In 2008, J.Crew’s head menswear designer (and Ralph Lauren alum), Todd Snyder, stepped away from the preppy stalwart that he helped re-energize to start his own label. As the economy imploded and J. Crew rose to never-before-seen heights in the last few years, the Iowa native has been working largely under the radar, painstakingly crafting his self-financed line out of the spotlight in an industry with a very short memory. Last week marked his triumphant return as he presented his F/W 11 collection to an adoring group of editors. The clothes were a well-edited riff on all things U.S.A. The designer believes in the notion that things should always look proper — in the sense that they are made from time-honored fabrics according to traditional techniques. The result, in his debut collection, is very wearable clothing with a classic yet youthful European pedigree, but also a very American sense of comfort and ease.
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