I recently stopped by the Timo Weiland office, where the New York-based label’s designers – Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein – were hard at work preparing for their Paris Menswear show.
Always dapper, the young designers have quickly risen up within the fashion ranks, and are already being deemed the next Proenza Schouler.
Having started with a focus on neckwear, the Timo Weiland boys now have full womenswear and menswear collections, as well as a slew of collaborations under their belts, including those with Anna Sheffield and Urban Outfitters.
The Timo Weiland collections are sold at high-end meccas from New York to Tokyo, including Barneys New York, ADAM, and Opening Ceremony.
I spoke to the dynamic duo about their muses, the allure of neckwear, what’s to come for S/S 2011, and more…
The Fashion Spot: Do you have any particular people in mind when you’re designing your ready-to-wear collection?
Timo Weiland: Our mind is constantly on music, friends, and experiences. There is no single person that defines our overall inspiration, but we think of many people involved in a genre. It could be a portrait of a women sitting on a bench, or Mick Jagger. We look for movements and juxtapositions.
tFS: How do you and your design partner, Alan Eckstein, approach each collection? Do you work together or separately on the individual pieces?
TW: We do everything together. We sometimes have separate ideas, but in the end, we unite and agree on what’s right for the collection and the expression of our vision.
tFS: What do you find so alluring about neckwear? Do you think ascots and bowties are a trend, or something here to stay?
TW: Neckwear is something that will always exist. Ever since people cared about how they dressed, people have been dressing up their necks, and being creative with what goes on or around a collar, and pieces that draw attention to the face.
Neckwear is a wonderful way to spice up an outfit. Bowties were definitely trendy for a while, but ultimately, they are a classic item. They’re fun!
tFS: Do you see your bolder neckwear pieces as jewelry alternatives for women?
TW: Yes, and we’re even doing an ongoing collaboration with the jewelry line BING BANG by Anna Sheffield that emphasizes just that.
tFS: Do you use neckwear to complement your ready-to-wear, or vice versa? Or do you approach them independently?
TW: I think they work hand in hand. It’s wonderful to take a rather plain outfit and put a bowtie or a bib on, and change the look.
tFS: Can you give us any ideas as to what we can expect for S/S 2011?
TW: Lots of color, lots of fun! Our theme is "A Wharf on the Baltic" so you can expect some Scandinavian overtones – bright colors and fun shapes/silhouettes. There is definitely still a dandy twist/element to it.
tFS: How important is being based in NYC for your business?
TW: NYC is extremely important to us. It’s our home. We are constantly inspired by the different neighborhoods, different people, and different architecture. It’s a city where everyone is living on top of each other. There is so much to see. Our office is in the historical garment center, and we are very proud of that.
tFS: What luxury item could you not live without?
TW: Vintage Gucci loafers and an old-school Cartier pocket watch.
tFS: What is your day-to-day outfit like?
TW: A mix of our collection and vintage, high-low, with street-wear often included.
Fun, youthful with a nautical/surf-inspired twist.
tFS: A favorite piece that you’ve designed?
TW: A sporty blazer made out of denim tweed, with a black combo back panel.
It is slick, and could be worn by/look cool on almost anyone. Also, our Grey oil-splattered Gaston lace-up boots, soon to be sold in Opening Ceremony.
tFS: If you could pick one celebrity to wear one of your pieces, who would it be, and what would you have him/her wear?
TW: Hayden Christensen, our chalky red blazer from Spring 2011.