Worldwise: Menswear Designer Todd Snyder’s Favorite Things

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Few are as synonymous with modern American menswear as Todd Snyder. The designer and entrepreneur, who turns 54 in November, has a decades-long career in men’s fashion, capstoned by namesake line Celebrating 10 years this year.

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The key to Snyder’s longevity? adaptation over time.

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“Business has been really good,” he says. “During the pandemic we saw a decline in our suiting business, but in the second half of 2021, more people are attending things and we’ve seen a return to people wanting tuxes.”

Some of Snyder’s recent collaborations, including capsules with athletic brand Champion and outfit L.L. Bean, were among the year’s most sought-after collections. Snyder recently opened two new brick-and-mortar retail locations in New York’s Rockefeller Center and Greenwich, Conn.

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“Ninety-nine percent of our sales are online, and [we] Let’s see that continues, but we prefer retail brick-and-mortar as a search point for brands, then [visitors will] Shop online,” he says.

penta The New York-based designer caught up with the New York-based designer about the new skills he’s learned during the pandemic, and what he hopes for as the world reopens.

My most worn outfit is… Camel hair, officer’s coat with a scarf, with a camel on the outside, and a gray heather on the inside. I can wear it with sneakers or joggers (it’s an easy way to dress up the latter). It is fast becoming one of our best sellers after being reintroduced this year.

The best book I’ve read in the past year is… i was late to the game but i loved shoe dog [by
Phil Knight
], I love Nike and grew up with the brand. It was a great way to reconnect with my past. I think it coincides with the whole the last Dance It was neat to launch the documentary, remembering all those times, and remembering the family and brothers I used to play basketball with. How Nike got started and how they did it all makes sense. It’s weird because I’m in the industry and you don’t think about those “getting started in the garage” moments, but it’s a great story.

The thing that wakes me up in the morning is… Right now, this is my 21 month old baby. One of my favorite things I discovered during the pandemic (because I’m not going to work) is making her breakfast. This is my second round of having kids, and I love waking up to that. Her favorite (at least for this month) is banana pancakes.

What I am most excited about in menswear is… It is an ever-present streetwear phenomenon and we are witnessing growth happening right in front of our eyes. Things used to be a certain way, and now you’re seeing a progression, whether Kanye, Jerry Lorenzo, (or others) are starting to go through this minimal, tonal phase. To me, it’s neat to see so much attention to menswear right now. Women are borrowing from menswear styles and we are seeing it all over the world.

In addition, sustainability is becoming much more accessible. Five years ago it was really tough to find a permanent option, but now it has become easier to make the right choice. This has been one of the most exciting things.

I look forward to traveling… wherever i go (laughing) I’m playing for almost anything at the moment. I’m going to Michigan to see my daughter for Parents Weekend, so I’m looking forward to that. Selfishly, and a little more grand, I can’t wait to go back to Japan. I always go to Japan and find amazing things that blow my mind. I remember four years ago I went to a fashion show during Tokyo Fashion Week, and what blew me away is that in America we usually follow Europe, in Japan they don’t follow anyone. They are there for the art.

If I could have a meal with anyone, anywhere, it would be…I’m obsessed with (singer) Benjamin Clementine right now – he’s so talented. (Danish restaurant) Noma was popping up here in New York, and it was the funniest yet most delicious meal we had. I loved whatever I ate. It was a fun night out and the wine, food and champagne were amazing. Clementine also has a wonderful style that’s a little more Broadway-esque, and a more proper way of singing that feels operatic. The combination is interesting and he recently made a cameo appearance Dune,

The restaurant I love to take visitors to in my hometown is… I’m from Iowa and my favorite place is the High Life Lounge. They only serve beer that was made before 1980 or around that time. They don’t have any Coors lights or anything. Foods like fried chicken and mashed potatoes are great easy comfort food. It’s real and they have the shag carpet where you think you belong in your dad’s basement.

One of my passions that few people know about… to Cook. I’ve always loved it and never had the time, and now I cook 5-6 nights a week. I cook whatever the family likes, but my favorite is that my wife gets me a Sunday roast. I put in the roast, cook it for hours, and top it with a simple arugula, goat cheese, and pear salad, which I love. My wife used to work in London, so Sunday roast has a different tradition there – it’s eaten a little earlier in the day, so we eat early at home around 4 or 5, my daughter loves Sunday roast. It could be beef or chicken, depending on where he is in his appetite swing. It’s probably 70% of him being successful with it, but it’s getting better.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

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