Though Mark McNairy would cringe to hear it, the designer’s poised to be the next Scott Sternberg. Sure, the “next” anything can sound cursed, but in this case it’s quite a compliment. When Sternberg finally started making women’s clothes due to an overwhelming demand, the women who couldn’t squeeze into men’s shirts nearly whooped with joy—we have a feeling they’ll do the same for McNairy. And though it may be easier for women to fit into McNairy’s slouchy tees and leopard cargo pants than Band of Outsiders’ slim suits, McNairy’s female fans will have more options come fall when his debut women’s collection his Opening Ceremony.
“It’s totally random,” McNairy said when asked why now. “I had the leopard fabric already, so why not make skirts as opposed to pants?”
The designer, who was just nominated for GQ’s Best New Menswear Designer of the Year award and earns plenty of attention in the realm of men’s wear blogging, actually got his start designing women’s clothes. That was 16 years ago, around the same time he welcomed his daughter Daisy and began embroidering the flower of the same name onto unexpected pieces. “When I did McNairy brothers I did camo backpacks with the daisies on them,” he said. In this first collection you’ll find the pink flowers on a grey wool pantsuit. There are brightly colored faux fur vests, perforated tanks, leather button downs, dozens of mini skirts and easy-to-wear t-shirts, as well as a camo skirt suit.
Those suits, however, aren’t necessarily meant to be worn as outfits. “It’s all pieces, that’s kind of what it’s all about,” McNairy said. “I’m not trying to push a look on someone, like Ralph Lauren. You know what I mean? I love Ralph, but I love Ralph for the individual pieces of clothing. I can do western inspired stuff but I don’t expect somebody to walk around in cowboy boots.” If he suggested it though, well, people just might.
Below, a behind-the-scenes video of the lookbook shoot, starring the aforementioned Daisy.