In recent years, New York Fashion Week has developed into a standout venue for cutting-edge designers and their ground-breaking creations. Consider the fluid, recycled raver clothing from Collina Strada or the edgy blend of “luxury trash” from Luar. Although it’s become fashionable to lament the lack of major names on the NYFW schedule, the reality is that it’s actually created a lovely dynamic. Also, the time-warp was created to celebrate J. Crew’s resurrection after being believed to have gone the way of guitar music and thin jeans.
Country Music and Thin Jeans, Baby!
But, on Wednesday evening, there was a new vibe in the air. In the air of Jean’s, a brand-new nightclub that has taken over the location of the notorious aughts party eatery Butter, you could almost smell the Paco Rabanne scent. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were tearing it up onstage, and half of the attendees in the crowded room were sporting striped oxford shirts. On Lafayette Street, it appeared as though a wormhole to 2009 had opened. The presence of rising Brooklyn drill rapper Fivio Foreign, nodding his head to “Maps,” was the clearest link to the present.
Since the time-warp was created to celebrate J. Crew’s resurrection after being believed to have gone the way of guitar music and thin jeans, it seemed appropriate. Brendon Babenzien, the company’s new men’s creative director, was honored at the NYFW eve-eve party. Babenzien’s first collection for the struggling retailer was enthusiastically received by both the men’s fashion press and customers, who eagerly snapped up every pair of his awesomely voluminous Giant Chinos.
J. Crew Is Back!
Babenzien and J. Crew weren’t exactly trying to suddenly become well-known during fashion week. Not too long ago, J. Crew put on must-see performances at Lincoln Center under Jenna Lyons’ direction. But, it’s safe to say that everyone has firmly moved on since the mall brand has failed to regain its footing in recent years, culminating in the brand declaring bankruptcy in 2020. That is, up until Wednesday night. Friends of Noah staff members skated up to Jean’s and attempted to use charm to get past the iPad-wielding publicists at the entrance. Let’s take a moment to comprehend that fact: in 2022, guests were attempting to enter a J. Crew party undetected. Furthermore, as Jean’s started filling up, it was still 7:30 p.m. outside, but the atmosphere inside made it seem like it was getting close to midnight.
Babenzien has a keen sense of what’s cool and the ability to recognize things before others do. Just take a look at his history at Supreme, which he helped transform into, you know, Supreme, and at Noah, where he exposed young New Yorkers to irreverent preppy apparel.