Meet the designers behind the best up-and-coming menswear lines around.
Pierre Mahéo / Officine Generale
The Backstory: The 38-year-old Frenchman Pierre Mahéo struck out on his own two years ago after honing his craft at a Parisian tailoring firm and overseeing European design studios (which he'd rather not name, since, as he says, "people put you in the image of the brand before"). Now his broken-in oxford shirts, cashmere-wool-blend blazers, and other elevated basics are produced in small ateliers in Portugal, France, and Italy.
The Aesthetic: An elegant approach to everyday essentials—think snug cardigans with cable-knit sleeves (pictured above), suit jackets lined with Japanese slub chambray—that channel workwear by way of Paris.
The Inspiration: French New Wave films of the sixties. "I was looking at Plein Soleil [Purple Noon] and À Bout de Souffle [Breathless]," he says. "I really liked the softness of the colors and the way they wore their garments: dress pants mixed with a polo shirt, a knitted tie with a leather jacket."
Coming Attractions: Officine Generale's flagship Paris store is due to open next year in Saint Germain des Prés, the neighborhood where Mahéo lives and works.
The Backstory: Ever since he launched his eponymous women's collection in 2006, the 31-year-old Scottish wunderkind has been busy: He played a pivotal role in the 2009 reboot of Versace's Versus line and, this past January, sold the majority stake in his label to heavyweight conglomerate Kering. Vocal demands from fashion-forward guys that his "killer monkey" tees be made for them led Kane to design his first men's collection in 2011—though, he admits, it wasn't entirely altruistic: "It's great that I can wear my own clothing too."
The Aesthetic: Superior technical design know-how leavened with measured cheekiness: T-shirts emblazoned with mummies, a sharp-collared oversize black pea coat, an understated leopard-themed knitted sweater made for the man who doesn't do patterns but should.
The Inspiration: "As long as I can remember, I've been watching horror films. I used many of the iconic characters, like Frankenstein and Dracula, as prints, but also to create an overall atmosphere for the collection."
How to wear it: "Personally, I am quite a simple dresser. I like good tailoring, slim jeans, and cashmere sweaters. I always team my prints with layers like a black or navy sweater and plain black jeans."
Simon Miller / Fabric-Brand & Co.
Denim designer Simon Miller spent the past several years traveling throughout Japan, obsessed with producing the ultimate five-pocket jeans. "I've always been working toward what I would perceive as my perfect brand," says the New Zealand–born 38-year-old, who parted ways with the label that still bears his name in 2011. Launching this fall, Fabric-Brand & Co. proves that Miller's tunnel vision has paid off. The collection includes two fits—slim and straight-leg—that come in a variety of Japanese fabrics. "simple and beautiful," Miller says. We couldn't agree more.
—The Details editors