In late August, Lucas Ossendrijver previewed his new capsule collection for Theory, captured by British fashion photographer David Sims. Spanning mens and womenswear, the capsule marks the former Lanvin menswear designer’s first collection since his 2018 departure from the French fashion house, where played a pivotal role in ushering in the designer sneaker hype craze that persists today.
First announced by Theory last summer, the capsule reflects Ossendrijver’s fascination with New York City’s sartorial language. Post-pandemic, workwear is largely informed by comfort, ease of movement, and interests beyond the confines of the workday. “In New York, I always feel a sense of purpose,” he says. “People are always going places, and their attitude and the way they dress reflects this. The styling is a mix that feels accidental and blurs categories. It’s the unexpected element that inspires me.” Indeed, asymmetry and relaxed tailoring—along with plissè and velour accents—reflect a playful irreverence toward the confines of corporate workwear.
Ossendrijver’s collection may also reflect the shifting priorities of the industry’s designers. Earlier this year, Brendon Babenzien—who spearheaded design for Supreme before going on to found menswear brand Noah—was tapped for the role of men’s creative director at J. Crew. Working within the framework of such established brands, the designers can focus their attention on refining garments “down to the best version of [themselves],” in Babenzien’s words. Or, as Ossendrijver put it, “[Luxury] doesn’t mean anything anymore. We have to elevate how we make clothes and discover how by changing that you can change fashion.”