Steven Alan, pioneer of the plaid comeback, is finally over the look: “I’m a little bit bored with the traditional plaid. How many times can you see black box plaid or these other plaids?” he asked at last night’s GQ party honoring the six finalists for the Third Annual Best New Menswear Designer award. The award will ultimately be selected by GQ editor-in-chef Jim Nelson as well as members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. (We spotted CFDA president Diane Von Furstenburg ogling the collections at the party.)
The designer implied that he wants his next collections to move in a more modern direction: “Lately in menswear, there’s been an emphasis on heritage and about the original of whatever it is. So plaid is one of the things that, like oxfords, people just really needed. I feel like my company has kind of evolved. People are not working on boats anymore, they’re spending a lot of time in their car or their office. You don’t need the amount of clothes that you needed at one point.” He added: “I really like plaid, but I think as a general thing there’s too much of it right now.” Alan touted the efficiency of brands like Uniqlo, with whom he launched a diffusion line, and said other collaborations are in the works.
Eunice Lee of the awesomely basic unis, agreed with Alan: “I think we all follow trends, and [plaid] was a really big trend, it looks good on men, and what kind patterns does a man get to wear? That’s probably why it’s taken so much longer for it to end. But now for all of us it’s a question of what’s going to replace this major staple for a guy.” Of being a woman in the menswear game, Lee, the only female finalist for the award, told us: “I feel really lonely. I want other women [to design menswear]! But It’s really laid-back and special. It’s a very small world. There’s no cattiness. I went back to womenswear for a while and I was like, ‘Kill me now.’” Other contestants include Burkman Bros, Richard Chai, Caulfield Preparatory, J.Crew’s Frank Muytjens, and Billy Reid.
This post has been updated. Previously, it stated that Alan was a finalist for the Best New Menswear Designer award.