TUES. JUNE 6, 2017WORDS BY CARLY AIMIPHOTOGRAPHY BY
DIRECTION + STYLING BY WILL THOMPSON
Sometimes it’s a wakeup call and sometimes you just need to meet the right person. Designer Will Thompson digs deep and in turn makes you do it too.
There’s been a lot of talk lately around fashion. Not just about the latest trend or brand or do I dare even say this (cringing) influencer … but deeper. Still coming down from the high of this year’s Met Gala decision to honor Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, the discourse around fashion as an artistic medium is positive. But when and more importantly why, did the argument against it being an artform begin? As someone who is essentially tone deaf and definitely can’t draw, fashion was always the only option to express creativity. But inevitably, the wake up call happens—you begin to see the corruption … The price tags, accessibility, social media, cattiness.
If you’re lucky though, you have an experience that erases the cynicism, something that makes you remember how you felt before all the bullshit interruptions. You meet someone like designer Will Thompson. And if you’ve ever walked into OCNY Soho, you know who we’re talking about. Will is the epitome of what style should and can be: democratic. Even on a low day, he notices that small detail you thought no one would, his presence alone encourages you to take a risk again (finally) and while I’m going to regret pumping his tire this much, simply put—he makes everything look cool. With Will, it’s not about the label you’re wearing, how much it cost, or who you’re posing with while wearing it, it’s about using fashion as a medium to express yourself. An energy that radiates throughout his own label, XXBC. A power surge you’ll feel when you wear the brand’s third collection, because as it should be when fashion is life, this season things got personal.
After years of collaboration, this year Will went solo, separating from his former partner and OC-fam Alex Lee. From the sketches to the production to making endless trips to the garment district, he did it all. His blood, his sweat, and his tears … and his inspiration. The recipe not for an easy job, but definitely one of fulfillment. “Alex and I had really established a look that people would immediately recognize and I wasn’t going to lose that,” says Will. Delivering on this promise, XXBC’s iii collection is raw, personal, and focused. Instead of coming out with a full line, Will decided to put his attention on getting two very cozy pieces, right—The Jane Eyre and The Cube Sweatshirt.
With a lot of time on his hands after he had foot surgery Will was able to bring it in. And while he wasn’t actually reading the classics, he did watch them, finding inspiration from the movie Jane Eyre and the lace bonnets women wore around their neck. The Jane Eyre Sweatshirt plays with the brand’s classic patchwork fabrication but this time using the hand-picked pieces of material to create an intricate pattern around each sweatshirt’s neckline. The Cube sweatshirt, keeps the boys and girls cozy with updated details like double cuffs and a mock turtleneck precisely structured; not too tall, not too short, not too loose and not too tight—always staying perfectly in place. And if you’re sucker for a mama’s boy, go no further because this style is inspired by the leading lady in Will’s life … his mom.
Inheriting a similar ability to nurture, we've all found our inner swaglord because of him. There’s definitely been some purchases many have made at OC with Will’s parental guidance and experience—a venture from the usual, or even a detour from the familiar. A choice made from his reassurance. An invitation of change that emits from his own daring, introspective style, that’s also outwardly showcased on his sleeve (or even his sleeve’s sleeve, the man loves to layer). As cozy as the collection may be, XXBC iii reminds you to take risks again or rather a subconscious decision to be yourself … to remember what it feels like to believe.
Shop the collection exclusively at the Opening Ceremony Soho location.
We share a video by Jayne Lies of musician Jeuru wearing XXBC, singing clips from his upcoming EP entitled "King of the Cruel" ⬇️ Watch below ⬇️
Photography Patrick Spears | Direction + Styling Will Thompson | Videographer Jayne Lies | Talent Jeuru | Artwork Jaide Lennox