Todd Snyder Our Exclusive Designer Interview
BY EMILY SCHULTZE, CFDA
“My secret is travel,” says Todd Snyder, elaborating on his design process. “It helps me get into a zone and focus on the next season. I like to reimagine my customer in a new setting and what he’d want to wear to look his best.”
Snyder, whose surname in Dutch literally translates to “one who makes outer garments,” launched his eponymous menswear collection in Fall 2011 and the industry was quick to take note of the clear talent behind the designs—he was nominated in 2012, 2013, and 2014 for the CFDA Swarovski Menswear Award, was a finalist for the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and a nominee for the 2016 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year. Snyder boils his goals down to a single word: Innovation.
This drive for newness culminated, most recently, in the opening of his first New York flagship store on Madison Square Park. This space is not just a shop (what would be new about that?). It’s also equipped with a barber, a café, and an onsite Master Tailor. The space is indeed handsome and has been carefully arranged to take the customer through a very specific journey of merchandise. “It’s a one stop shop,” Snyder says. “I wanted [men] to feel comfortable and to tear down the barriers they have about shopping.” Along with books and specialty items, you can purchase the art hanging on the walls or any of the furniture in the store, which was curated by 1st Dibs. “It’s really a complete lifestyle that we are showing.”
Right now, however, the focus is on New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
Fall is my favorite season to design. Design is a process that takes nine months to complete, from start to runway, so I’m just finishing the final touches for the show. It’s a labor of love, but right now it’s a lot of labor.
Snyder’s show took place on February 1st at Skylight Clarkson North. Between the hustle and bustle that defines New York Fashion Week, he’s hoping to make time to see friends and fellow designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School and John Elliot. “I love what they do,” Snyder says affectionately.
New York Fashion Week: Men’s was launched in response to a need within the industry to highlight menswear and the designers behind it. On the place of menswear within the fashion world and how he foresees it changing, he offers, “Menswear is always evolving. It changes every season. Our icons change from Hollywood to sports stars. As [GQ Creative Director] Jim Moore says, ‘The stadium is the new runway.’ He’s right.”
Within the ever-evolving landscape of menswear, Snyder’s succinct clarity defines his brand aesthetic. Todd Snyder designs, he says, can be summarized as “elegant, modern gentleman.” But the designer is careful to always have an eye trained toward the future. As he puts it, “I always try to push forward. Newness is key.”