Cool, clean and classic — Thom Browne

23 Jul 2015

  • Thom Browne introduces his classic American aesthetic - with a cool edge - to his inaugural stand-alone shop in Hong Kong.

    As the crowning instalment of the On Lan Street fashion hub project, JOYCE has partnered with Thom Browne, and opened a dedicated store alongside Rick Owens and Sacai on this charming cul-de-sac. If Rick Owens brings the L.A. cool with a Parisian flavour, and Sacai offers the Tokyo modernity, then Thom Browne extrudes the classical American look for the Hong Kong customers.

    “I don’t like a store being a store. My store in Hong Kong is very clean and classic, almost like a mid-western bank. It’s about the materials, not the ornamentation.”

    Blinds being the shop window, clean marble flooring, and freestanding wooden furniture instead of generic shop fixtures; it’s the very essence of Browne’s philosophy of living. The atmosphere compliments the designer’s men’s collection, which consists of two scenarios: one that is futuristic, and one that is classic. Always pushing the boundaries of tailoring and toying with proportions. This season, Browne has enhanced his conceptual ideas by incorporating the “overwhelmingly high-end” traditional fabrics and techniques into his playful attitude of silhouettes. Fabrics are sourced from Lake Como, just outside Milan, embroideries are hand made in France and India, and all designs are made in New York. And the glow-in-the-dark stitching just adds the right provocative finishing touch.

    “I’ve always thought that something very classic can be cooler than anything.”
    He said.

    Although this store is dedicated to menswear only, Browne’s women’s collection, (which can be found in JOYCE Central), extends his theory. Think building a wardrobe for Diane Keaton: Monday is a tailored suit, Tuesday is a dress with a cardigan, Wednesday is a skirt ensemble etc. It’s classic and timeless, the iconic cool American girl.

    Without any form of classical training in fashion design, Browne first graduated with a business degree, then dappled in acting in Los Angeles, but soon discovered his real passion and moved to New York. He honed his skills in fashion from working for the likes of Giorgio Armani, Club Monaco and Polo Ralph Lauren. It makes perfect sense how his love for presenting his classic American everyday wear in theatrical presentations.

    “I just learnt differently. I find it very freeing. I’m also lucky to be working with experts in different categories. I see myself as a story teller through my collections, a director of the show for the purpose of entertaining. I know what I want very clearly and I want people to recognise ‘Thom Browne’ without any signage or logo.”

    And now, the designer is bringing his flaire to the Hong Kong customers. An in-store preview of the Spring/Summer 2016 men’s collection will be held at the On Lan Street store, complete with a live model display, installation and in-store cocktail with Thom Browne himself. Come and join us and relive the theatrical experience!

    Video by Stimuleye
    Deisgner portrait and shworoom photos by Filep Motwary
    Interview by Lucienne Leung-Davies