Willem NY launches SS19 Paradise Lost Collection
New-American menswear brand Willem New York announces the launch of its Spring/Summer 2019 collection, “Paradise Lost,” today. The collection is based on 1970’s Montauk, New York through the lens of renowned photographer Peter Beard.
The collection, conceived by Willem’s Founder & CEO, Sean McDonagh, features outerwear, knitwear, shirting, bottoms, and accessories inspired by both the Long Island fishing town and Beard’s common subject matter, the landscapes and wildlife of Kenya, Africa. All aspects of the collection tie back to this inspiration including the fabrics, graphics, color palette, presentation, garments and garment details.
Willem employed fabrics like the rare and collectable Herringbone Twill for outerwear, pants and shorts in the collection; Antique Military Nylon made in Japan for outerwear and shorts; crisp and clean Italian Oxford as well as Cone Denim from the oldest American Denim mill.
Graphics in the collection are all pulled from vintage Montauk graphics, while some of the graphic typography is the same typography used on the Montauk Park signs. McDonagh sourced a vintage Montauk almanac and re-appropriated graphics from advertisements, store logos, road signs and photographs to incorporate into the collection.
The collection’s color palette was inspired by the concept of taking classic Montauk sweatshirts and clothes, tossing them in the ocean, and letting them sun fade on the beach. With this, Navy becomes Steele Blue; the iconic red of a lifeguard sweatshirt becomes Clay Red; a Military Green becomes Faded Cargo and tan morphs into the color of Sand.
Willem photographed the collection in Montauk with Waris Ahluwalia, Bill Powers, Brett Robinson and Max Robinson. The shoot was inspired by photos of Peter Beard in Montauk, as well as Beard’s fascination with rocks and Montauk’s iconic cliffs and rocky landscape.
The garments in the collection include a bomber jacket, coaches’ jackets, moto jackets, hoodies, tees, pants and shorts in colors associated with the preppy stylings of Montauk, combined with details inspired by Peter Beard and Safari, with Safari style pockets a major theme seen throughout the collection. McDonagh also created a modernized version of a Safari jacket that was worn by both Peter Beard and Mick Jagger.
Additionally, McDonagh was inspired by the Kenyan Kikoi’s worn by Beard. The garment can be used as a scarf, blanket, skirt-like wrap around amongst other applications. Beard would spend a large portion of his year photographing people, environments and animals of Africa where he was seen wearing this classic Safari gear.