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Spring’s on the way at New York Men’s Day

The New York Men’s Day showcase for Fall/Winter 2023 displayed a strong mix of outerwear and prints, emphasizing that seasons don’t need to dictate fashion.

February 13, 2023

Color flooded New York City’s Midtown neighborhood on Friday, Feb. 10. From 23rd Street to 57th Street, the roads were brimming with warm tones and long, unwieldy spring jackets, and people marched to the beat of New York Fashion Week. With all the unzipped jackets, loose tops and minimal layers, it was as if there had been a universal realization: spring is on its way. 

Daylight Studios was the perfect backdrop for the New York Men’s Day afternoon show. Three floors worth of brands fulfilled a collective desire to embrace fashion that differed from previous seasons. An impatient crowd packed into the elevators, and were soon rewarded by the variety displayed in each showroom.

A group of people standing in a studio space, with models and backdrops behind them, at the Nicholas Raefeski show.
Nicholas Raefeski, Fall/Winter 2023 Collection, New York Men's Day. (Yvonne Song for WSN)

The designers presented in the afternoon session included CROSS EYED MOOSE, Bulan, Dionysus, Jahnkoy, Nicholas Raefski, Nobis and Raleigh Workshop. Each collection portrayed clever technical skill, individual ethos and creative artistic expression. 

Of all the remarkable garments, CROSS EYED MOOSE, Bulan and Nicholas Raefski’s designs told the richest stories. CROSS EYED MOOSE featured colors like biking red, electric blue and orange, as well as modernized camo prints in assorted colors, influenced by the simple techwear concepts of gorpcore and normcore. The clothing was functional and sleek, made with top-notch fitting and materials. CROSS EYED MOOSE elevates techwear with its inclusion of colors and oversized silhouettes.

Two models stand in front of a blue and orange backdrop. A model with white facial hair wears a beige jacket and is holding a black handbag on the left; a model wearing a patterned blue shirt and black pants with orange patterns stands on the right.

“Born in the city, made for the wild,” Senior Men’s Design Manager Niran Avisar said of the brand’s tagline.

Avisar explained that CROSS EYED MOOSE’s mission statement acts as a bridge between the city and the world, targeting those who aren’t exclusively bound to one environment — modern-day nomads. The clothing has characteristics for outdoor functionality, like quick wicking, slanted pockets, detachable pockets that turn into crossbody bags, three-in-one jackets/vests and reversible insides with sherpa lining for a highly functional, high fashion look. 

Models were free to move within their sections, imbuing a sense of life to the clothes that is often lost on the runway. They posed for off-hand pictures and maintained a statuesque demeanor until the camera clicked.

A model wearing an orange outfit and sunglasses at the C.E.M. show.
A model with braided hair wearing a brown and green outfit and beige pants at the C.E.M. show.
CROSS EYED MOOSE, Fall/Winter 2023 Collection, New York Men's Day. (Yvonne Song for WSN)
A C.E.M. model wearing a green camouflage outfit and orange pants.

CROSS EYED MOOSE models Isaiah Baumgardner and Aaron Laporte agreed that though their styling may have been too fashion-forward for everyday wear, versatile clothing is a statement in and of itself.

“I like the pants…[they] could be baggier,” Laporte said. He noted that the inclusion of performance fabric in stylish clothing is scarce. 

Baumgardner spoke to the empowerment he felt on the runway and the comfort of the clothes he was wearing, adding that “functionality is convenient.”

A close-up photo of a model wearing a white, knitted robe with holes, blue knitted pants with orange stripes and black sandals
Photo of a model wearing a white, knitted robe with holes, blue knitted pants with orange stripes and black sandals
Bulan, Fall/Winter 2023 Collection, New York Men's Day. (Yvonne Song for WSN)
A model wearing a burgundy robe, green knitted pants and black sandals.

Also on display was Bulan, an outlier given that its models remained almost frozen in place, with sultry expressions. Layered knitwear with tubing created a kitschy aesthetic. The models stood on elevated 3D platforms, conveying an otherworldly, costume-like feel that was as sharp as the eye contact the models held. Despite being completely knitwear, many of the garments were slender and form-fitting, hugging the body perfectly. Seams and darts were veiled within the fabric, creating sleek silhouettes.

A group of people standing inside a white studio space. Several models wearing straw hats and brightly-colored outfits.
JAHNKOY, Fall/Winter 2023 Collection, New York Men's Day. (Yvonne Song for WSN)

Nicholas Raefski fully utilized the blank canvas of the studio space. Six display cases were occupied by models, each donning graphic prints and handbags in front of a scenic backdrop. Raefski displayed looks for any given occasion; from sports sneakers to business loafers, they had a diverse line befitting any buyer. 

Though not all the collections had Dionysus’ dog models or Nicholas Raefski’s live DJs, each brand had a distinct feel, with no two collections the same. NYMD proves that the trajectory of style and fashion doesn’t need to be linear.

Contact Anthony Offiah at [email protected]

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