In one of the personally wilder turns in an absolute absurd year @Outlier is on the New York Fashion Week calendar: runway360.cfda.com/designers/will…
The credit here goes 100% to @willienorrisws I’ve always been happy to observe fashion week from a distance
We’ve always had a little fashion in there though, spliced up with workwear and technical outdoors gear. If you can imagine the tiny point on a Venn diagram where Patagonia, Carhartt and Rick Owens overlap that’s sort of our zone
The path from there to the fashion calendar though is pretty long. At the end of the day what I really want to create is a new Levi’s 501 or Burberry Trenchcoat, something iconic that both lasts and evolves with the times
But I also firmly believe that finding genuine newness requires exploring the deeply weird and unexpected, the obvious and linear are going to get done no matter what
Fashion as a process is a way for culture to find, digest and absorb novelty. There is a lot of absurdity involved but also a genuine appreciation for design. Fashion designers get treated far better than many others despite often playing a less crucial role
As such it has always informed our work and been one tool among several at our disposal, but we’ve rarely addressed it directly
Being direct and with a drop model put us way off the fashion calendar. But we’ve always been a bit jealous of that calendar because it has such clearly defined cycles as opposed to being constantly engaged with design, production and commerce at the same damn time every day
Which ironically lead us to build internal structures that lead back towards a fashion cycle at a time so many fashion companies are trying to break out of it
One of those process we started playing with was an internal designers collection of sorts, where they were left free to make anything they wanted as long as there was some narrative cohesion of sorts
The Throws of Passion that @JasmineAmandla did last winter was sort of the prelude

instagram.com/p/B58WQ-Kp8XO/…
For this last Spring Willie had started with the concept of “container” which lead to “contained” and finally to “containment”. This was all planned and dialogued last fall and winter, both the production and photoshoot was supposed to start late March
Fashion is supposed to be indicative of the times, but needless to say when a pandemic rolled around “containment” was way too on the nose. Plus all the factories and photo shoots shut down anyway, a season up in smoke
There were a lot of interesting garments and ideas contained (so to speak) in that collection so we started thinking about doing it the next spring, or even this fall
And then as we emerged from a spring of hell we had a liberating realization that we didn’t actually have to make and sell whatever we put into a collection. After all very little that gets sent down a runway ever gets produced and sold
This is often seen as a dirty secret inside fashion, but when looked at via a historical lens it makes perfect sense
Fashion shows began as ways for couture designers to present ideas of what was possible to their clients. Couture is made to the specifications of the client though, the show is just a jumping off point for the final product
We have a pretty extensive and sometime contentious dialogue with our customers already over on reddit.com/r/Outlier/ but they tend to only interject their ideas after the garments are made and for sale
What would happen if we showed a whole bunch of ideas for garments far earlier in the process and openned up a dialogue about it?
We have no idea but we are going to find out tomorrow
Willie Norris x Outlier

Ideas for Spring

Tuesday September 15th

5:30pm New York time

on the @Outlier IG feed:
instagram.com/outlier?igshid…

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More from @abe1x

8 May
So it seems the virus found me. That’s not even the scary part. The scary part is how the hell did the virus find me?
I wasn’t perfect, quite good in a lot of areas (masks, distancing, hand washing, disposable gloves, indoor/outdoor clothing, sanitizing) and less good at staying inside (took walks and rotated between a few locations)
But that’s the thing, the parts I was bad at (at least that I can tell) are the things that need to happen for things to start reopening
Read 7 tweets

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