The New American Style
Anyone with the last name of Lauren is likely to enjoy a bit of extra attention, especially if they operate in the fashion world. Greg Lauren is nephew to Ralph Lauren, and though that’s no bad thing, the two styles couldn’t be more different. Whereas Ralph Lauren is arguably the father of late 20th century American style, exported and copied the world over, Greg Lauren is defining a new American style, one that nods to the melting pot that is modern America.
One sign of a great emerging designer is an instantly-recognizable signature, and Greg Lauren achieves this without splashing his logo all over his garments. Instead, his iconic 50/50 design combines two bold, contrasting fabrics into a single garment, in the same way an artisan might patch denim jeans with patterned fabrics or disassemble an old dress and reconstruct it into a new tote bag.
The result is a collection of hybrids: denim and terry cloth trousers, patchwork varsity jackets, and kimono-front coats that are half nylon puffer, half olive fatigue parka. Or, the Buffalo Jacket, which is part denim shirt, part checked flannel, with cable-knit sleeves that would look at home on a Thom Browne sweater.
If nothing else, a Greg Lauren piece is always a mashup, but one we’ve never seen before, even at swap meets or on Etsy. True reimagination, and with precise execution, is a rarity in today’s fashion world.
The Artist Viewpoint
Greg Lauren’s collection is distinctly American, but takes cues from a range of subcultures; like America itself, it’s a mix of identities, influences, and landscapes. Flannel and shearling touches nod to the rugged and dusty American West, while motifs like the stand-collar satin varsity jacket are staples of the American East’s college football circuit. Denim in the collection is typically distressed, ripped, or patched, and secured with drawstrings, which feels particularly bohemian, like Manhattan’s SoHo was before it gentrified.
Coming from the perspective of the artist, hardly concerned with being stylish, Lauren’s overarching aesthetic is functional and durable, made to be lived, enjoyed. And, dragged through the dirt to give it even more personality and uniqueness. Many of his pieces are finished with abstract, seemingly random stitching and embroidery, another reference to the mind of the artist.
Our favorite pieces are the jackets that have Kimono closures and sleeves, which feel fresh and new, even though they’ve been present on traditional Japanese apparel for centuries but hardly a fixture in American fashion.
Greg Lauren: How to Wear It
With all Greg Lauren pieces, we love that they’re pre-distressed for that authentic, lived-in look and feel, even before being in heavy wardrobe rotation. This means that in many cases, it’s easy to slot into Greg Lauren’s signature looks without worrying that your existing wardrobe won’t match. Whether with denim, plain cotton trousers, or even sweatpants, a Greg Lauren jacket or hoodie pairs seamlessly.
We suggest going for any of the denim or olive fatigue pieces, as these are his most definitive design elements and ones that are also flattering to most shapes, sizes, and skin tones. Greg Lauren’s garments are likely to only get better with time, which is why we see them as worthy investments too.
Greg Lauren is one of our italist names to know, because he’s redefining what it is to wear American style in our globalized world.
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