Monday, August 2, 2010

MRketNY Spring/Summer 2011


Well it seems like classic, all American looks will be all the rage in Europe for Spring 2011.  While it may be a trend in Europe, for some Americans it’s the standard uniform; khakis, polos, oxford shirts, loafers and blazers. In steps VICOMTE A., a collection of classic American sportswear designed in Paris and of course with a European twist. Usually “all American” is not my thing but when I saw all the vibrant colors in the Vicomte A. booth at the MrketNY show I had to see what was going on.  

Vicomte means French aristocracy and was designed for the man (woman or child) who aspires to be a Vicomte but for the moment is working his way up the corporate ladder. A stands for Arthur de Soultrait, the owner of the firm. It is a full men’s, women’s, kidswear collection from outerwear to accessories.  Each season in addition to their basic collection they will add additional items based on trends the designers have chosen.  For Spring 2011 design decided to name their trends after places the elite and chic European would travel to or do. 

The first theme is Trophée Bailli de Suffren.  It is nautical inspired and based on a 580 mile, 12 day offshore race from St Tropez to Malta reserved exclusively for classic yachts.  Sign me up Captain!!!  Usually my job on a sailboat is to lie around; make sure we have dinner plans for our next port of call; enough wine to compliment our fresh catch of the day lunch; and ensure that everyone is having a great time.  But with a wardrobe from Vicomte A. I might be tempted to hoist a gibb or two.

The second theme is pretty simple, Indian Safari; a collection of creamy, soft and washed neutrals with a small shot of spicy colors.  

The third and final theme is VA Famous Beach Club.  VA standing for Vicomte Arthur and of course you know what a beach club is.

VICOMTE A. has been in business for ten seasons now and this is their fourth season in North American multibrand stores (Nordstroms, Atrium (NY), Enson’s (CT).  They operate their own branded stores all over the world so if you happen to be in St. Tropez, Barcelona or Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy among other international getaway spots this summer, drop by.  If you plan on staying local, check out the branded stores in South Hampton, Nantucket or Palm Beach.

VICOMTE A. is distributed in the U.S. by Caulfeild Apparel Group in Toronto, Canada.…1-800-268-7939…or check out their website at:

Latch jacket in red
Nylon Latch Jacket

Yachting and Marine Polos

Cotton DB Jacket


Saharan Cotton Trench Coat

Under collar treatments
VA Beach Club

Beach Club Polos


Cotton Hunting Jacket
Suede Moccasin
Cotton trousers

Brightly colored knits and wovens

What do you do when your boss comes to you and says, oh, by the way…I’ve sold the company and you now have a new boss.  And instead of doing sales, you’re going to be the designer?   Well if you’re Allison Basile, you go within, find your inner designer and start designing.  And if the force is with you, you’d be in your 4th season and have 3x more business than last Fall. And so was born AGE OF WISDOM, a contemporary men’s casual shirt line.  Unlike you ladies, most of us men are a simple breed.  We’re not changing pant hems each season (even though Tom Brown has done his best to change that line of reasoning)…or worrying will flats or heels be in next season. Or what is the new hot color that we must have for our halter…sweetheart neck… plunging neckline or back, blouse; or will our skirts be short and puffy or long and slinky.  Yes, we’ll be in solids, plaids, checks and occasionally a print shirt, or trouser.  Hopefully something flat front with a tapered leg and not too much below our navel.  Some of us will brave trousers or shorts in plaids, checks and stripes but most of us will be in solid basics like navy, white, grey, khaki, black and maybe brown.  And then there are the chosen few who will brave a red, green, light blue, yellow or patterned trouser. 

