These shirts are made from the highest quality
fabrics, with excellent attention to details, including nipped waist
detailing and reinforced cuff and collar stitching. Shaant shirts
also stand out due to the quirky, understated accents such as stripes
running down the sides and irregular contrast stitching "lifelines"
patterns running horizontally across the chest and in tree-branch
designs. These pieces are sophisticated enough to wear to the office,
and once night falls, they are stylishly fun pieces to throw on
for a night out on the town. Celebrity fans of the line include
Adam Brody of Fox TV's The OC, actor and tabloid target Ashton
Kutcher, 98 Degrees' Nick Lachey, and Legolas Greenleaf himself,
Orlando Bloom. They have all been spotted wearing Shaant shirts
on the red carpet in Hollywood and Los Angeles. The line is presently
sold at Macy's East, and select high-end boutiques around the country.
INSTEAD OF a full-blown runway presentation,
Marc Ecko held a cocktail reception slash installation showing
to preview his fall line. To no one's surprise, the focus of the
line has shifted from hard hip-hop, street fashion to one that showcases
a more refined view of the urban male customer. Mr Ecko showed styled
suits and preppy looking pieces that signal an acknowledgement that
the heavy duty hip hop street movement in fashion has pretty much
ran its course.
We have Sean P. Diddy Combs to thank
for that. When he entered the market with his Sean John line, he
pretty much followed the same script as everyone else; but being
a person of vision, he soon began steering a course of his own making,
veering off into tailored menswear designs, and less focus on the
logo look that is the foundation of the market-place.
Mr Ecko is now going down this road in a meaningful
manner. I liked his woollen extra-long four-button jacket, the Wall
Street suspender look and his attempt at creating a youthful variation
on the formal suit. In fact, all his suits were surprisingly good.
And not to totally abandon his roots, he showed some logo T-shirts
and long sleeve shirts, as well as other active wear pieces that
will serve to keep the faithful happy.
Mr Ecko's ability to keep his finger on the pulse
of "what's hot" in the youth market has resulted in expansion
into magazine publishing (Complex magazine with a circulation
of 300,000), shoes, bags, jewellery, eyewear, watches, and broad
entrees into the emerging skatesnow, active sports, MotoX
and BMX categoriesall encompassed
within the collection on view in February. The Rhino lives on and
seems destine to do for a long while to come.
Caputos target consumer
is the guy that is trying to be hip without looking as if he's trying
too hard; and every piece of collection serves that purpose wonderfully
ABOVE: Marc Ecko.
is a 12-year industry veteran, having worked for Tommy Hilfiger,
Halston for men and Perry Ellis Jeans, as well as being design director
for the Federated Merchandising Group. Mr Caputo believes that someone
wearing his designs should look smart and fashionable while
feeling cool and confident. And so they will in Mr Caputo's
fall 2004 Varsity-themed collection. He skilfully mixed
pieces inspired by the street (example, a nylon active trouser)
with preppy pieces (a black letterman cardigan sweater over a white
shirt) and it all just seems to work very well. He paired hooded
sweaters with more formal looking suit jackets and it is not the
least bit out of place. His target consumer is the guy that is trying
to be hip without looking as if he's trying too hard; and every
piece of collection serves that purpose wonderfully well.