Kenwerks is a creative marketing firm based out of Los Angeles and New York. Working with a vast array of entertainment personas and fashion brands, Kenwerks has an uncanny sense of spotting exciting trends in multimedia particularly in fashion. The firm spots brands with singular style and vision long before they have blown up, leading Kenwerks itself to be a coveted name in the world of fashion.
Last week in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan Kenwerks proudly displayed the SS 15 collections of some of their hottest up and coming brands. These brands offered the most exciting garments in the show room, offering cutting edge aesthetic with high-caliber craftsmanship.
Made for Pearl
Paying homage to a fallen relative is noble. Paying homage to 1960s fashion is cool. Therefore Malyn Joplin’s Made for Pearl, (that we have already covered here) a women’s fashion brand with styles inspired by the rebel spirit of her aunt Janis Joplin, is nobly cool. Kenwerks proudly showed off the MFP SS 15 line featuring (slightly) hippie-chic blouses, dresses, tops, and bottoms. Earthy colors and billowing hems make the clothes really pop, and establish the brand as a premiere spot for statement pieces. Perfect for those looking to add some boho flair into a fashion-conscious wardrobe.
Southern Tide has less to do with fashion than it does with clothes. From an urban style standpoint, the clothes displayed weren’t going to blow any minds of the street style elite, and that’s what made them so refreshingly presentable. Heavily influenced by rich southern Country Club looks, the SS 15 collection featured brightly colored pants, shorts, polos, plaids, and basically lots of clothes that you could see a dapper looking southern gentleman wearing on the golf course or on his yacht.
The brand’s alarmingly young founder and creative director Allen Stephenson was at the Kenwerks room and presented himself as refreshingly un-fashion forward as his brand hints at. A good ol’ southern boy in the truest sense, Stephenson offers a warm smile and a firm handshake as he explains what he wanted to do with his brand, “It’s not part of that [NYC] look he says,” pointing at some of the more style-conscious collections displayed, “Our customer doesn’t care about fashion, he just wants some well-fitting clothes to look sharp in.”
But, prep clothes are on the comeback. Less we forget the success of Mark McNairy’s blend or urban badassness and British prep with brand New Amsterdam. Southern Tide might fill a void for those looking for a very traditional form of prep-chic.
And speaking of that urban street style-forward fashion, Matiere does it at a very high level. But what makes it stand out from the pack is the use of beautiful looking, and more importantly, wonderfully feeling fabrics. Matiere uses innovative fabrics and weaves them into modern and forward looking designs allowing for singular statement pieces that feel good enough to become staples of any man’s wardrobe. Dropped crotch sweatpants, sleep linen shirts, and beautiful monochromatic palettes are usually enough to bring out the credit cards of the creative types looking to get in Tommy Ton photos during fashion week. But the proposition of them feeling as good as anything else in your collection makes the looks all the more enticing.
Unlike almost all the other brands shown at the Kenwerks show room, Cockpit USA is no spring chicken. This is a 40-year old heritage brand offering the most artfully-crafted military wear in the game. And the time is now for heritage brands. We live in a time where Opening Ceremony can sell Levi’s and Carhartt alongside the highest of high fashion brands like Kenzo. Huge companies like G-Star Raw combine military wear designs with ultra-sleek aesthetic. In short, the time is now for something like Cockpit USA.
For their 40th anniversary SS 15 collection, Cockpit offered a series of beautiful coats ranging from parkas, bombers, varsity jackets, and much more. They all have that heavy, well-made look that could sit equally well on on someone who creates multimedia art as someone who paints houses. But what was most striking was the leather jackets. Incredibly heavy and with the sharp Marlon Brando-inspired motorcycle design that enthusiasts know are the best motorcycle jacket designs. In the opinion of this style enthused young man, they are every bit the equal of the coveted Schott Perfecto.
Had to talk about this intriguing women’s shoes collection that offers high quality shoes that look taken off the feet of flower children during the summer of love. The appropriately Santa Barbara-inspired brand Koolaburra yields the tag line “Boho For Ever” and seems to hold firm in that psychedelia-inspired fashion is functional, beautiful, and long-lasting. Reminescent of Japanese Americana-inspired men’s brand Visivim, the SS 15 line walks the fine line between hippie and high fashion.