After months of waiting, a building buzz and several tantalizing first looks at the collection, it’s here: the official release date of the GQ for GAP Best New Menswear Designers in America collections. And there’s one brand in particular that’s continually caught my eye, and apparently delivered on a stellar capsule collection effort — The Hill-Side. If you peruse the pages of this blog with regularity, you’ll recall that the brand produces product that runs the gamut as far as menswear essentials go, including standout ties (as featured here), slim blazers, garment-dyed T-shirts and nice denim. And it’s all made with stellar fabrics and an eye for design (as featured here in this brand profile).
So the brand’s capsule collection with GAP certainly doesn’t disappoint. Note that some items from David Hart as part of his own GAP collection certainly look stunning, but collaboration pieces from NSF and Stampd, while innovative, fall a little bit outside what we (or rather, I) cover at the ole’ TSG headquarters. A little background if you’re not familiar with the #BNMDA program first, though — menswear stalwart GQ selects and then works with the top up-and-coming brands in the industry, partnering with them to provide mentorship, advice, exposure and a platform for their work, culminating in a capsule collection run in partnership with GAP. Past selections have included now-iconic American brands like Saturdays Surf NYC and Todd Snyder, so The Hill-Side’s selection can only (hopefully) be a sign of good things to come.
And if the brand continues to take pages out of its current playbook, as it looks to have done for this collaboration, things can only build from here. The collaboration features some beautiful-looking pieces, including a patch-pocket herringbone blazer that plays off the brand’s typical fusion of workwear style and modern silhouettes (note the throat tab on the left lapel). At $150, it’s more affordable than a regular blazer from the brand, too. That jacket is complemented by a pair of gray/black herringbone trousers that would look great with a pair of brown wingtip boots (or even navy sneakers and a crewneck sweater) this fall. The offering also includes a nice cotton plaid shirt in a rich indigo color that features a mini-plaid pocket. It would definitely pair well with the blazer from that same collaboration, along with some dark denim.
Lest anyone forget that the brand does more than just excellent blazers & trousers, they’ve also produced some great small goods, including a special run of their navy herringbone card case, along with a blanket stripe wallet. At about $45, each is certainly pricey but definitely brings an added cool factor to your card case situation. That same blanket stripe pattern finds its way onto a pair of wool slip-on sneakers that would actually pair seamlessly with the collection’s herringbone trousers for a unique high-low combo. And in keeping with its use of excellent fabrics, an olive green cotton tote and camo zip pouch both offer pretty unexpected colors on the accessories front — although both pieces are somewhat spendy as far as smaller items go. Both patterns play off the quilted bomber seen above — which is reversible and features both a deep olive color and an eyecatching camo pattern on the other side.
In keeping with updated takes on items that it’s already nailed to a ‘T’, The Hill-Side has also done up one of its classic wool fedoras for the capsule collection. The same goes for its ties, which have drawn the brand critical acclaim — a selvedge chambray number looks pretty promising for pairing with white Oxfords, while an inky blue floral print tie is a somewhat unexpected pattern from a brand that specializes in plaids, stripes and solids.
The brand has clearly broadened its vision for what a mass-market collaboration can be, using some unexpected patterns and styles (like that reversible quilted bomber), while keeping with traditional Hill-Side staples. The terrific thing about the GQ for GAP collaboration is that shoppers can find something to fit every taste. Maybe David Hart’s retro tailoring is more your style (and those windowpane wool pants do look great). Or perhaps you find yourself drawn to vintage, lived-in pieces from NSF or affordable takes on streetwear and athleisure looks, like those from Stampd. At any rate (and especially if you’re a fan of modern updates to classic styles), the 2015 #BNMDA lineup has something for everybody — doubly so if you dig The Hill-Side.
What’s your take on this year’s capsule collections? What do you think of The Hill-Side’s offering in particular?