This morning, four new capsule collections arrived in selected Gap stores and at Gap.com from the most important up-and-coming menswear designers as chosen by the wise folks at GQ. This year's roster is a little bit smaller than last year's, but also a bit more varied featuring updated Savile Row inspiration from Liam and Sammy Fayed of Bespoken, a purist's take on denim from Matt Baldwin of Baldwin, West Coast surf & skate style from Paige Mycoskie of Aviator Nation and accessory artisanry from New York's Ernest Alexander Sabine of Ernest Alexander. There has been very little in the way of previews, but the collections are now fully available —mostly only in New York City and Los Angeles. Only 30 stores in the entire chain are selling the project, and we are lucky to have the widest availability with 10 of them here in New York —plus Garden State Plaza in Paramus (see below for the full listing). The Los Angeles area has only five, and most other major cities have only a single location that will offer the collections. Everything will be available online for as long as they last.
This morning, we got our first look at the items online. There are lots of great pieces, but here are our must-haves from each designer:
Aviator Nation's Reversible Vest - $88
This collection is super beachy and skateboard-y with a heavy 1970s vibe which is a fun but very specific look. This vest reverses to the opposite color combination (blue body & brown corduroy yoke), and is the one piece that won't make you look like you got lost looking for a half-pipe.
Baldwin's Twill Cargo Pant - $78
We promised ourselves we wouldn't buy one more thing in camouflage print, but then we broke that promise so all bets are off. Camo is here to stay and theses are the pants to have, especially with those handy but streamlined cargo pockets, and a muted, alternative color combination. These won't last too long in stores. If you really have dosed on camo, they also come in blue slate —or just get them both. Pants from Baldwin's regular line retail for around $200.
Bespoken Suede Baseball Jacket - $348
It's the most expensive piece in the whole collection (and probably at the Gap in general), but gray suede is the thing right now and baseball jackets are coming back strong, so this thing is genetically engineered to be the best jacket ever. It's also the only piece of apparel in the Bespoken capsule that isn't described as having a "slim fit", but knowing this label, it is still probably cut very narrowly, so be warned. We are estimating that a similar type of jacket in Bespoken's main collection would retail for around $800 to $1000 at minimum.
Ernest Alexander Waxed Cotton Duffel and Tote - $118 and $88
Okay, we couldn't choose between these two pieces, so just get them both. We can't imagine them not being endlessly useful. Both are in a sturdy waxed cotton with a touch of nylon for extra durability with real leather trim and a signature orange lining. Similar styles in the main Ernest Alexander collection are $395 and $225
GAP x GQ's Best New Men's Designers in America available at Gap.com and Gap stores at:
Astor Place & Broadway, NoHo
23rd Street & Eighth Avenue, Chelsea
34th Street & Broadway, Herald Square
42nd Street & Broadway, Times Square
48th Street & Sixth Avenue, Midtown
54th Street & Fifth Avenue, Midtown
59th Street & Lexington Avenue, Upper East Side
67th Street & Broadway, Upper West Side
Queens Center, Elmhurst
Roosevelt Field Center, Garden City Long Island
Garden State Plaza, Paramus New Jersey