by McArthur Joseph on
Signature menswear label Joseph Abboud has one of the best S/S 2011 collections for men that we’ve seen. We recently got a chance to sit down and chat with the brand’s creative director, Bernardo Rojo, who discussed everything from his personal style, men’s spring trends, and the evolution of Joseph Abboud.
McArthur Joseph: What is it about water that inspired Joseph Abboud’s Spring collection?
Bernardo Rojo: We wanted the collection and its fabrics to be fresh and fluid, like water. The garment washes, dyes, prints and even colors in the collection were all influenced by this element, which is the earth’s most influential one.
Joseph: In the collection, there are many printed details. Where did the inspiration for that come from?
Rojo: There are certain patterns that have been inherited from Joseph Abboud, namely herringbone and paisley. We selected patterns that Joseph used and then we introduced color. Paisley reminds you of a watermark, further bolstering the theme of water. You will always see this pattern in Joseph Abboud garments.
Joseph: How would you say the Spring collection looks in comparison to past Joseph Abboud collections?
Rojo: The change was in the silhouettes and the fabrics that we used. We tried to alter the tailoring from the way it was perceived in the past. I wanted to keep our current customer base and educate them in where fashion is heading. This spring we did the biggest step yet.
Joseph: Who do you think the Joseph Abboud man is?
Rojo: Every man can wear Joseph Abboud. It’s a man who is sophisticated and wants to be stylish and comfortable. He can be from anywhere, New York, London, Paris, Milan, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. I view him as an “international man.” We have older customers in their 60s who want to look current but don’t want to be too daring fashion-wise. We also have young men who are taken by surprise and say “Wow, there are so many changes to Joseph Abboud. This is not what my father would wear.” There are elements that everyone can wear. It is about how they put clothes together, not individual pieces.
Joseph: You are very stylish. Do you think your personal style has influenced the new look of Joseph Abboud?
Rojo: It is inevitable that my style influences the collections, but I try to focus on what the brand is all about. I try to bring the line up-to-date, but I have to keep the client in mind.
Joseph: What trends are you excited to see in menswear this Spring?
Rojo: It’s all about soft tailoring for Spring. Colors are also very important, but we tone them down. Colors last Spring were very bright, but now we’re seeing colors in softer shades for men.
Joseph: What would you say your favorite garments in this collection are?
Rojo: I love the pale lavender suit. We also did a Seattle jacket made from wool-nylon that is of rain-wear quality. You can wear it on those Spring days when there is light rain and not have to wear a rain coat. You can still wear it in the office. There is also the element of knitted jackets. I show them in the lookbook with swimwear. Sometimes when you’re vacationing somewhere warm, it can still get chilly at night; instead of a sweater, you can just throw on these jackets over your shirt to get a casual and fashionable look.
Joseph: How do you see the Joseph Abboud line evolving in the future?
Rojo: Right now, the line is right where we want it to be. Though we are constantly evolving, the look for the international man is pretty much set. We are a contemporary brand that is not about fashion, but about style. The line crosses barriers. It will always be about timeless pieces that you can wear through the seasons.
Thank you to Bernardo Rojo, Joseph Abboud, & Shadow PR for making this interview possible.