Byronesque Launches Menswear with Opening Ceremony: a Q&A with E.I.C. Gill Linton
During NYMFW, Byronesque decided to really flesh out their men’s collection, showcasing a collection of Vexed Generation, Helmut Lang and Raf Simons for sale at Opening Ceremony this week (as well as a mansion’s worth of newly found vintage Margiela). Flaunt sat down with Byronesque Vintage's co founder and Editor-in-Chief, Gill Linton for a chat:
Why get into Menswear?
We have been inundated with requests to sell menswear for about 2 years. And while we have been selling men's collections via the app for a while, it's never been official. The men's market for vintage has grown really quickly and the available product and the time is right for us now. Opening Ceremony during Men’s fashion week NY was a perfect place to start. We’ll be relaunching the app and the site later this year to make it even more official and easy for guys to buy.
How did you decide on what brands to use, Raf, Vexed, Lang?
We've almost sold all of our Raf pieces already. Men have become very obsessive about ‘90s collections and it goes fast. There’s a religious like adoration for Raf and Lang and what they created and we get a lot of people choosing to sell through us as well as buy. We only deal with designers who made an important contribution to fashion history, not just the clothes, but culturally, too. I think people trust us and want to collaborate with us because of that. What's interesting about these designers from this era is that people assume they were major sellers at the time, but it’s not true. Only looking back do we realize how good it was, especially compared to now, hence the demand. I’m happy to report that men are looking for clothes with meaning and no longer want to look like everyone else.
Vexed is particularly special. They were the Helmut Lang of London in the ‘90s. People don’t realize how significant they were in fashion culture and what their influence has been, and still is. They haven’t been available for 20 years and we're honored to bring back their archives for the first time. Their designs and what they stood for is more relevant than ever: the infamous ninja hoods and bags, for example, are epic and I believe will become the uniform for the vexed generation again.
What role do you think vintage fashion plays in the market today?
We call ourselves the new generation of vintage fashion because we specialize in designers from the '80s onward. It's a ridiculous myth that just because it's old means it's good, and we're very critical of clothes that are considered vintage but are actually outdated. There's a big difference. The designs we offer can't be dated, it's just good design, with meaning. They obviously inform new collections because designers today use it as inspiration. Which is good when it informs a different interpretation. They're starting from a good place and hopefully will lead to more creative defiance in fashion.
Are you all the counterpoint to fast fashion?
Fuck yes. Environmentally and sartorially.
How did you all connect with Opening Ceremony?
Humberto saw what we did during PFW this year and invited us to do it with them. An hour lunch with him and I knew I'd met my spirit animal. And here we are. I've been feeling that NYC has dried up and lost any creative edge it had for a long time now. The team at OC have given me new hope. They let us change their name on the front door to OPORNING CEREMONY! They have been incredibly inspiring and prepared to take creative risks. They totally get it. So much respect for them.
What's next for the company?
We're growing a lot. A new site and app is coming later this year. Focus on menswear and more accessories. More collaborations. We're turning into intel inside. You're going to see us as the stamp of 'get good vintage here' on lots of other platforms, on and offline. We're particularly excited about our plans and collaborations for future vintage; selecting the pieces from current and new collections to buy now that will be important vintage in the future.
Interview by Joshua Liebman