Although he works in an industry that is notorious for its oversized egos and in an era where self-promotion is as reflexive as breathing or blinking, the designer of the contemporary menswear brand Descendant of Thieves prefers to remain anonymous. When he launched the New York-based brand five years ago he opted to use a “nom de sketchpad,” Dres Ladro, and that alias has stuck ever since.
Dres (as we will refer to him as that here even though we know his real name) says that having an alter ego frees him creatively and allows him and others to put the focus on the product instead of the person behind it.
As unconventionally 2015 as that approach may be, it seems to be working. Anonymity is an ongoing theme with the label, which sometimes even Photoshops black tape across the faces of it models in its promotional materials.
The collection, which began as a group of woven shirts, now also encompasses tees, polos, hoodies, blazers, pants and reversible shorts that are all about practicality, packing light and procrastination, should it arise. Explains Dres: “Our theme right now is ‘The Weekend You Didn’t Expect.’ Maybe it is one day more. You skip that flight back and you say, ‘Fuck it! I am going to stay one more or two more days.’ That’s why we have our reversible shorts.”
The apparel (generally priced in the $50 to $200 range) is made mostly with imported fabrics from Japan or Italy and is rich in surprising, fun details. “Our collar has this engineered stitch detail so that the collar never rolls over. That’s important for us and has been on every shirt since Day One,” he explains. “So even if you throw it in the dryer it is always pinched together and it will never roll. Another thing is that we’ve always believed that wearing your shirt buttoned up is a very smart look so we have an extended elastic tab for the top button so it allows you move your collar and breathe a little bit. We also say that we are designed from the inside out so we really take care of all of our interiors. The hems of our shirts have a yellow hem, which is our brand color, reinforced in them around the base. We have hidden pockets as well. And all of our chest pockets have double pockets.”
There are also interior labels with hidden clever sayings to be discovered, and our favorite signature detail, a yellow arrow on the interior of a long sleeve that indicates where a guy should stop the cuff should he want to expose his lower arms. Line up that cuff to said arrow and show off your effortless precision.
DoT also produces accessories such as ties, pocket squares and belts.