Menswear – The Movement From Clothing To Design

By Jim Caliendo, President & CEO, PWCampbell

We are starting to see a change in the design world. An impactful trend that just started to catch wind prior to the COVID pandemic was immediately tabled last year as the world shifted gears. Our attention changed. We became less focused on matching our soft goods to our lobbies and more focused on matching our masks to our personalities – or in some extremes, even our wardrobes. This movement seemed to quickly recede into the darkness, almost as quickly as it appeared. Now, slowly-but-surely it has re-emerged; and in some instances, it is spreading like wildfire across the design industry. It has been resilient to change, and even a global pandemic could not silence it. Its iconic use of color and texture appears to withstand the test of time, pulling from inspiration as far back as Ancient Roman times.

We’re talking about Menswear; a modern trend that’s synonymous with its name, leveraging the styles, textures, and patterns from the gentleman’s wardrobe and applying them into spaces to create a distinguished yet casual look synonymous with high-design.

Leveraging the textile look of the iconic and time-tested menswear fashion line, designers around the globe are favoring the push to a dark, subdued, and masculine look throughout their designed spaces. Herringbone, plaids, and houndstooth are finding their placement in rugs, furnishings, and accent pieces. Golds and masculine metals, such as gunmetal, are being used frequently to add a refined yet distinguished look.

Paints and wall coverings are favoring these shades and patterns as well. Modern environments are calling for neutrals with contrast. Whites and blacks, and everything alike. Don’t think twice about dark, moody accent walls and if you’re feeling brave, reach for the black.  The contrast against a stark-white space is sleek and demanding, creating the perfect juxtaposition for your retail branch environment.

For accent pieces, leather has, and continues to make its way into the mix as well. The staple of menswear accessories, leather plays a strong role in adding another layer of texture to any defined environment. Camels, cognacs, and tans are emerging as statement colors to offset the dark, masculine look of the overall space. Leather also displays a sense of rugged-comfort. Its association by default screams high-design, but make sure to look for pieces that would look just as good in your lobby as they would on the ranch. More brown tones can be found in dark and natural wood tones across flooring and fixtures, and really accentuate a level of masculinity that plays perfectly into this design trend.

We have to say, we love this look. It is time-tested, consumer approved, and plays perfectly into carving out a space. It’s a design that can be dressed up or down to be as sophisticated, or as casual as you like, while still holding a modern appeal. So the next time you’re shopping for a new wardrobe, take a stroll over to the men’s department – maybe you’ll get some ideas on what to do with your branch.

James G. Caliendo is a former bank executive and now President and CEO at the 112 year old design-build and retail services firm. In the past 20 years alone, under Jim’s direction, PWCampbell has worked with over 500 financial institutions influencing millions of square feet of retail and operational space to create engaging, impactful and scalable solutions for every sized facility project.

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