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A Campus In Style: Dynamic American designs

By Jamil Larkins
On February 14, 2013

American fashion has always been an art filled with innovation and creativity. Compared to the static and traditional values of European fashion, America has taken a much more dynamic approach to design and creation. Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Calvin Klein are world renowned American designers that have become household names. However, there are many less-known designers that are combining high-fashion and street-wear, creating a new American fashion identity.
Mark McNairy is a veteran designer originally from North Carolina. Among other positions, he was recently the creative/design director for both Woolrich Woolen Mills and Ivy League-inspired company J. Press. He is known for altering traditional garments with his own unique take on details and color. Though not as outlandish as colleague Jeremy Scott, McNairy's designs are still appropriate for the business casual type looking for an edge. He has said that his designs were "fun, but not funny" in an interview with Complex Magazine, and that definitely is reflected in his personal brand, Mark McNairy New Amsterdam.
The McNairy New Amsterdam brand is one without fear of ostracization from the fashion elite, which is a microcosm of American streetwear today. New Amsterdam is a well-tailored collection of camouflage, polka dots, brightly colored shoe soles and animal print combined with traditional fashion silhouettes. In what started out as just men's shoes, McNairy expanded his brand in 2012 to both men's and women's fashions. He now designs pants, dress shirts, hoodies and hats, all while maintaining his appreciation for rugged American production. Recently, he has done collaborations with New Era hats, Pharrell Williams's BBC/Beeline, Keds, Timberland and even a capsule collection with rapper Danny Brown. McNairy has been featured in The New York Times, GQ, The Washington Post and many other publications for the success and creativity of his work. McNairy was named one of GQ's best new menswear designers of 2012, and he even held his second trip on the runway at New York's Fashion Week this year.
McNairy has said that his newest collection is just a "mish-mash of everything - just as it always is." His collection has been dubbed "The Eagle Has Landed." Designs for this season include traditional olive green army attire, polka dot prints, smiley face patterns, and an awesome camouflage coat with daisies embroidered all over (his daughter's name is Daisy, who also walked in the show). Though McNairy is known for his bright-colored soles and quality shoe production, he is now gaining major notoriety through his apparel selection.

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