part of two BNMDA classes in 2007 and 2011, and the number bumps to three with this year’s crew. Bastian launched his eponymous label in 2006 and was nominated for four consecutive CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year awards from 2008 to 2011, with an additional nomination in 2013. Bastian won the award in 2011.
Steven Alan launched in 1994 as a retailer before eventually dipping into design. “When I first started the store, the goal was to be a really interesting retailer, travel the world and sell all these brands I found,” Alan told GQ. In 1997, he opened his showroom and gradually diversified his product range. Alan is part of the 2008 BNMDA class.
Collett, Tunstall and Rosen founded Saturdays Surf NYC in 2009 and quickly attracted those with an affinity for fashion and surf (and coffee). The trio operates stores in New York City, Tokyo and Sydney that double as a shop and hangout for local folks. Saturdays was named to the 2012 GQ BNMDA class, and was among the first brands to design a capsule for Gap stores.
Lastly, John Elliott launched in 2012 and quickly ascended the menswear ranks, which included a BNMDA selection in 2014, becoming a premier brand at NYFW:M and countless partnerships including one with Bergdorf Goodman. GQ mentions that when they had selected Elliott as one of the Best New Designers, he was operating out of an apartment in a team of four. Since then, John Elliott has become a favorite amongst athletes and is a brand name on the tip of every men’s fashion lover’s tongue.
“One of the most incredible experiences of my life was going to the Gap near where I live in L.A. to look at my first GQ collection, and they didn’t have anything left,” he says. “They’d had a line outside, and they sold out.”
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