*Now that 30Fresh is over, I'm toying around a lot with the direction I'd like to take Fresh Jess. One thing is for sure, and that's my new, amazing team of contributors. I'm delighted to introduce you to James Kim! Watch for James' insights on menswear and streetwear on the blog on a regular basis, and peep his bio at the end oft his post. Enjoy!
For all the guys looking to upgrade your wardrobe, today I will introduce you to 10 brands I think you should look out for this year. Some of the brands have been around for a couple of years, and others just started recently. In no particular order:
1. En Noir
En Noir has impressed me from the jump. They pretty much started the renaissance designs on t-shirts trend. Rob Garcia, formerly of Black Scale, has really impressed me with his leather quality and his wax gradient tees. En Noir has been around for less than a year, and are already doing NY and Paris Fashion Week shows. Celebrities like Kanye West rock en noir religiously. The use of black and minimalistic/ready to wear designs is the foundation of this brand. This is young brand is definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world. You can check out more of their collection here and check out their video to learn a little more.
2. John Elliott + Co.
First thing I want to say about John Elliott + Co., is that I LOVE this brand. John Elliott + Co. are masters of the basic essentials game. Custom blended cotton, breathability, and the perfect silhouette make John Elliott tees some of the greatest. They do everything to make the tees quality, comfortable, and aesthetically appealing. They also have a wide range of quality zip ups, hoodies, sweaters, and denim. You can find them here. You can also check out their Spring/Summer teaser.
Hailing from the streets of LA, Superb has been one of my favorite streetwear brands for a while. I became friends with the owner via Twitter/Instagram, and I respect the guy a lot. They definitely stick with their streetwear roots. Their creativity and originality cannot be overlooked. Locally they can found at The Cool in Southcenter, or online.
4. Rich Kids Brand
Seattle’s own Rich Kids Brand has been steady growing from the start! They have been getting love from major sites like Complex, The Source, and Upscale Hype, just to name a few. The list of celebrities rocking their gear is impressive for this young brand. Everyone from Lil Wayne to Ludacris to JAY-Z! I am lucky enough to be part of the RK family, and to experience the growth first hand is great. You can find Rich Kids locally at Urbanity in Seattle. You can also catch me working their events! RK events are really fun so if you’re in the Seattle area you should definitely come out! RK will continue to put out quality, and the growth will not stop. RK caters to the ladies too so definitely go buy some shirts and represent! You can find RK here, and you can check out their Spring 13 video.
5. Us Versus Them
Us Versus Them has been around for a while now. They started as a creative outlet for the SoCal store Versus. They have been around for a while, but I still do not see that many people wearing Us Versus Them. I love their logo, their rebelliousness, and their creativity. I respect them for wanting to build the culture up, for giving respect where it is due, and for inspiring the youth to take their own paths. You can find Us Versus Them online.
6. Kith NYC
Ronnie Fieg is one of my favorite designers ever. Anything he touches is gold. His creativity is something I definitely respect and admire. He owns boutiques in NYC called Kith. He does footwear collaborations with Asics, New Balance, Adidas, Sebago, Saucony, Red Wings, Clarks, and many more. Pretty much anything Ronnie puts his hands on, they sell out with a quickness. His apparel label with Kith has been of the coolest things I have ever seen. Kith releases apparel collections in colored labels. It started with the Red Label which included a lot of camo prints and leopard prints. Then the Blue Label introduced mercer pants, floral M-65 style jackets, and oxfords. Now they just released the White Label which includes varick side zip sweaters, mercer pants, Seattle’s own Ebbets’ satin field jackets, and even made a kid collection if your kid is bout that life. You can peep the lookbook and cop some gear here.
Reigning all the way from Germany, Beastin’s spring collection has really impressed me. Their lookbook for spring is one of the dopest I have ever seen! They shot it in Portugal, and the views are amazing to say the least! This lookbook makes me want to buy all their clothes, and makes me want to hop on a flight to Portugal right now. On a very random side note, I just listened to Lil Jon- Snap Yo Fingers. Who remembers this? Don’t judge me. Peep the lookbook here.
8. Still Good
Still Good is a line from Paris by Clement Taverniti. Taverniti has worked for brands like Drives Van Noten and Kitsune. I love his take on classic pieces, and how he just makes everything his own. He does a great job incorporating different details, geometric shapes, and patterns into his garments. You can check out Still Good online.
9. Bee Line by Billionaire Boys Club
Bee Line by Billionaire Boys Club started as a shoe project that turned into a full collection. The legendary Mark McNairy and Pharrell Williams brought the best of both worlds in the Bee Line collections. I personally describe my own style as street mixed with menswear, and this collection nails that perfectly. Street aesthetics with classic American fits. View the whole collection here.
10. Publish Brand
Publish Brand has been around for a couple of years now, and most of you have probably heard of them already. I feel like this brand has a lot of potential to get even bigger than they already are. Each season their garments are getting more and more impressive. I am a huge fan of their Jogger pants because they accentuate your shoes so nicely! Publish aims to deliver you classic pieces that are essential to your wardrobe. You can find Publish at Urbanity in Seattle, or online.
My name is James Kim and I am 22 years old. I am from Tacoma, WA. I work at Urbanity in Seattle. I co-own a screen printing company called Saltwater Graphics, and am working on my own line with some friends called FAM apparel. I am also a youth group leader at my church, and enjoy doing that a ton. Fashion, sports, and movies are some of my favorite things. I love playing sports, and spending time outside, especially when we have nice weather here in Seattle. Looking forward to getting to know the readers!