In 2021, as consumers break the old rules of menswear, they aim to define luxury for themselves, by challenging the underlying assumptions of traditional menswear. In fact, the next generation’s consumers will have a fresh perspective on what the meaning of menswear apparel means to them. Or will they?
All too often, experts in the field aim to highlight craftsmanship, heritage, quality and style as the defining characteristics of impeccably-made apparel. But given the circumstances of the world today, competing distinctions have thrown a wrench into the modified menswear equation. Truthfully, workplace productivity increases with structured apparel rules.
Now, the time is ripe for revolution, for the Kings of menswear, to go to battle and reclaim lost territory.
So how is menswear going to evolve from this point on? Well, many fashion insiders ( including myself) feel that luxury has been watered-down appeal to pop-culture celebrities and consumers. More to the point, luxury is about exclusivity; that will not change. Perhaps the term luxury has reached its peak, but exclusivity is a special club that has more to do with cultural values than a mere price tag. In fact, luxury brands are among the fastest growing business sectors worldwide.
To me, the younger generation is desperately striving to challenge the experts in the luxury sector. And in doing so they have been creating some of the most heinous designs and silhouettes that I have ever seen in the history of menswear. I mean, I guess it’s great if you’re under 30 and jobless. I honestly, have never seen any of these creations worn at the office or for leisure – for that matter. I find a lot of it to be tasteless.
I say, if your aim is to challenge the leaders then do so with knowledge, expertise and taste rather than absurdity, vulgarity and poor taste. Sadly, through out the last two decades, I have witnessed firsthand top-tier menswear brands pandering to pop-culture artists in hopes of obtaining a larger social media presence with Generation Z. Seriously, if you are a young professional man seeking to take advice from a menswear brand; are you really going to care which pop-star is wearing it? Where is all this going? I suggest, that the industry dial back on the hype. If you are over 21 years of age and wish to dress like a pop-icon, then my expert advice is not for you.
On the contrary, I believe that structure and uniformity help make a man appear serious and professional— while en-route to corporate ascension. I stand firmly by the menswear rules of fit, balance and proportion.
Thankfully, menswear is forging underlying assumptions of what constitutes menswear today in spring/summer 2021. Current product offerings display abbreviated contours that lend virility and utility to corporate apparel. In addition, these looks can see you through the weekend with equal confidence.
It is in fact the much needed fine-tuning of menswear fit for the modern era. Clean effortless design softens-the-bite by conveying a double-duty garment, especially when reinforced with a tinge of sobriety —thus allowing the wearer to transition from remote offices online all the way to the corporate corridors where high-powered American businessmen get the job done. This is dressing for corporate ascension culture. This is dressing for success! And here below, are the six reigning Kings of Menswear giving their professional commentary on spring/summer 2021 menswear.
“Luxury cannot and must not be fast. […] I have always believed in an idea of timeless elegance, which is not only a precise aesthetic code, but also an approach to the design and making of garments that suggests a way of buying them: to make them last.” –Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani-This strong monochromatic look was originally featured in the Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2021 collection runway presentation and is now available in Giorgio Armani boutiques across the country. While the jacket is made of a luxurious silk blend, the trousers are made of 100% sustainable Cupro. The combination of these two fabrics in one suit results not only in an impressive ensemble for any occasion, but also a comfortable, breathable one as well. Jacket – $2,595.00 | Trousers – $1,195.00 www.armani.com
“One of my favorite looks from the spring summer 2021 season is this blouson and trousers.Both are made in garment dyed silk twill. The blouson features applied chest pockets, a button closure in the front, side entry pockets and waist adjuster tabs. The trousers are double pleated with a loose silhouette.I like the outfit because it conveys a relaxed elegance which is part of the new Brioni vocabulary. An outfit one can wear on weekends around town, bringing the dog out for a walk and taking in the sun.” says – Norbert Stumpfl —Brioni.
Brioni—“Paving the way for a new day, Brioni’s new collections are a narrative journey from darkness to light. As a reaction to the current times, the wardrobe follows a softening of codes, where classic tailoring meets function and reveals an impeccable silhouette on garments crafted for broader and more casual use. Norbert Stumpfl’s emblematic point of view for the House, the design is essential and intentionally understated, almost absent. The Roman nonchalance, integral to the ethos of Brioni, is heralded through garments that let both fabric and construction trace the body lightly.” – Norbert Stumpfl —Brioni —Trousers: 1,850; Blouson: 3,700
I think we feel a powerful yearning for physicality right now, we crave getting back together, and for dressing up for the occasion. Since 9 November 2020, we have had the vaccine and we know that the days of this pandemic are numbered. So we will go back to attending events, we will post pictures on our social media, we will need to be ready.
It seems to me that this time is very similar to the 1920s, when Edward VII, Prince of Wales, immediately after the First World War and the Spanish flu pandemic, was the first to come up with this idea of dressing well for all occasions; similarly, we will soon return to a chic, luxurious, young and contemporary taste, in which we will pay particular attention to the combination of colours and opt for slightly softer volumes. I also believe that we will be very concerned about the quality of products, and above all about where and how they were made, if any harm has been done to humanity along the process. We will rediscover the value of restoring and repairing, of leaving these items as a legacy.