Plaid shirts have been the “it” item for a few seasons now so we need to move on.  But how you ask.  Thank you AGE OF WISDOM. While everyone is trying new washes on denim you’ve taken our plaids and added new washes and dying effects.  Now I personally would not have tried this five days before the MarktNY Show, but thank your lucky sell-throughs Allison did.  Cloud wash, potassium wash, snake wash, stone wash with enzyme wash, textured crinkle and crinkle on prints just to name a few. All treatments that can’t be done overseas (You go girl!! Keepin it in the USA). Couple these washes with antique buttons or snaps and  trims out of France and you have an understandable, sellable and updated collection of men’s sportshirts. Something simple that most men can grasp even if they don’t know or want to know the latest trends but also something new for those of us who want to stay a bit ahead of the pack.

On knit tees and thermals there is a two week turnaround. They are also made in the USA and have different washing treatments.

AGE OF WISDOM is mainly sold on the west coast but will hopefully be migrating east very soon.  Right now you can find them at Nordstroms, Sam's (Livingston,NJ) and Peacock (E. Village, NYC).


Crinkled effects
Crinkled effects on prints and plaids

Stone wash over plaid

Cloud wash over plaid

Snake wash on front panels

Novelty trims from Paris

Pearl snaps

Lately I’ve been really attracted by luggage, especially carryon and every day bags like computer and gym.  Unlike our feminine counterparts, we don’t need a clutch, tote, Birken, oversized, midsized etc…but having options for computer, overnighters and maybe even gym can be justified. For checked luggage I could care less as long as it doesn’t pop open when the gorillas that handle the luggage take over.  Really. I remember being so proud of my brand new Hartmann luggage when I first got it.  I watched as its unscratched ballistic nylon body was put on the conveyer belt and I went to board my flight.  Upon arrival a piece of luggage came out resembling something that could have been Hartmann luggage but that piece of $%@# could not be mine!  As it passed the third time I checked the tag and lo and behold it was.  Needless to say I’ve learned my lesson about buying expensive luggage that will be checked.  Now on the other hand, carryon and laptop bags can remain unscathed if you’re careful and you can still deplane looking chic and elegant. I’ve got a big one, 17" and finding something just right to carry it has proven difficult. If it were 15”/13” or a netbook it would be so much easier. Most computer bags are too small and I don’t want to look like I’m going away for the evening just to go to the library.  Combine that with me being picky and you can see my dilemma.  That’s why I’ve started looking at totes as an alternative to the traditional computer. 

Pet carrier
When I saw WISECRACKER, I knew I had found a collection of travel and business bags made with me in mind.  Elegant without being pretentious; constructed with attention to details like colorful yarndyed linings  and using the finest Italian materials like micro twill nylon, calf leather and polished nickel hardware.  I love the tote (aptly named "Nomad" which is what my family calls me)  because it can be carried by hand or with a shoulder strap and my Mac slides in comfortably with room for any extra items I may need for the day or night. Actually it was the pet carrier which first caught my attention.  If it only came in Labrador size with wheels!!

Jim and his partner David have been together for 21, yes twen-ty-one years.  Both have a fashion background and done stints at Saks, Bullocks Wilshire and I. Magnin.  They are the geniuses behind Wisecracker LLC which includes Wisecracker Design, a commercial, residential and product development firm ( and Wisecracker luggage.  Besides good design they also believe in giving back and have founded Wisecracker’s Entrepreneurs Supporting Entrepreneurs Foundation which helps fund another organization called Kiva. micro lends to small retail entrepreneurs and artisans which “enable people to raise themselves and their families out of poverty with small targeted loans”.  This means, those of you who can afford to shop, can now shop guilt free because a portion of each purchase goes to the fund.  So by shopping, you actually could be helping an artisan in Central or South America as well as a small retailer in Africa.  Good goes around!! ...1-800-419-2984

Women's collection
Women's Christina V
Folding Valet

Inside Folding Valet
Constellation Speed Pack and Cabine Bag
Concourse Suitcase and Tarmac Laptop

Nomad tote
Nomad zips close for safety and privacy
Jayatu with clamshell zip opening

Jatayu in leather and Flight bag

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