The nubby textures and the color mix—blues, grays, oranges, and browns—of Todd Snyder’s fall collection evoked an autumnal East Coast mood. “Homecoming” was the emotion conveyed to me through the lookbook pictures, and later confirmed when I saw the clothes in person. Cozy as it was, this showing marks a reemergence of the brand, after two years of hibernation, in terms of public presentations, during which Snyder was fully focused on his stores and DTC orders.
Despite the pandemic, menswear evolved during this period, and this lineup speaks to our new reality, being more generous, tactile, and comfort-focused than Snyder’s more recent offerings. Tweed trousers, for example, are cut with the ease of track pants; overcoats are roomy enough to layer over puffers; and rugby sweaters have a softness the more traditional jersey versions lack. “For the last 10, 15 years everything’s been so tailored, so perfect, and now…I feel a lot more relaxed and less fussy,” said Snyder—the man who designed the *Mad Men–*inspired Ludlow suit for J.Crew, helping to recast the look of menswear in the 2010s. “Where I see the big change is having things that have a casual, almost like a sweater kind of drape to them…. I just think fashion in general is a lot more fluid; the rules are kind of being rewritten as we speak.”
Snyder can remember being riveted by Giorgio Armani’s game-changing soft tailoring. He says that menswear, mirroring the times, is in another period of transition, largely driven by street style and sneaker culture. “These guys are getting to a point where they’re bored with just doing the same old sneaker and a tracksuit and whatever; they’re trying to figure out what their next is,” he observes. “We’re in this cycle where you’ve got the uber-luxe [fashion], like, ‘I gotta get the hottest shoe, I gotta get the hottest whatever,’ and it is a bit excessive in a way. But then you’re seeing this kind of undercurrent of…not revolt, I would say, but just like this [feeling], like ‘it’s not important.’ And I think there’s a tension right now that’s happening.”
This collection is aimed at the “New Americans” reference in its title; the men who are moving forward from both full-on polished suiting and track pants, without relinquishing the structure or ease they delivered. Snyder is playing with proportion and textured materials to bring novelty and relevance to familiar pieces. What it all boils down to, he says, is “freedom.”