Minimalism has made an unquestionable return to menswear. Designer Bill McNicol made his New York Men’s Day debut with his clothing line William Frederick. The designer’s focus this season was on curiosity, intelligence, and intimacy. McNicol was inspired to choose mostly neutral tones because to focus on the life and space of artists.
The idea was to take an approach to fashion that blended in rather than attempt to distract and seduce. McNicol says that menswear is seeing minimalism trending right now because, “Throughout the course of 2020, people developed simpler lifestyles. They found different importance in their clothing, and the purpose of clothing also changed drastically over 2020 with more people working from home. When you aren’t being seen by that many people, you still want to feel nice and have quality items, but you’re going to take a more understated approach to fashion.”
McNicol also prides himself on manufacturing 100 percent of his collection in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. With the increased globalization of the fashion industry, McNicol’s commitment to American manufacturing is admirable, and helps to speak to the minimalist, American essence of his brand.
The collection itself was quintessentially approachable with neutral-colored coats, sweaters, waistcoats, cropped pants, and T-shirts. While he didn’t officially call his clothing line gender neutral, he used models of all genders for his show, taking a very democratized approach to fashion. It might sound cliché, but there was something for everyone in this collection.
After several seasons of attending New York Men’s Day himself, McNicol decided now was the perfect time to participate as a designer himself because, “I was considering participating in 2020, but then a global happened. Everything went digital, and I wanted my first impression to be in-person. A lot of the pieces in my collection are driven by texture and the textiles are a big part of the communication. There’s a lot of excitement for people to be back at New York Fashion Week in-person.”