Exclusive: Edina Sultanik of (capsule) Talks Men’s Fashion

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Men’s fashion week in New York featured many exciting events happening throughout town, but one in particular drew interest from those hoping to find out what we’ll be seeing from emerging designers next spring. With versions also happening in Paris and Las Vegas, the New York (capsule) show grew this year from a single venue at the Angel Orensanz center to a Lower East Side takeover with neighboring retailers offering discounts and events, and a pop-up gallery on Houston Street featuring live bands, a ‘zine station, an appearance by Bowery Bicycles, and more. Co-founder Edina Sultanik sat down with us to discuss why she started the event, where she sees it going, and whether there is an end in sight for all this neon fashion.

Flavorpill: What made you decide to start the (capsule) tradeshow?

Edina Sultanik: It started when we realized there was a need to show smaller, indie men’s labels apart from the big fashion week shows. We wanted to do something apart from the big commercial shows — something which highlighted craft and artisanal works. We also wanted to there to be a sense of community to the event, which is part of why we really branched out this year to include the whole Lower East Side.

Shades of Greige bags for Spring 2010

FP: What did you do before creating (capsule)?

ES: We launched BPMW agency, a menswear showroom and PR company about five years ago. Before that I had been a fashion editor at Sportswear International and Complex, Minya Quirk, one of my partners was a freelance fashion writer, and Deirdre Maloney, our third partner was the menswear buyer at Bloomingdale’s. So we knew the industry and the key players inside and out. BPMW is primarily a showroom, and we work with the world’s top retailers and editors on a daily basis. So when it came time to start our show, it was relatively easy to get the word out and get the right people there.

Yuketen Spring 2010

FP: Tell us about (capsule) Paris and Las Vegas.

ES: In Paris, the event is held in a 17th century mansion in the trendy Marais neighborhood, though it has more of the feel of a house. We liked that there was a sense of discovery to the place as you wander from room to room. We attract an amazing array of creative designers, it’s a very different lineup from our New York show. In Vegas, we show in the Venetian Hotel. We are expecting close to 100 brands this season — everyone from Opening Ceremony to Acne, to The Cast and YMC will be there.

Mjolk Spring 2010

FP: What sort of trends do you see at this year’s (capsule)? What are you predicting for the upcoming year?

ES: A lot of the fashion for this year is more Americana, more heritage-looking. The preppy look is definitely in style — with clean lines, and traditional men’s shoes. The season is very much a throwback to a different era. It’s definitely traditional, but traditional with a twist. We’re seeing a lot more attention to detail, sourcing, and the material itself. It’s all about the workmanship.

FP: What are you hoping to do in the upcoming year?

ES: Well, we’d love to do some collaborations. For this event we collaborated with LES boutique BBlessing and superfuture, but we’ve definitely been thinking about who we’d like to work with. Stores themselves are also evolving and changing, and branching out with mixing fashion and culture. We’d love to see young designer fashion become more accessible — which is why we put on (capsule) — to introduce the designers we feel are the most influential to the top retailers and journalists.