New York is in the midst of a menswear renaissance and Linder is definitely one of its newcomer names to know. Founded in 2013 by Sam Linder and Kirk Millar, the brand, which does the bulk of is manufacturing in NYC, runs a design studio, standalone multibrand store in SoHo and an amazing in-house men’s collection.
After presenting its fall/winter 2016 collection at a boxing club just prior to New York Fashion Week Men’s a few days ago, Millar spoke to me about this label to know, watch and wear…
What is Linder’s background?
We started an online store that was multibrand and simultaneously we decided to start designing clothes and to open a store. The store and our first collection, which was 24 pieces, was last December. We opened and the collection had just come back from the factory so it was kind of a nice start for us. Spring/summer that is just coming out is our first full collection. But the [presentation for the fall collection held last week] was our coming out about what we are working on.
How would you describe the current collection?
For spring ’16 there had been a picture of the boxer Jack Dempsey wearing his lucky sweater so we re-created that in our own way. There are boxing pants, boxing shorts and flight jackets. Kind of very classic men’s stuff but in silver and light celadon and kind of a sand color.
What about the fabrics?
For our flight jackets we have been using the same fabrics in different colors the whole time. It is a nylon knit that has this slightly shiny and milky texture to it, which is really beautiful. So the boxing pants and shirts are also made of the same material. We also have a T-shirt that we knit that is really beautiful with white ribbing on the short sleeves and the collar. It’s kind of like a black-and-white fleck. We also have silk sweaters that are out right now that are in a purple and a gold. They are very simple and are for fall and spring this time around. The Dempsey sweater we did is in a cotton that’s very shiny so it looks like silk but feels like cotton which is great because it’s very comfortable. The flight jackets will be the same cut as this season. They are reversible.
You also just launched footwear.
We’re always inspired by subcultures and we kind of went off a Monkey Boot, which was worn by suedeheads. The high-tops are kind of a boot/sneaker. I feel like that it gives you the opportunity to wear these nice sneakers in a more alternative way and with a little more attitude.
Will you continue to do footwear?
Definitely. We are currently working on stuff for summer and that will be another reinterpretation of subcultural things and different groups. That’s definitely a category that we are very excited about. They’re all calfskin and I wear mine all the time. Since they’ve come in I have been attached to them basically.
Who is the Linder customer?
We don’t design for “ourselves” but we are always keeping in mind that bohemian, sophisticated guy who’s looking for something that is new and ahead of the curve. He wants something that at the beginning might make him uncomfortable: What is this? I haven’t seen it before. But then he integrates it into his wardrobe. It’s someone who is creative and loves to express himself through the way he dresses.
But clothes are hardly over-the-top…
No, no, no. It’s definitely someone who wants to feel good in it as well.
You just showed your fall collection. What is the story with that?
Fall is definitely a fun collection for us. We used a lot of traditional men’s suiting fabrics but definitely put them through our own filter of ’80s New York No Wave and 1940’s Hollywood women’s Golden Age costumes with big shoulders and bright buttons and that kind of thing. I think this collection for sure is very graphic. It will be available in September.
What piece in the current collection is your favorite?
I’m very excited about the reversible bombers. The colors this time are light and fresh and I think that they are beautiful.
For fall we are excited about our bags coming out, which is a new category. The idea is for them to be very pillow-y. They all have a very consistent center seam that goes down and they were very fun to design. I love their simplicity and their adjustability. I think it’s a great use of the leather.