This came across my desk late last week, and I was delightfully surprised to see that good friend and comrade, Doug Conklyn of Dockers, will be on the esteemed panel of judges. Nice. Doug and I worked together at Polo Ralph Lauren, Hartmarx, and Lilly Pulitzer— he’s easily one of the coolest and tastiest guys I know.

GQ magazine has announced the six finalists for the 2011 Best New Menswear Designers in America competition — their initiative to get behind the home team, and keep American designers strong. Also — each of the finalists will contribute designs to a special collection for Dockers that will be be released this Fall.

The nominated designers are–

Warriors of Radness designer Rick Klotz – Pure, Adrenaline-fueled ’80’s surf / New Wave radness. 

Patrik ErvellDefinitely the most modern designer of the bunch, don’t look for Patrik Ervell to wave the “old-timey” Americana flag, as his mind is clearly on what’s next, not what was.

Riviera Club designers Joe Sadler, Derek Buse, and Greg Ullery – California’s answer to East Coast prep, with a healthy infusion of laid-back West Coast vibe.  

Gant by Michael BastianWith Gant, Bastian continues to put his own updated, broken-in twist on familiar American themes and menswear classics.  This feels like his year.  Just sayin’.

Miller’s Oath designer Kirk Miller – Brother of Barker Black’s Derrick Miller, Kirk came up through the ranks of Paul Stuart and Thom Browne to create a well-cut and expertly edited sartorial offering as a sort of tribute to his great granddad’s South Dakota men’s shop.

T by Alexander Wang New York-based womenswear designer Alexander Wang is continuing to expand into menswear with his knit-driven T by Alexander Wang diffusion line.

GQ will announce the winner on February 11th.  For more details check here.


  1. Well, I guess based on the pics above, I’d give it to Michael Bastian though I feel like he got nominated a few years ago for his mainline. I’m probably wrong though. I’ll have to look through my files.

    (Sorry, I’m a bit distracted trying to write this as I am sick and the comment box landed right next to the “Custom Van” and “Hurst Girls” pics.)

  2. More like stylists than designers…..nothing new just a retro step stealing styles from past times….
    The Warriors of Radness have just nicked a style from an old Thrasher mag and come up with an uneducated pastiche that has nothing to do with Rad and more to do with sad!
    Patrik Ervell, pretty good and what you will see on the street in London any day of the week, not exactly ground breaking!
    Riviera Club, Psudo 60s preppy look, Ralph Lauren has made a fortune from it!
    Gant by Michael Bastian. Probabaly the best of the bunch, standout colours and tailoring
    Miller’s Oath, good tailoring never went out of style, but not exactly innovative.
    T by Alexander Wang, geeky knitwear and badly fitting shorts, just like my granddad wore, it wasn’t good look!
    Just my opinion!

  3. Fantastic blog. This fashion stuff looks like the same ol look I’ve seen for years. Who wears these custumes? The black socks and sandals look is making a comeback. Wondering when the trousers belted right below the rib cage will make a comeback.

    • Menswear doesn’t cycle as fast as womenswear, so yeah, a lot of the looks are familiar. Most guys are more comfortable with clothing that has elements of the design that are familiar and proven.

      No joke — when I worked at Polo, there were plenty of guys running around with their pants up to their nipples. One guy in particular…

  4. Sorry – but can you imagine Steve McQueen or another man of cool wearing anything of this childish stuff? Me not. Maybe Riviera Club….but I doubt it.

    • Yeah – I think a young Marlon Brando or the older puffy Brando would have looked stunning in that menswear classic day glow outfit by Michael Bastian.

  5. To my eye, the clothing represented here by Warriors of Radness is merely sloppiness. You may call those folks designers but I fail to see the requisite creativity. Menswear? Nope!

  6. The insidious onslaught of infantilization…..Wang, Klotz and Bastian seem to be taking their cues from episodes of the The Little Rascals. Ah’m stymied…..CUT is all that really matters in Manly Fashion.
    Smack it, JP! Let’s get to work…Ah can see the headline- “Selvedge Yard line reasserts The Manly”. When will we see The Selvedge Yard line?

  7. Love your blog, J.P.

    But as my dad used to say to my friends and I in our late 60’s rags,
    “I wouldn’t wear that to a shit-fight.”

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