I am sure we are moving towards a new time.—-Brunello Cucinelli.
BRUNELLO CUCINELLI—Following the desire to dress well whatever the occasion, the blazer embodies a style imbued with Italian craftsmanship, tradition, and luxurious simplicity. From the classic houndstooth pattern, which shows off the season’s relaxed and neutral hues, to the fresh and summery blend of natural linen, wool and silk fibers. Its iconic shape leaves room for layering without foregoing comfort. The blazer becomes the ideal item for any event. The pairing with a soft and fresh shirt and the easy volumes of denim trousers creates a relaxed and comfortable contrast.$2,995.00
“The year 2020 has accelerated and emphasized trends that were already underway such as the search for soft, comfortable clothing and the desire to mix and match formal with informal, in which boundaries have become increasingly blurred. Hybrid products, shapes, and materials will become ever more prominent options of a well-equipped wardrobe. After months of working remotely, I strongly believe the restart will bring a renewed desire for a closet refresh.” —Stefano Canali
Canali —The Canali Impeccabile suits are designed with modern life in mind. This suit is created using Impeccabile wool, a stain- and crease-resistant fabric that offers a high level of breathability. Made up of a comfortable regular fit single-breasted jacket and flat front trousers, this high-performance multi-season piece is inspired by the timeless style of classic men’s fashion. Ideal for businessmen in search of practical and elegant pieces to stand the test of time. $2,350
“As always, but today more than ever, in a context of uncertainty and lack of absolute value pillars, words such as timeless represent us in a meaningful way. Timeless is our sartorial know-how, a heritage of sartorial artisanship since the 1930’s our grandfather, Vincenzo Attolini has perfected with our father Cesare to this day through the work of our 130 master tailors.
Timeless are our garments created by the craftsmanship of our master tailors manually working with exclusive fabrics of the foremost quality. Timeless is our idea of elegance, which transcends the trends of the moment, materializing in our unique style, a blend of English rigor and the verve and lightness typically Neapolitan. However, this is not all, because beyond our unique idea of elegance, timeless indeed, ethics guides our daily work. The ethos of authentic, deliberate, manual work. An ethic that only true craftsmanship has and can claim. We have a wealth of unique and exclusive patterns: it was in fact our grandfather Vincenzo Attolini who created at the beginning of the 1930’s the first unconstructed jacket in history and it was then our father Cesare who updated and perfected over the decades that initial creation with the expertise that had been passed on to him” — Massimiliano Attolini
“It is now possible to talk about trends even in the context of tailor made. However, we prefer to update our concept of elegance in a continuum (without distorting it). On the other hand, the style of our jacket was so revolutionary from the 1930’s to the 1960’s that today, the Neapolitan unconstructed (unlined) jacket is an indisputable must. Today our clients, that we can say without hesitation represent a world elite who has a profound sense of authentic sartorial elegance, are demanding uniqueness, real tailor made (“Su misura”) without compromise. Ethics and aesthetics at the same time. That is what our clients demand, to feel a part of a symbolic exclusive universe but at the same time be ambassadors at large of a sartorial history unique in the world, whose values are significant and not merely definitions on a strategic level, but authentic expression of a vision: artisanal excellence and timeless elegance.” – Giuseppe Attolini
An expression of sartorial authenticity reflecting timeless elegance and artisanal craftsmanship while maintaining truly modern aesthetics and fit. Thanks to the skillful hands of our master tailors, this look is a blend of formal attire and soft construction. A garment of extraordinary versatility to be worn indistinctly for special occasions or simple daily use. It very much represents the essence of the Attolini philosophy and family legacy. Suit $7,400, Shirt $695, Tie: $295 and Pocket Square $140
“The world has changed in recent months. When designing the new collections, Stefano Ricci has thought about the needs of male clients who buy for personal pleasure and also buy to satisfy their own requirements when it comes to dressing for business meetings, even if they are informal. The lines are softer, the quality of the fabrics ensures comfort with less structured jackets, and the cashmere is used even in the formal cut. I believe this style will mark a trend over the next few months more than it has in recent years. This also includes more traditional clothing, such as jackets and ties, and there is a growing demand for top-quality knitwear. Our production capabilities are at the forefront of meeting these needs, and even with the Luxury Tech solutions, the man who wears STEFANO RICCI can experience everyday life outdoors with the lightness of the garments.
Together with the directors of the boutiques, our tailors have prepared bespoke proposals that are also linked to the combinations of the garments, according to the client’s primary needs. I believe, and I say this with a smile, that the customer is a bit tired of a look which we can define as “loungewear.” He now wants to assert himself with refined elegance, even in a video call, waiting to return to the normality of interpersonal relationships, elegant dinners, and meetings in person. Luxury lives in shirts with tailored details, easy-fit coulisse trousers that express dynamism, and jackets that are tighter but softer.” —Niccolò Ricci, CEO of Stefano Ricci S.p.A.
stefanoricci.com—SR portrays exceptional sartorial style with this two button deconstructed jacket crafted from an exclusive cashmere and silk blend. The smart aesthetic is augmented by the total comfort of the material and construction; this jacket will surely brighten your spring wardrobe. $5,300. *This product will be available in stores for the SS21 season.