If you don’t know who Nick Wooster is, get him on your style radar, pronto. He is one of the world’s coolest gents. Based in New York, his dress sensibility always leaves you guessing. One day he is in camo and cashmere, the next he is tailored tighter than an Englishman on Savile Row. As the former fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman and Nieman Marcus, he has become the style arbiter of the moment not just because of what he wears but for his very Midwestern sensibility about life. He is the consummate gentleman (some people forget part of dressing well is acting accordingly.)
This week at a breakfast held at Pitti Uomo, the world’s most buzzed about menswear trade show held in Florence, Italy – a collaborative line was launched between Nick and Lardini. Launching in spring 2015, the capsule collection includes four jacket styles, three of which are dyed and washed and a fourth in patchwork using English cotton canvas. A fifth jacket is knitted in navy and white for a classic striped look.
There are four models of trousers and three styles of Bermuda shorts (for all of you guys who are still panicked over the short length trend going on right now).
We are big fans of the woven shirts too – they mix classic shirt stripes, oxford cloth/linen, seersucker, Prince of Whales plaid, houndstooth, summer tweed, and compact panama in cotton and linen.
Founded in 1978 in Italy, Lardini specializes in menswear and has extensive knowledge in making the perfect jacket.
We were fortunate enough to catch Mr. Wooster right after the presentation to hear more about the collaboration:
How did the collab happen?
I was introduced to the Lardini family last year at Pitti Uomo by Michael Burns who owns the M5 Showroom. They asked me to help consult for the United States market. After two meetings, they asked me to do the collaboration. Although I vowed I would never do a collection with my name on it, I immediately said yes, given Lardini’s fantastic culture of development and technical know how.
Tell us about the debut at Pitti. How was it?
Debuting the collection at Pitti Uomo is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. What’s so amazing to me is that I came to Pitti for the first time 27 years ago…never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that I would be presenting a collection with my name on it. As I have always considered myself a retailer, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to present the collection in a store-like atmosphere.
Can you tell us any inspiration for the collection?
Given that Lardini has unparalleled experience in making perfect garments, I wanted to start with something imperfect. I think that was the biggest challenge, how to NOT press everything. I think there is perfection in imperfection.
The collection really boils down to a simple formula: there are three jackets, 1 vest, 1 shirt, 5 bottoms and one shoe. There are twelve fabrics. When it’s all said and done, the mix of fabrics and the way one jacket makes up in something in constructed wool versus lightweight linen, gives the appearance the collection is bigger than it is.
I am also inspired by exploring the volume of the bottoms. For me, that is what makes a classic jacket look new.