It’s A Wrap! A 3-day Fashion High at PROJECT SHOW NY
By Karina Mendoza Calayag
Photography by Ramon Orlanes
Held in New York and Las Vegas bi-annually, fashion trade event PROJECT offers a sneak peek of what’s “in” and what’s “out”, what’s heating up in streetwear: from the hip-hop culture, collegiate Ivy-League and bespoke workwear; relaxed to tailored; luxe to more-affordable price-point; the established, the market-entrant, the start-up newbie designers.
PROJECT says “it draws the most directional brands to showcase their upcoming designs to the most influential retailers in the global marketplace.” Reaping the efficiencies of today’s technology, “it is designed to drive commerce, creativity and connectivity”.
This year’s second PROJECT NY was held from July 22 – July 24 at 82 Mercer St. in Lower Manhattan’s artsy neighborhood, SOHO. I was accompanied by Photographer Ramon Orlanes attending the first day of the three-day event.
In the first floor was a section called MADE by PROJECT. Its theme this season is the craftsman in an industrialized society in reflection of the prevailing economic ennui, “the struggle to succeed in the face of adversity”. The vintage-washed-aged appearance in jeans, chinos, shirts, polos and outerwear, Americana (the reds, whites, blues, stripes and stars), denim and non-denim domineering. There were eye-catching metropolitan footwear and accessories: jewelry, sunglasses, hats, bags, ties, leather shoes, boots, and, of course, hi-tops. Designers flaunted their product’s uniqueness; remarkable detail (untraditional-function pockets, design-changing button placements); progressive up-cycled materials and fabric treatments, leather trimmings and embroidery; social-geopolitical-awareness; heritage and “Made-In-The-USA”; anything to make them different. They were pleased to indulge us, proudly demonstrating and modeling their creations for that authentic look they envision and want to impart.
Among the many stellar mention-ables are jeweler/designer MCohen’s “vintage”-pieces; Goorin’s old-world fedoras; Jacks&Jokers’ designs from “Bicycle” playing-cards original designer; Barbour’s Steve McQueen collaboration-collection; sister companies Market-J.A.C.H.S.; innovative Cyclus’ “armadillo”-bags from inner-tubes, bed stü, Zen Mechanics, Union Jeans, Groceries, Hip&Bone, JCRags, TrueReligion.
MADE by PROJECT presented some artisanal brands (like leathermaker-ETWAS) whiich created their goods right on the show floor. The pop-up concept offered a behind-the-scenes view of how products are made; for a transparency that builds a greater appreciation and understanding of the products tightening the connection between designer and user.
Upstairs was The Blogger PROJECT, more designer booths and much-welcomed complimentary amenities. The Blogger PROJECT had influential bloggers providing up-to-the-minute buzz thru a live internet broadcast perhaps to be “Facebooked”, “Twittered” and “Pinned” by readers.
The three hours of meeting vendors and browsing through their pieces, did not even afford us to sit and, if we wanted, partake in the gratuitous spoils: tequila bar; coffee bar; hair services; and a photographer with a fully functional photo studio complete with models, hair and makeup stylists – so brands may have their product professionally shot, and attendees, their photo taken.
Although it was not enough time to experience in its entirety, at least we know first-hand why PROJECT has been touted, even lauded, by some fashion journalists as the more relevant fashion event (comparing it to the ever-prominent Fashion Week) for its collections are fundamental urban everyday-wear with a fashion-forward twist.
Check out our entire photo recap from PROJECT NY here