Jace Lipstein’s New York-based men’s lifestyle brand, Grungy Gentleman, is not the distressed denim and combat boot-filled reimagining of 90’s grunge culture we might expect from such a name.
Instead, Lipstein presents a more nuanced interpretation of the rebellious spirit of grunge, catering his brand to the independent, risk-taking New York City gentleman. During the NYFW: Men’s runway show at Dream Downtown, which would be the brand’s 7th runway show, Lipstein debuted his Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Composed in a color scheme of navy, cobalt, grey, and beige, adorned with rows of accent stripes, and consisting of classic silhouettes like crewneck sweatshirts, button-downs with rolled sleeves, sports coats, and khakis as well as sportier ones like basketball tanks, joggers, and hooded windbreakers, the collection’s looks conveyed a strong nautical theme, which was reinforced by Maui Jim sunglasses, Grungy Gentleman x Timberland & Grungy Gentleman x iSlides footwear, and Grungy Gentleman x Mitchell & Ness hats. An Indiana University Alumni, Lipstein also showcased his Grungy Gentleman x Indiana University collection, whose varsity style blended seamlessly with the show’s overall preppy feel.
But despite its preppiness and minimalism, the collection does not feel conservative. The show presented a diverse and sometimes unexpected selection of models, from older, suave, silver haired men modeling shirtless open-blazer looks to bearded men with sleeves of tattoos modeling the cleaner, classier looks, communicating a sense of fierceness in the message that the Grungy Gentleman cannot be confined by our expectations of how a man of a certain age or lifestyle should dress. Two looks were even by NBA Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, who closed off the show in a tailored cream knee-length double-breasted jacket, styled with chunky white basketball shoes. The sports and celebrity culture as well as the upbeat, hip-hop-based playlist curated by DJ Juanyto that served as the backdrop to Grungy Gentleman’s Spring/Summer 2018 show make it clear that the brand strives to not only to create clothes for the bold, well-dressed urban man, but also a culture where fashion and entertainment converge to encourage fearless self-expression.
Photos by Reyna Wang