Chinos are a contemporary fashion icon and a wardrobe staple: in our latest editorial project, we celebrate the popular pants and their supreme diversity with heritage brand Closed. Together we selected five avant-garde fashion experts to style its expertly designed fits and share their fashion insights.
Many brands have a particular product that exemplifies the design, quality and attention to detail of its wider offering. Closed’s classic chinos are part of a range that also includes jeans, outerwear, knitwear, shirts, t-shirts, accessories and more. The brand’s entire collection features its signature understated aesthetic across pieces as timeless as its chinos.
For the latest installment in our series with Closed, we walked across the office and spoke to Highsnobiety’s very own Founder and Publisher David Fischer. Over ten years after starting the company he talks us through how and why it continues to change before breaking down Berlin's fashion scene, 2017 trends and how he styled Closed's chinos for our shoot.
Give us some insight into what David Fischer gets up to at Highsnobiety these days?
Highsnobiety is almost 12 years old, and I have to admit, I am still as excited about it as on day one. The environment we work in is so fast paced, to stay ahead of the curve we have to reinvent ourselves every few years. Today we are a magazine, a blog, a platform, a video producer, a creative and marketing agency and more. I love being able to switch hats, work with a strong team and support brands on very different levels with our services.
How did you discover an interest in fashion and how did that lead to starting Highsnobiety?
I have been interested in fashion as long as I can remember but never really found my place in it. I was not actively looking for it either, for a long time I just felt like no job suited me in the space. Highsnobiety started very organically as a passion project in 2005; it did not seem possible that a little blog could ever turn into a business. I got lucky, followed my instincts, worked hard and eventually, something became of it.
What’s unique about Berlin’s fashion scene and what can other cities learn from it?
It is not easy to describe. What I appreciate the most about it is that it does not really feel like a "fashion" scene. Not like in other cities anyway. There is this sense that people don't give a shit about fashion and that is being turned into a "look" by others. Sure people are working in fashion in Berlin but not like in Paris or London. Berlin has a good scene, but not a fashion scene by traditional standards.
Contemporary fashion is taking a lot of inspiration from the past. Do you think for this generation that everything has been done before?
The past will always inspire the future, but at the same time, contemporary fashion adds new flavor to it. Things are never exactly the same as in the past. They are heavily inspired by it and turned into something new for today's young generation.
What’s going to be big this year and what should be left in 2016?
The ‘90s will continue to be a big inspiration. I think pants will become baggier again, much as we have seen in the mid-'90s. I think the vintage band shirt trend, jogger pants, parody fashion and the entire merch craze will calm down a bit. We will still see it but not as much as in 2016.
Talk us through how you styled the chinos, what you wore with them and why?
The Japanese fabric is what drew me to the chinos right away. I am very particular when it comes to beige colored chinos and these were just perfect. Not too light, not too dark. I wore them with a Saint Laurent western check shirt and a pair of Margiela military trainers. Overall staple wardrobe pieces of mine, easy to wear every day and yet you are well dressed for most occasions.
What makes chinos so timeless? What other menswear items can you not live without?
Much like denim, chinos are among the only items that you can dress up and down so well. Depending on the shoes that you wear with them you look good to go out at night or casual for the day. Otherwise, I cannot live without white sneakers. The Margiela military trainer, Common Projects, the Stan Smith or the Tennis Classic; I need white sneakers in my wardrobe at all times.
Menswear has changed so much in the last two decades, what further changes would you like to see in the next few years?
It’s been great to see the menswear market change so much and I feel like we contributed actively in certain markets to show the world that men are allowed to dress differently or trendily. I think we will see a younger consumer discover well-made and quality men's shoes which are not sneakers. How that will change the look on the street will be very interesting I think.
What can new brands learn from experienced brands like Closed?
Watching Closed develop and grow over the years while always staying true to itself, its identity and its look is something that every new brand can learn from. It is the only way to create a sustainable signature fashion brand. Also, Closed is one of the few brands from Germany that has an international appeal, which is something not many other German brands manage to achieve.
With fashion moving so quickly and being so cheap and readily available, why should today’s consumers be interested in brands focusing on quality like Closed?
Quality is the only way to stand out from the crowd over time. Items that stay in your closet and continue to be your go-to pieces over many years are the ones that shape your style and your look. Quality, timeless fashion items will always be relevant no matter where the market or trends are going.
Shop Closed’s chinos and all collections now via the link below and then read our interview with the fashion consultant and stylist Eugene Tong.