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Brett Johnson held his first presentation during New York Fashion Week Men’s last week. Having met Brett at one of his initial trunk shows, it was a honor to be able to experience his first New York Fashion Week presentation. Johnson joined the ranks of established names presenting during New York Fashion Week. It is always refreshing to see new and upcoming artists get their chance to shine among the greats.
Creative director and founder, Brett Johnson started his label in 2013 and has come a long way from his initial beginnings of customizing Nike Air Force Ones. Honing this shoe experience, Johnson got a taste of designing and set out to create a clothing line to express his own design aesthetic. The initial collections focused on outerwear and were available online. Not longer after, Johnson was selling his line through trunk shows at Neiman Marcus and Stanley Korshak.
For his Autumn/Winter 2016 presentation, Johnson has fleshed out his line adding a full collection of relaxed and casual tailored sportswear. “I was inspired by the leisure lifestyle of influential men and the historical references to the American West found in their off-duty, sartorial choices,” said the Washington, DC based designer. This sophisticated casualness or Sprezzatura was the name of the collection.
Underneath his quiet demeanor lies a confidence that shows in his designs. Johnson blends the ruggedness of the American West with the modern sophistication of city life. Standouts included his western style jean jacket in supple leather or his fox fur lined topcoat that artfully blended the best of both worlds. In addition, his knitwear such as his oversized cardigan with toggle closures shown both ¾ length and full length was topnotch.
But Johnson also stays true to his roots. Bomber jackets, topcoats and travel jackets have been mainstays in his collection and are still represented in this current mix. What sets these pieces apart is quality of the fabrics. The collection, hand crafted in Florence, employs cashmeres, nubuck leather, suede and high-performance nylon. And while they may be made in Italy they still have a decidedly American appeal.
It’s nice to see a fellow DC guy make a splash in the Big Apple. Among his many supporters in attendance were publisher of Capitol File, Suzy Jacobs; famed designer and mentor, Kay Unger and probably his biggest fan, his mother, Sheila Johnson.
See the full collection here (all photos by me):
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