Who’s afraid of tailoring in the time of COVID-19? Not Janie Bryant.
The award-winning Hollywood costume designer known for her work on the stylish series “Mad Men,” “Deadwood” and last year’s “Why Women Kill” has inked a new deal with Colorado Springs-based men’s wear upstart Inherent Clothier.
Bryant, who has had previous collaborations with Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers among others, will design the first capsule collection for the direct-to-consumer custom and ready-to-wear brand, which founder Taylor Draper launched May 15 with the aim of connecting clothing to mental health by providing “modern-day suits of armor.”
“We are so creatively connected as far as our priorities go,” said Bryant. “I love helping men dress and look better and have always felt like mental wellness and dressing well go together.” (It didn’t hurt that the founder’s name is reminiscent of “Mad Men” character Don Draper, who will inspire one of the suits, she said.)
Billing itself as both a brand and a movement, Inherent Clothier hosts regular podcasts on men’s wellness, and is partnering with local and national organizations to build awareness around men’s mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and self-doubt, said Draper, who has a background in digital marketing.
The brand, which has two private investors, was piloted last year with in-person custom fittings, and expanded online this spring. Draper’s goal is to open franchised physical stores that can also host local community events. He’s also launching a foundation in September, partnering with local Colorado Springs high schools on an elective to teach grooming and manners to boys.
“I put a lot of research and development into the web site, and being able to deliver the personal experience of having a custom tailor measure you online to bring an old business model into the 21st century,” Draper said, underscoring the traditional role of a tailor as confidant and therapist.
Client measurements are taken over a video call, a pattern is created locally and then sent to the manufacturer in Bangkok, he explained. This summer, the brand has also been selling its ready-to-wear Summertide collection of unstructured, unlined suiting in sage green, blush and other pale-colored linen, which it has marketed through a campaign showing men out on the water, doing outdoor activities, and other things one might not normally do in a suit.
“As a Millennial, I believe the suit was taken away from us generationally. It’s something we’re trying to bring back,” said Draper, who organized his site’s offerings around four style archetypes: timeless, cafe, vintage and modernist.
Bryant’s capsule, which will launch in February, is designed to meet all the needs of a man’s wardrobe, “as if you had zero items in your closet,” said Draper, noting that it will include three suits, three tuxedos, a sports coat, top coat, shirting, belts and shoes.
“I have always been a fan because of ‘Mad Men,’ her attention to detail is impeccable. I could tell in the suits, being a men’s wear nerd, and her color palettes are incredible, and everything down to the lapel width was right on for that time period,” he said of the designer.
“I love that Inherent Clothier is about suits, focused on great fits, and that even though a suit is a traditional way of dressing, what they are doing design wise is very modern and hip,” said Bryant. “It appeals to the modern man.”
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