I'm by no means unpatriotic but being one of ethnic-origin through-and-through (Irish, by the way, just in case you didn't quite get that from my near constant mentions of hangovers etc.) sometimes leaves you feeling lacking when you're in the company of someone part-French/German/Swedish, or second generation Irish , their family having moved from somewhere like Australasia before settling down in the Emerald Isle.
Emerging NYC-based menswear designer Ninh Nguyen is one such envy-inducing person. Born in Paris, Nguyen (who I'm rather presumptuously supposing is of Asian origin purely based on surname) was raised in Texas and now designs in America's fashion capital inspired by the motto - "Dress without taste and they will remember the clothes. Dress with taste and they will remember the man". Makes sense.
Whether this multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-disciplinary (although making menswear is Nguyen's current occupation, he studied medicine and psychology in his home city) upbringing has made a significant impact on his work is difficult to say just yet since the first teaser of his work assures universal appeal (amazing outerwear generously plastered with military and punk-inspired detailing), not one set to work in just one market.
Still, his rather unconventional life experience has led to a new perspective on the world of fashion and its fairly rigorous strictures and schedules. Instead of showing clothes during fashion week and then garnering PR in mag editorials, Nguyen has opted to put together this vamped-up shoot to raise awareness prior to his NYC fashion week show. And although I'm not all that hot on the Adidas-esque trews here, the mass of black leathers and rugged double-breasted outerwear and v. sleek black and white shirting has me fixated.
Roll on fashion week.
Photography by Duc Nguyen