GQ’s Breakout of the Year wears the five coolest emerging labels that we’re deeming the New American Avant-Garde…
The Label: Mattison
Founded: 2012, L.A.
The trademark is simple: Dark suits with slim lapels that’ll make any dude look like it’s Grammy night (if paired with one of the label’s small-collar dress shirts) or like it’s a suit-worthy Saturday (when worn with a tank top and skully). Right now, nothing will win you more cool points than answering the question “Man, who made your suit?” with “Mattison.”
The Label: Skingraft
Founded: 2006, L.A.
A lot of the labels in the New American Avant-Garde are the aesthetic offspring of high-end-goth originator Rick Owens. And most echo his stratospheric prices. So if you’re looking for a lower-risk entry point for trying out this new trend, start with Skingraft. Same black-and-white palette. Same high-fashion-from-the-streets pedigree. Same loose-but-tailored fit. Different price point.
The Label: Public School
Founded: 2008, N.Y.C.
Award-winning young-gun designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne grew up in New York, and their clothes seem rooted in a quintessentially N.Y.C. reference: the street-gang cult film The Warriors. That means a classically Gotham color palette (you guessed it, a lot of black and white) and tailoring so precise it’s intended either for dancing or for whipping bad-guy ass in a street fight—and then running for it.
The Label: Stampd
Founded: 2009, L.A.
Stamped takes a more literal approach to the idea of athletic wear that’s been run through the fashion world’s filter: numbered sweatshirts, screen-printed tees, minimalist baseball jerseys, even leather basketball shorts—plus jewelry that a man can wear and still feel linebacker tough. If Kanye West started a company softball team, these would be his jerseys.
The Label: En Noir
Founded: 2012, N.Y.C.
Seen a rapper in leather jogging pants lately? Chances are he’s wearing En Noir, the label that’s not afraid to reimagine anything in leather. En Noir is one of the youngest of the New American Avant-Garde brands, but it’s the first on every celebrity stylist’s speed dial all the same. The best part about En Noir (and the rest of these designers)? The stuff is edgy, sure—but it’s also so obsessively minimal that anyone can pull it off.