Thom Browne wants people who wear his suits to feel one thing in particular: confident. The NYC-based designer has managed to make suits that incorporate business elegance and a hint of playfulness since founding his eponymous company back in 2003, and his collections continue to evolve—thanks to innovation of fabrics, inventive designs and a sophistication that has earned Browne several awards and countless devotees. Despite having no formal fashion design training, Browne is a visionary whose products are polished and high-quality. He tells us, “I don’t follow trends, but for me the quality and the fit have always been important.”
This Fall 2016, Browne again teamed up with Australian company Woolmark for a collection of coveted suits, knitwear and accessories. Browne says, “From the very beginning, I’ve always worked with wool, all year around, and I have known and worked with The Woolmark Company since 2007… For fall, my collection was close to 100% wool, tweeds, suiting, twills all in Merino wool.” Best known for his cropped, narrow, gray suits, Thom Browne’s new range maintains the brand’s signature refined look, but with important subtle tweaks and changes. The blend of nostalgia, innovation and sophistication is evident in this range—which unites sharp lines with distressed fabric. Browne says, “I have always developed all of my fabrics. But the innovative part comes from the proportions. For my collections, while the shows may appear to be as provocative as they are, they all start from my classic gray wool suit.”
Like his sharp suits, Browne himself has an astute and clear-sighted approach to designing. He says, “I usually have a distinct idea of what I like to use or see, and this is why I like to have all of my fabrics developed specifically for that particular collection.” Rather than designing for seasons, Browne focuses on concepts first and foremost—which is one reason he uses wool all year ’round. Through collaboration with Woolmark, Browne is making it clear that wool isn’t just for colder climates.
Every piece Browne creates is special in its own way, and he says there are always different challenges in the design process. “Sometimes it is with the clothes, sometimes it may be with an accessory,” he says. “But I am always proud of all of my collections.”
Images courtesy of Thom Browne