Men’s 2011 Fall/Holiday Style Guide: Lifetime Collective

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LIFETIME COLLECTIVE

Reid Stewart, co-founder

What is your overall story for Fall?

We’re calling it a little more of a sophisticated kind of collection. [Co-founder] Trevor [Fleming] and I have our own collections within the Men’s. His is more fashion-forward, mine has a little more of a grit feel to it. My pieces would be in the skate shops and his would be in the boutiques. For this time around it was a refinement and sophisticated within Trevors line, like linen blazers coupled with shorts, some sort of leather sandal and you could wear with a tie. A little dressier. Mine’s a little more work wear meets rock n’ roll.

What are some examples of how you updated work wear this season?

Different fabrics and different canvases, incorporating stretch so it’s not as rigid as hardcore work wear. I use the word work wear-I still kind of feel that its just a word that’s sort of in vogue. I believe those styles have always kind of been around. I think it was work wear meets these other things that made it our own. What was different about it was maybe the design of the clothes.

Was there anything new you were focusing on this season?

One thing we were trying to focus on was the feel of the clothes. We worked heavily on washing to make the garments have that sort of vintage feel. We wanted a buyer to go through the line and visually see it but have a good feeling to it as well. One of the fabrics that helped us do that in our outerwear collection was an oiled canvas that we developed and is something we will carry across for seasons to come. Which is exciting for us to develop our own fabrics.

What the current fit updates for denim?

They’re still fitted but there’s a bit of room in your leg and just having little knicks and scrapes without having heavy washes. Just having fun with them, being able to roll your jeans up or do something different with them, at least styling the denim. Just less washing so it’s not so sandblasted out but still having knicks and frays and holes. One thing we’re really trying to push is more subtle. I feel like a lot of us are starting us to wear more basic things, paring it down a little bit, a little bit more refined, a little bit simpler.

What’s new in knits?

Wovens do better for us but knits is a good category. One thing we worked with this time around was washing. We were trying to get a really soft hand feel. We were also using colorsprays to the knits, drawing color out of the fabric using different enzyme washes. The enzyme wash process uses little pelts in the dying technique and gives it that worn look. It looks different the bigger [pelt] you use, you notice the wash more, like an acid wash. If you use a smaller [pelt], there’s not really patterns to it, [the fabric is] just soft. [We’re doing] different techniques in the washing of the fabric but using the same silhouettes like a three quarter sleeve Henley and pocket T-shirts.

Since your prices are a little bit higher for some stores, is it still an issue?

It depends on the category. Something we’re working on for next season is segmenting the line a little better. For the boutiques, our prices are low. In the skate shops we’re finding a lot of pieces they like are a bit high. They do complain about it, they do buy into it, but I feel if the price was a little better they would buy more into it. Yeah, price was a little bit of an issue in this collection, we’re working on it for seasons to come.

How is for you being in that middle ground between boutiques and skate shops?

I feel like it’s an advantage for us because there are not that many good companies doing it. One of the trends in more high-end boutiques in the last couple of years, I find them looking for more price point brands because no one was buying $400 pairs of jeans anymore. You get a shop like Oak from New York City. When they first started out was carrying Acne and higher-end brands and now they’re carrying Obey or us because their customer likes good design but doesn’t want to pay crazy money for it. It’s worked out for us but there’s still a ways to go in terms of nailing it, segmenting the brand and designing for those categories. We’re in both boutique and skate shops so in the design process you are going to design accordingly whereas before we were just kind of designing.