Scott Sternberg began his career in film as an assistant at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, eventually working in their marketing division. He left CAA to further hone his talents in marketing and branding, before being bit by the fashion bug in 2003 and starting menswear label Band of Outsiders.
The name of course, was an homage to Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 French New Wave film, Bande à part, but the clothes defined a certain era of menswear in which traditional American styles—trad, prep, and sportswear—were slimmed down and re-contextualized for a more modern time. Band of Outsiders quickly became a darling among fashion editors and critics, often described as the type of line characters in a Wes Anderson film would wear, with a penchant for extremely skinny oxfords, shrunken blazers, and plenty of color. Its fans included Aziz Ansari, Donald Glover, and Wes Anderson film staple Jason Schwartzman.
But in 2015, Sternberg left the band. After an aggressive push in expanding, which included opening flagship stores in Japan and New York, the label shuttered shortly after, and hasn’t been able to regain its foothold in the fashion scene since. Now, Sternberg is back with his latest endeavor, a brand called Entireworld.
“Aren’t there enough clothes? Didn’t I do this already, and didn’t that like—not end so well?” asks Sternberg in a video released before the brand’s official launch.
He talks about his desire to make clothing that amplifies emotional connections and storytelling, citing its role in film, music, and other forms of entertainment. Often, what people wear is elevated to the same level of importance as the performance or album cover they donned it in—take for example, the plethora of musicians that have become inspiration fodder for fashion designers.
Diehard Band of Outsiders fans particularly loved the brand’s oxford shirts, known for the box pleat on the back, mother-of-pearl buttons, and an extremely slim fit. Entireworld‘s new shirts forego the box pleat and are much more forgiving in fit. Unlike BOO’s versions, which cost upwards of $250 each, these cost $95. Other standout items include single-pleated cotton trousers, which cost $125, and blank terry hoodies that cost $85.
Much more democratically priced than its predecessor, the premise is about delivering great products in a novel way, and stems from getting people to develop a relationship with the clothes they wear and the brands they align themselves with.
“I think it’s really the same approach to [Band of Outsiders] as product design, which is sort of reducing something to its essence, having sort of the confidence as a designer to put something that pure forth and engineering so it’s a really great product,” says Sternberg. “You’re always pushing yourself to find the idiosyncrasy in the design, to find the truth in design, to tie it back to the brand ethos, and all that stuff.”
As a direct-to-consumer brand, Sternberg is already able to offer a product at a much lower cost to his audience. But of course, we live in an age of numerous would-be “disruptors” of the fashion industry touting their products as revolutionary, or the best possible iteration of a pre-existing item. Sternberg is well aware of this, and plans to reconcile the success of brands that have pursued that model with his fashion credibility and a healthy dose of self-awareness.
“I don’t need to spend all this time bullshitting people about how great this is…That’s irrelevant,” he says. “That’s not a long-lasting brand message. That’s a short-term product message.”
Entireworld‘s first collection is more of a proof-of-concept. It’s not so much trying to provide a new solution in the market as much as a new voice of reason. The clothing is simple and open to the interpretation of the wearer, and whether the consumer is buying into Sternberg’s designer pedigree or the fact that they’re reasonably priced products that appeal to a wide range of people, what’s clear is that Sternberg isn’t trying to sell stuff—he’s trying to build a brand new cult.
“The game I’ve always tried to play is much less transactional, much less short-term, and really more thinking about telling this narrative over time,” he explains. “To think about brand as being a significant part of somebody’s experience with the product. They’re just one and the same.”
Check out the first men’s collection from Entireworld below, and cop the new collection at theentireworld.com.
Speaking of the power of branding, read about why Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton appointment is more a testament to the importance of marketing hype over design.