For many, the image of a well-dressed man is set in stone—dressed in Sunday best, all buttoned up. But a new generation of Caribbean designers are challenging these notions behind acceptable style for men, introducing new shapes, colors and textures. These creators aim to blur the lines between street and boardroom, high-end and high street, and even what’s considered male and female. The result—a refreshing update for any man’s wardrobe. We’ve rounded up our favorite Caribbean designers doing menswear now, from bespoke suits to futuristic streetwear.
This British designer may be only two years out of school, completing a Masters at the Royal College of Art in 2017. But Bianca Saunders has been making waves out of the gate with her fresh approach to tailoring. She mines her Jamaican/West Indies heritage for inspiration, re-examining cultural identities through clothing. Her newest collection continues her exploration of male black identity within British culture, challenging stereotypes of the picture-perfect tailored man with unconventional silhouettes and fabrics. Think peek-a-boo mesh, ruching and soft drapery.
If you see more male celebrities upping their red carpet game with colorful, richly textured and impeccably tailored suits, you can thank designers like Davidson Petit-Frère of Frère. The Haitian-American designer has developed a loyal following for injecting personality into classic custom suiting. Think stars like Jay Z, Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Steph Curry and Trevor Noah. And it’s no wonder, with the brand’s effortless fusion of classic Italian and English tailoring techniques with modern sensibility. In addition to their bespoke service, the brand now offers a ready-to-wear line. So everyone can upgrade their formal wear with some serious style.
Imagine contemporary street-wear meets the movie Back To the Future, and you’re not too far off from the futuristic style of Trinidadian designer and stylist William McIntosh. He developed a fan base thanks to his unique approach to style, mixing prints and bold color-blocking. Inspired by the Caribbean’s bright tropical colors, his 2019 collection combines saturated, hyper-real hues with New York urban silhouettes. But this is more than your basic baggy t-shirt. Each oversized tee and chino shorts are as meticulously tailored as any two-piece suit.
New menswear brand Maromas is the brainchild of Thomas Harvey and Mauro Pitteri, who met as students at the London College of Fashion. The label allowed the designers to take a more personal approach to men’s style. The explore fashion through a cultural lens—Pitteria’s Argentinian roots and Harvey’s Caribbean heritage.
The collection they presented for their graduation show last summer, “Burn This Man,” dived deep into the Jamaican dancehall scene, exploring its tension with gender norms and sexuality. “Being homosexual in Jamaica is seen as a negative thing, which is quite amusing when you look at how flamboyant heterosexual men are in their fashion and dance styles,” explains Harvey in an interview with Dazed. “Their take on style is fully formed and beautiful, but to actually be gay is rejected. We want to explore that juxtaposition.” The result became a dynamic mix of mesh marina and bright hues with pleather pants and peek-a-boo cutouts.