Only at Dover Street Market can you find a Supreme T-shirt being displayed a few feet away from a Prada retrospective collection. Dreamed up by Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, the Market is a new breed of department store where fresh designers get to share floorspace with established greats. In the spirit of Comme des Garçons, it eschews tradition in every sense, from Kawakubo merchandising brands at her whim, rather than by price point or household names, to the unassuming former women’s design school it’s housed in, on the retail-less stretch of Lexington Avenue at 30th Street. Kawakubo chose the location for its blank canvas status, in hopes to create a culture around her store—a move she’s made before: Comme des Garçons was one of the first luxury retailers to enter into Soho in 1983 and, later, Chelsea in 1999. Get to know Dover Street Market’s standout brands, many of which FADER would stock in its dream department store, below.
Minimalist menswear label Proper Gang came on our radar last spring for its advanced plays on proportions. Lately, the NYC-based label has been staking its claim in the menswear world by bringing clean design to streetwear with elevated, minimalist basics.
Streetwear staple Supreme’s long list of collaborators includes everyone from Timberland to Comme des Garçons, so it’s not all-that surprising that Kawakubo hand-picked the brand to set up a shop-in-shop at Dover. For their space, the label played up their youthful edge, designing it with a Tumblr-style backdrop collage of found images.
Father and son duo Casely-Hayford are known best for their early Afropunk looks, inspired by their Dalton neighborhood in East London, which prompted our feature on the pair back in March 2011. Over the past three years, the label has shifted their focus to sportswear, rave culture, and, most recently, Snoop Dogg’s ‘90s style.
To its credit, Nike has countlessly reinvented itself and maintained its foothold in street culture since it became a sneaker fixture 30 years ago. Their sleek capsule collection for Dover Street Market is case in point. The Nike Air Python DSM, an updated take on the 1987 Air sneaker, complete with python-printed leather, is what sneaker myths are made of.
Anti-establishment aesthete Shaun Samson is at the forefront of London’s newly-reemerged streetwear scene. He’s crafting some of the most out-there designs around from hair-embellished jerseys to Mexican blanket-striped button downs. Check out FADER's interview with him.
Lou Dalton cut her teeth in fashion as a bespoke apprentice at age 16 and applied her knowledge of tailoring to her meticulously-crafted line, inspired by her former Teddy Boy dad. More recently, she’s brought her laser-sharp focus on details to the oft-baggy world of sportswear with a collection of sweats for Opening Ceremony.
Like Samson, Simone Rocha is part of the new class of far out London designers. She’s made techy fabrics her signature and consistently churned out eye-popping collections. Dover Street Market currently stocks her confection-colored womenswear and oft-counterfeited perspex heeled brogues.
Simon Porte of Jacquemus has a fairytale story for how he entered into the industry. At the age of 20, he showed Kawakubo his designs, she swiftly picked them up for her store, and Comme des Garçons, later, hired him as a sales associate so he could supplement his income. Porte recently left his nine-to-five job to design full-time, risk that’s so far paid off. With his debut collection receiving much critical praise, Porte has become the hot new name in Paris' Minimalist fashion scene. For more, read FADER's interview with the young designer.