Dave Ortiz is a personality and an aura all his own. He is a staple in men’s fashion with his contributions to ZooYork and the unforgettable Air Max 90 “Bacon.” When you meet him, the first thing you see and feel are his colors. His brightness can light up any room and any conversation simply because he exists. If you look at the art he has made as a well-known New York colorist working in paintings, screen printing, and drawing, you see colors, shapes, and a feast for the eyes at every stop of his exhibition. That is why his collaboration with American Giant, titled Inside Out, strikes you as something odd and somehow satisfying.
American Giant is known for a few things. One, it is American made and works to create jobs and improve communities everywhere it goes. Two, it is high-quality, elevated basics. It doesn’t go crazy with bright colors and patterns. These are simple staples that every man should have in their wardrobe to build on. So how does an artist dedicated to bright colors and striking imagery work with a company known for solids? We sat down with Dave to discuss that very thing as he talked to us about his collection with American Giant.
“For me, the solid basic is the staple item,” the fashion legend said. “When I was younger (and obviously I still do), I liked wild and crazy patterns. But when you get older, in your 30s and 40s, you want to move away from those things. You want a basic staple you can go out in and be comfortable and wear, but it isn’t screaming a whole lot of ‘Look at me!’ You are buying into the quality. That is what (American Giant) does great. I have been blown away by them.”
Oftentimes, fashion brands need to go above and beyond in an attempt to set themselves apart from their competition. They go brighter, softer, more luxurious, wilder patterns. What the result ends up being is something that goes in and out of trends quicker than you can break them in.
The beauty of the collaboration is the simplicity of its design. Dave told us it was about taking what the company already has and turning it inside out. He speaks about how he always wore his sweatshirts inside out because that is simply the way he liked to wear them. This line offers you a choice. With tags on the inside and the outside, you can wear these however you feel works best for your style.
“Vulnerability, honesty, and functionality,” Dave said about his new line with American Giant. “That’s it. I don’t have to explain anything.” He goes on to describe the deeper meaning of his line. “This collection is about vulnerability, functionality, and being honest. One can’t be beautiful if their insides aren’t beautiful.” The Inside Out collection from American Giant puts its insides on display for all to see, encouraging all of us to bare our souls. To let others see the real us and express ourselves with one of the best additions to men’s fall fashion in 2023.
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