â€œDon’t call it a comeback.â€
Normally we shy away from rap references (that’s why God invented Four Pins), but we’d like to believe that Mark McNairy would appreciate an allusion to LL Cool J. After all McNairy’s relationship with rap (and the rappers that wear his clothes) is prolific enough that The New York Times devoted an entire profile to it earlier this year. While McNairy’s eponymous brand and his collaboration with BBC have garnered plenty of attention over the past year, there was a noticeable silence from Woolrich Woolen Mills, the designer’s third major endeavor.
Fortunately for us all though, earlier this year it was announced that after a one season hiatus McNairy was back at the helm of Woolrich Woolen Mills. The resulting Fall 2014 collection lies at the intersection of McNairy’s amped up Ivy sportswear and Woolrich’s eternal Americana. This is an equation that could’ve been used to describe the majority of McNairy’s work at WWM, but there’s something special about this collection, something almost otherworldly. With all of the reflective accents, techy fabrics and heightened colors, the collection looks like what would happen if a UFO had crashed in the Pennsylvania wilderness, or if Woolrich happened to have been contracted to design uniforms for NASA.
After looking through the AW14 look book (shot by McNairy’s longtime friend Lee Clower), the basic shapes aren’t too far off from what Woolrich has been doing for decades, but their compositions are distinctly McNairy. The collection is familiar yet unique, just as WWM has always been, and really just as all designer collaborations should be. It’s good to have you back Mark.