Anthony Urso held a media preview for his eponymous luxury leisurewear line on Thursday, October 5th. The collection featured both men’s and women’s pieces in neutral hues, making it a truly season less line. An esteemed businessman, this is Urso’s first time entering the fashion industry. The brand will be launching soon. In the mean time, check out pieces from the collection here.
We got the chance to speak to the designers, check out the interviews below.
Anthony Urso, Designer
The Knockturnal: How did the collection start with the tracksuit?
Anthony Urso: The tracksuit was actually my initial inspiration, all I wanted to do was to make a tracksuit. I grew up in the 80’s, a time when Adidas had their track suits and they were kind of a big deal. I come from an Italian American family and Italians were all about the tracksuit with gold chains. I remember being in my uncle’s house. He would come home dressed nicely and he would go straight upstairs. He’d come into the house and not say anything to anybody, he was just beat from the day. So he’d go upstairs, change, and come down. I remember him always being in a brown velour tracksuit, zipped about a third of the way down, with his gold chains hanging out with his white slippers on. But he looked sharp. He’d come downstairs, go into the kitchen, say hello to everybody, and start making dinner for the family. Looking back, that was a big time inspiration. My own father, same deal. On the weekends when he wasn’t working, whether he was in the house or washing his car, he would be wearing comfortable, tight tracksuits or just single pieces of it.
The Knockturnal: What inspired you to make the collection domestically in the United States?
Anthony Urso: A lot of things. I believe strongly that the beneficiaries of American entrepreneurship should be Americans or at least people who conduct business in the country. That was the main thing. There’s pride in “Made in America.” I grew up that way. I would not do the collection if it was not made in the city. It’s a challenge too because we don’t have the technology that China does and obviously the prices are a lot higher as well. But it’s fine because it’s the right thing to do.
The Knockturnal: With everything made in the city, how did it affect your design process? (Being able to visit the factories on a regular basis?)
Anthony Urso: It allowed us to pivot especially on things that were drawn better than the actual execution of the product itself. It allowed us to have greater control over quality as well. We were able to see much quicker whether something was going to work or not.
The Knockturnal: The fabrics are all super soft. How did you source your fabrics?
Anthony Urso: My instructions were that we have to have the best fabric, everything had to made here, and with the best construction. For years, everyone was trying to force me into focusing on the price point and saying we’ll build around that. My whole thought process was that we won’t know till we make it. Let’s get the best fabrics and see what the manufacturer’s cost is and go from there.
The Knockturnal: After 20 years of having this dream, what finally prompted you to go for it?
Anthony Urso: My nephew actually. He came back from college and he came to my office and he’s like, “Uncle Ant, why don’t you try doing that clothing line again?” He remembers being a kid and seeing samples of stuff we tried to do in the past. And I was like, “You know what man, that’s a great idea.” So I called a guy that I knew in Los Angeles and I tried it for a year and it just didn’t work. So I brought it here.
Michelle Bourque, Creative Director
The Knockturnal: How did you and Anthony decide to create the Anthony Urso Collection?
Michelle Bourque: The initial seed was planted in his head about 20 years ago. He had just graduated high school and was starting his summer break. He was out with his brother and friend when they started talking about what they wanted to do after graduation. Anthony said that he wanted to have a clothing line one day and they laughed at him. It started a fire inside of him. So it’s been there for 20 years, he’s tried different iterations of it and they were never right and he gave up. Then we finally met last year and we just clicked immediately. We’re both from the Midwest and both are about family. Attention to detail is hard to find in stores right now. We especially felt that there was a void in the men’s markets. So we put our heads together and created the collection.
The Knockturnal: How is it like working with him?
My favorite quote from him is that he thinks the definition of success is getting to spend time with family. He says that everyone has their own definition but that’s his. That’s the kind of person you want to work for, a person who inspires you.
The Knockturnal: How did you create an entire line from tracksuits alone?
Michelle Bourque: Anthony wanted to do a whole line of track suits and I was like I don’t think that’s going to build a brand. I can make you some custom tracksuits and you can be on your way, but it’s not a lifestyle brand. It has to be pieces that you can wear for different occasions not just for one purpose. We try to make everyone feel on the outside the way they do on the inside. That feeling of comfort you experience when you are home around your family. You should feel like that with what you’re wearing.
The Knockturnal: How would you describe the collection in three words?
Michelle Bourque: Elevated, comfortable, and sleek.