Quirky confidence at Freemans Sporting Club in New York
A gentlemen’s club vacation welcomed one and all at the Freemans Sporting Club spring/summer 2020 presentation on Wednesday.
Held at the retailer’s newly updated global flagship store at 8 Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the unpretentious, colorful bustle of the neighborhood paired well with FSC's latest collection of quirky-yet-refined pieces.
Inside the store, attendees were greeted by a staged sporting club oasis, complete with a woven straw tiki bar, glass bottles of sparkling water, and a single, large bowl of fruity candy -- setting the scene for the clothes on display.
For spring 2020, the collection featured button-downs, shorts, pants, jackets and suits awash with desert tones; from dusty yellows, sky blue and terracotta, to a palette of browns ranging from light sand to walnut. Demure pieces like a quilted jacket-and-pant set in black sat in contrast to an eye-popping Hawaiian shirt in turquoise, and a rainbow-plaid shirt-and-short set.
Naturally-dyed indigo showed up on short-sleeved button-down shirts and denim, while a simple pair of white linen pants hung loosely beside a white painter’s smock with grey stripes.
Classic suiting also made an appearance, putting a playful twist on made-to-measure jacket-and-pant sets with the help of a peachy houndstooth and a blue plaid worthy of a Wes Anderson film.
According to FSC's head designer Nikko Lencek-Inagaki, the collection's stylish-yet-humorous vibe was inspired by his experience road tripping from Joshua Tree to Palm Springs and beyond, and the cast of characters he encountered along the way.
“There were all these weird dudes mixed up in this tiny area, what would it be like if I tried to pull it all together?” Lencek-Inagaki said. “[What] I really like about the brand is [the] balance of elegant, timeless American style with a sense of humor…you’re going to look really stylish, but it’s also a little wild.”
Lencek-Inagaki started his fashion career with denim brand Rogan, under designer Caroline Priebe (of Uluru, Loomstate and Zero Maria Cornejo). Together with Priebe, Lencek-Inagaki moved to FSC in 2011 to work with Taavo Somer, the brand's original founder.
In his new role, Lencek-Inagaki said he plans on maintaining Freemans firstly as a lifestyle brand.
“Freemans is not a pretentious or precious lifestyle, but it is gentlemanly in its own way,” the designer said. “And while the lifestyle has wide-ranging needs, the style itself can be timeless and, of course, American."
Freemans Sporting Club was established in 2005. Last month, the retailer reopened its New York City location with the help of Japanese designer Kazuya Sasaki of Smallclone.
In addition to its apparel offering, the Freemans Sporting Club portfolio includes a barber shop and a restaurant (Freemans), each located next to the New York retail location.
The full effect is that of a gentlemen’s ecosystem, where customers can buy a made-to-measure suit, clean up their haircut and close out their afternoon with a relaxed lunch.
In addition to the flagship in New York, Freemans Sporting Club also operates a brick-and-mortar location in Shibuya, Japan. The brand’s list of U.S. stockists can be found in New York City and state, as well as in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Maine and Ottawa. It also retails online globally via Mr Porter.
Based in New York City, Freemans Sporting Club previously collaborated with fellow New York City-based eyewear brand Moscot for a capsule eyewear collection.
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