The Phoenix Brand’s Augie Bello collab
The Phoenix Brand
Is it just me, or has the sartorial taste of the average man on the street gotten more spirited, more expressive, more inspired of late? Maybe it’s a response to the stiflement and sensory deprivation of the pandemic. Maybe there’s been a collective realization that life is too short for the bland self-anonymization of normcore.
There’s been a shift in men’s shirts, in particular — an embrace of the valuable real estate of the upper body as a personal canvas or billboard that advertises one’s personality, one’s passions, even promotes a worldview.
To get a closer look at this sartorial development, Forbes gathered the insights from founders and representatives of the brands making creative apparel for male creators and their kin: The Phoenix Brand, Descendant of Thieves, and Tombolo.[Read about Kurt River, RSVLTS, Pyknic, and Duvin in Part Two.]
The Phoenix Brand
For Greenwich Village denizens
Phoenix Brand’s Augie Bello collab
The Phoenix Brand
Trina Assur, Co-Founder: “The Phoenix Brand is a planet-first retail platform that aims to democratize consumer access to ethical and sustainable apparel. Unlike traditional garment design, we lean on the cultural influence of emerging musicians and artists to create story-driven fashion collections using plant-based, biodegradable and upcycled materials. Our mission is to provide solutions for not only a better planet, but also better physical and financial health for consumers and factory workers, while also restoring the meaning and intent behind the clothing we choose to wear.”
Gabrielle Gomes, Co-Founder: “Our journey did not start with a passion for apparel. Rather, it began with a profound connection to health. Our life experiences and teachings led us to the realization that our health is no longer in our complete control, but that it is deeply influenced by the environmental ecosystem in which we live.
We founded The Phoenix Brand on the tailwinds of other industries doing their part. We had seen an overhaul of the food industry, with grocery stores carrying organic products, and the beauty industry, with a massive push towards natural inputs and no toxins. As this was happening, we knew the same attention had to be placed on the textile industry. From our years of experience working in both luxury fashion and the home textile space, we knew that the clothing industry — specifically amidst the rise of fast fashion — was becoming far too dependent on the use of plastic and toxic chemicals to produce clothing. This dependence was and is having a devastating effect on the health of our planet, people and the workers making the apparel.
With this understanding, and after countless hours of research, we discovered ways to actualize our ideas and share our version of sustainability within the apparel space — clothing made from plant-based, upcycled, toxin-free materials.
The Phoenix is an immortal bird that cyclically regenerates. The Phoenix Brand is built on the premise of using materials that can be upcycled or replanted and ‘born again,’ stronger than before.”
Trina Assur: “As a writer and illustrator, Eunsan Huh explores the visual expression of the Korean language and the impact of images on language learning and the speaker’s personal development. Her curiosity about the world and enlightened way of expression was something that really resonated with us. From the minute we met her, we knew we wanted to work with her.”
Gabrielle Gomes: “Amber Vittoria is an artist working in New York City. Her work draws on her relationship to femininity, anxiety and societal expectations. Augie Bello is a New York-born and -raised multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, and songwriter. His collection is centered around the story of the role NYC has played in his journey. He brings art and innovation to every aspect of his life and this collaboration was no different.”
Descendant of Thieves
For sartorial A-listers and smooth criminals
Department of Thieves’ Broken AC Floral print
Department of Thieves
Matteo Maniatty, Founder and Creative Director: “Love thy neighbor, but dammit, don’t dress like them. We encourage people to be individuals. To color outside the lines. To align our business with this, we make all clothing in small batches rather than mass-producing. It’s much more difficult and expensive to make 150 pieces of a style, but it offers something unique to the customer. It gives them the power of differentiation and a sense of belonging to a niche club of outsiders.
To take it a step further, all our products are single edition releases. We do not repeat designs. To meet demand, we make a considerable number of styles and release new items every Friday at noon, what we call ‘Fresh Friday.’ We understand Descendant of Thieves is not for everyone but trying to appeal to the world only waters things down and ends up appealing to no one.