NY Designers Diffuse: Robert Geller, Thom Browne, Tim Hamilton.

September 5, 2009
I remember the moment my sister informed me that designers didn’t only craft clothing that I’d only be able to afford provided I secured myself a sugar-daddy, she told me they catered to the masses (well…more the middle-class masses) by creating diffusion lines. In theory, it was genius. All the quirks and trademark characteristics of your favourite designer present in a lower-priced garment.
In practice, it’s proved an epic fail. Not only do some diffusion lines veer considerably from the mainline collection’s aesthetic, they’re often naff of quality and too steep of price – Moschino Jeans, anyone?

But with two of NY’s finest (and my personal favourite) menswear-makers planning lower-priced lines for release in the near future and one man’s already on the market, I’m anticipating a shift in attitude towards the supposed chaff of the clothing wheat.

CFDA-nominated Robert Geller is set to bring his aptly named line, Seconds, to us in Winter. With a sportswear sensibility at its heart, it’s a line of Japanese-jersey basics (tees, a tank and a cardi) in a palette of cobalt blue, greys and white. Really wanting the cobalt blue tee, even though I have an AA tee approx. 90% similar…such is the allure of Geller’s aesthetic. $85-150.

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CFDA-winner and surely NY-name of the year, Tim Hamilton, launched Redux in August. Comprising past-season hits the collection offers more Americana-Hamilton wardrobe-staples at a price 20% lower than his mainline collection.

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And cropped-pants advocate Thom Browne is generous enough to unveil two lower-priced (30-40% lower) collections next Spring. The first provisionally entitled “classics” will include Browne’s signature all-American tailored pieces (the grey wool suit, khakis and oxfords) while the other “red/white/blue” range will focus on the Ivy League-esque sportswear (polos, swim shorts and tees) he’s become known for. No gothic-circus-wear unfortunately. Pity, that.

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Images from Men’s Style