Having a job in the fashion business requires me to closely monitor different brands — in my case, the menswear brands — to see how they evolve and how relevant they manage to remain in the eyes of their customers. And it is always such a pleasant surprise when a brand repositions its offerings or reinvents its aesthetic to appeal to a different target audience. In the recent past, we have seen a lot of menswear brands that began with a more ‘corporate’ approach, and then moved to trendy, youthful collections, infused with colour. This is also the case with Arrow New York, which happens to be one of my favourite formalwear brands. For the longest time, I had perceived Arrow New York to be a brand suited for much older men, with a more traditional approach to fashion. In my opinion, it stood out with its relatively staid, corporate appeal. In my early 20s, I would often frequent the Arrow New York store in Mumbai as they had the best solid coloured dress shirts, just perfect to wear with a suit or even with formal trousers.
Recently, I was invited to the Arrow New York store on Linking Road in Bandra to check out their new range of quirky printed shirts. Arrow does printed shirts…I couldn’t help but ask. As I was pleasantly surprised to discover, the collection was quirky and fun indeed. The Arrow Imprints Collection was designed, keeping in mind a strong contemporary context. As a result: I was pleased to spot shirts printed with a Twitter bird, a spicy chilli, a modern version of the paisley motif and even a print inspired by bubble wrap. How fun is that! This exclusive collection preview was styled by and organised in collaboration with GQ India (when GQ’s around, we know nothing can possibly go wrong). Have a look at some of the quirky prints.
UrbanEye view: The thing about men’s printed shirts is that it is hard to toe the line between subtlety and flamboyance. Prints often tend to come across as over-the-top. And that’s probably why I am reluctant, most of the time, to sport printed shirts. The head designer Prasenjit explained to me that these printed shirts were designed to be ultra-wearable, fun yet understated, and far from flamboyant. What I loved most about these prints was also the versatility. I could well imagine myself wearing one of these printed shirts under a business suit and then slipping into a pair of jeans or chinos for the rest of the evening. And with printed shirts, achieving that level of versatility is not always easily. Thankfully Arrow New York’s Imprints collection has managed to do that effortlessly.