New York, N.Y.—GQ announced today the return of the Best New Menswear Designers in America program for the tenth year, celebrating some of the top designer alumni from the past decade. The project, established in 2007, recognizes the best young menswear designers in the country and works to advance the talented up-and-comers. This year, GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson and creative director Jim Moore invited back four of the program’s all-stars to create capsule collections in celebration of the past decade of talent. The four designers will be featured in the April 2016 issue of GQ, on national newsstands March 29, and will collaborate with Gap on a limited-edition collection, to be sold in the fall exclusively at select Gap stores around the world.
GQ’s 2016 Best New Menswear Designers in America, All-Star Edition:
Michael Bastian (New York, established 2006, GQ Class of ‘07, ‘11)—The beauty of Bastian’s clothes is that they can be remixed a hundred different ways. “It’s a great challenge,” Bastian tells GQ of creating his capsule collection. “It’s the difference between a novel and a good short story. They’re equally powerful.” But as the only designer to ever be given repeat recognition in the program (he participated in both 2007 and 2011), he was top of the list for this year’s All-Star roster.
Steven Alan (New York, established 1994, GQ Class of ’08)—Most designers build their collections and work their way up to opening a storefront. Steven Alan did it backward. The clothes he did make (shirts, mostly) were basically private-label pieces to fill his own shelves. He opened a showroom in 1997 and gradually diversified: a striped tie here, a polo there, until he was a capital-F fashion designer. Today he’s a one stop shop with everything from shirts and shoes to sunglasses and watches, all stocked next to those under-the-radar brands he’s found through his travels. That collection-curation combo is a move many major menswear retailers have since borrowed—but nobody ever nails it quite as well as Steven Alan.
Saturdays NYC (New York, established 2009, GQ Class of ‘12)—Founded by Morgan Collett, Colin Tunstall, and Josh Rosen, Saturdays showed up out of nowhere, a magpie line that fathered all the style touch points of the moment: the surf-culture explosion, the shrunk-in-the-wash fit, and the crisp graphic designers aimed at city kids partying on the tiki-torched decks in Montauk and Malibu. What Saturdays does best, is make the brand feel like a way of life. From publishing their own in-house magazine to developing a coffee blend, their shops (now in New York, Japan, and Australia) feel like your most stylish buddy’s weekend home.
John Elliot (Los Angeles, established 2012, GQ Class of ‘14)—When Elliot first participated in the program just two years ago, he was working out of an apartment with three other guys, and the quartet has since revolutionized menswear with their side zip hoodies and tapered sweatpants. “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,” reflects Elliot. He has since ascended to street wear-demigod status with his signature layered look, creating a style movement that is still gathering steam.
"We're in a celebratory mood—ten years is a good chunk of time, enough for this program to have introduced an impressive array of talented designers to a wider audience, and to establish itself as part of the fashion world's creative support system,” says editor-in-chief Jim Nelson. “So we wanted to go big this year, to revisit some of our most significant alumni over the decade. We’re calling them our All-Stars. Together, they show the breadth, growth and promise of American men's fashion."
“Gap is thrilled to continue our partnership with GQ and celebrate the All-Stars that are redefining American menswear,” says Wendi Goldman, Gap’s EVP of Product Design and Development. “We’re excited to toast ten years of this incredible initiative with a group of designers that have left a lasting impact on the program. We can’t wait to bring their unique vision to our customers, who eagerly anticipate these exclusive collections every season.”
As part of the Best New Menswear Designers in America project, GQ will work with each All-Star designer as they create an affordable exclusive line that will be available this fall at select Gap stores in more than seven countries, as well as at www.gap.com. Additionally, pieces from the collection will be featured in the October 2016 issue of GQ.
GQ is the leading men’s general-interest magazine, with a monthly readership of 7 million readers. It is available in print, online at GQ.com, and as an app at iTunes.com. The magazine is published by Condé Nast, a division of Advance Publications. Condé Nast operates in twenty-five countries and is the world leader in exceptional content creation.
Gap is one of the world's most iconic apparel and accessories brands and the authority on American casual style. Founded in San Francisco in 1969, Gap’s collections are designed to build the foundation of modern wardrobes – all things denim, classic white shirts, khakis and must-have trends. Beginning with the first international store in London in 1987, Gap continues to connect with customers online and across the brand’s about 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. Gap includes Women's and Men's apparel and accessories, GapKids, babyGap, GapMaternity, GapBody and GapFit collections. The brand also serves value-conscious customers with exclusively-designed collections for Gap Outlet and Gap Factory Stores. Gap is the namesake brand for leading global specialty retailer, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.