Men’s Fashion WeekWritten and photographed by Jason T. Jaskot
Interview with model Manuel Rodrigues
Season after season, you’ll see some familiar faces modeling in a Malan Breton show, but you’ll also see some new ones. This time around one of the freshest faces was 18 year old Michigan native Manuel Rodrigues, currently signed with AIM Models. While Breton’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s presentation focused mostly on suiting, it also showcased his brand new underwear line, and Manuel was one of the few models showing any skin. We talked with him about how that felt for a newbie…….
ASIAN FUSION: This is your first Fashion Week ever right? So Malan Breton was your first show? Plus, your family was in the audience watching.
Manuel Rodrigues: I really enjoyed the presentation, it was my first job ever and it was a cool experience. Having my siblings and Mom in the crowd actually helped ease the nerves I had prior to the presentation starting just because I knew they were supportative
AF: Was it odd being the only one up there in underwear, amid guys wearing formal wear?
Manuel: Being the only one in underwear was a little awkward, but after the first few minutes or so I got over the awkwardness and just had fun with it.
AF: You’re very new to NYC, what are your future plans for the industry and for yourself?
Manuel: I’m going to Michigan State University in the fall, but I plan on continuing modeling and coming down to NYC frequently. I’m studying business.
To say Edmund Ooi’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s show was non-traditional is underselling it. Presented at the MILK Building, the models walked in a figure 8 configuration of metal frames, while seating lined the walls. As a designer, he’s inspired by science fiction and images of the European Space Agency shot by Edgar Martin, and those influences definitely come through in the clothes. This is sportswear you might see on Ziggy Stardust. Oversize tags on sports coats, jagged zigzag patterns and models with outlandish hair extensions combined for a collection that is both creative and offbeat.
Nautica brought out another sturdy collection for New York Fashion Week: Men‘s; forgoing a runway show in favor of a presentation. Focusing on swimwear and accompanying pieces–white v-necks, summer sweaters–the collection was clean and simple and in true Nautica fashion, iconic.
The mission statement for Siki Im’s collection digs deep, referencing Nas, Gorilla Biscuits and Franz Kafka and speaks of nostalgia for his youth, specifically picking up his first skateboard and eventually riding it into NYC. And the collection is all that; the loose, baggy denim and rope-like belts perfectly capture that New York 90’s cool when bands cooler than you were just breaking out and you could spend all night on the street with your friends. Even the marginally more formal pieces, like a gorgeous gold leaf patterned jacket, still have that laid back air of cool.