GQ has announced the winners of its annual Best New Menswear Designers program, hailing French brand Ami, Brooklyn-based Kinfolk and Tokyo’s United Arrows as the coolest designers of 2017.

The competition, which began in 2007, was opened up to international designers for the first time this year, recognizing the global landscape of menswear and fashion as a whole.

The announcement comes with a brief quote from each brand. Kinfolk explain the thought-process behind its unique event-space-meets-brand business model. Creative director Jey Perie says: “Clothes are as much a part of our DNA as nightlife is. It’s easier to sell a gin-and-tonic than a $1,000 jacket, but in terms of how we shine in the world, our clothing brand has a much bigger reach.”

AMI’s Alexander Mattiussi stresses the universality of its clothes, saying: “My goal is to imagine the clothes I’m designing now on real people I might come across on the street, on the subway, on the terrace at the café.”

Yasuto Kamoshita and streetwear icon Poggy of United Arrows, meanwhile, discuss their father-and-son approach to streetwear. “Our relationship is a bit like father and son,” says Poggy. “The son, who loves recent street culture, wouldn’t talk about the latest trend with him — yet the father is a great figure for the son to rely on for advice on life and the essence of things.”

Each brand will be featured in GQ‘s June issue, and will also collaborate on a limited-edition collection with Gap. Read the full piece over at GQ.

Now, read about how Vetements is helping Tbilisi become the next fashion hotspot.

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Berlin-based writer and Rihanna enthusiast.

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