The sharp suit-ers
Have you Noticed that more and more New Yorkers are ditching traditional, constricting charcoal suits? You can partially thank Abdul Abasi, 36, and Greg Rosborough, 33, for that. The designer duo and former Fashion Institute of Technology classmates have been revolutionizing menswear since they launched their first collection in 2013 and started spreading this unofficial mantra: Wearing a tailored suit jacket can be just as cool as a leather one.
By fusing military-sport style with business casual—as well as their last names—Abasi Rosborough (abasirosborough.com) was born. An innovative idea about the continuum of tailoring prompted the twosome to join forces in the first place. During a flight to France, Rosborough witnessed a flight attendant (rocking a nicely fitted suit) take off his jacket in order to help an elderly woman put a bag in an overhead compartment. “I thought, ‘How the hell are we living in the 21st century but have not designed clothing that respects our body’s anatomy enough to allow us to raise our arms above our heads?’ ” says Rosborough. Since then, they’ve been on a mission to create garments that are functional without ever sacrificing style. “We think about clothing like skin. The brand is meant to exist on a plane that transcends gender, race and class and makes the wearer more empowered and equipped to deal with daily society,” says Abasi.
Abasi Rosborough’s clothes, which are comfortable but hard-wearing thanks to its construction from natural fibers, definitely have a refined air but aren’t prissy or overly polished. The duo even invented the “grocery-store test” to ensure this. Rosborough says, “If you can wear one of our garments inside a Bed-Stuy grocery store without getting clowned by the other people in there, it has the chance to make the collection.”
As for the pair’s latest spring/summer 2017 line, the styles are rooted in ancient Japanese history and comprise a range of jackets, shorts and trousers made of natural cotton and silk, with an interesting twist. “The guts are exposed this season,” says Rosborough. “We always tried to hide the seams and the stitching on the inside, but the bindings are out in the open [now]. It makes for a more interesting garment.”
Perhaps most fascinating, the brand uses current events to inspire projects. “With our upcoming fall collection, we designed the whole thing based on protest culture,” says Abasi. He adds, “I think the beauty of being a designer and an artist is we have a platform to say something. If you don’t use it, you’re wasting the opportunity.” Much like cable news, we’ll be watching closely.
Buy their threads at: Gentry, 108 North 7th St, Brooklyn (718-384-8588, gentrynyc.com) · IF, 94 Grand St (212-334-4964, ifsohonewyork.com) · C’H’C’M’, 2 Bond St (chcmshop.com)