It was a family affair at the Nice Guy on Thursday evening.
The Los Angeles-born and raised team behind Vayder — the new men’s brand — threw a party in their hometown to celebrate their launch: Jon Geller, Adam McCowan, Jeffrey Azoff and Shawn Holiday.
“Everyone involved has been my friend since we were literally kids,” said Geller, the man behind the vision.
He hired McCowan as a designer, after working together at Paige; Geller is the men’s director, a 15-year veteran of the denim company and the stepson of founder Paige Adams-Geller. Reunited for this new project, they teamed up with musical executives Azoff and Holiday.
“We’ve been working for two years, so to be here now is really exciting,” Geller continued.
Azoff (of Full Stop Management, whose clients include Harry Styles) and Holiday (a longtime music executive) have been “a sounding board,” he said. “Most of all, I trust Jeff and Shawn to give me fantastic advice. Their networks, whether we’re looking for a space to film, a place to have a party, artists, musicians, models, whatever it is, their network is world class.
The place to party was The Nice Guy, it seemed, with Offset, Sway Lee, Jaden Smith, Ben Harper and Mike Will Made It.
“So far, the product has been subject to massive scrutiny,” Geller said. “We haven’t really rolled out the marketing yet. We really wanted to move forward with the product and let the product tell the story itself.
The emphasis is on denim, with graphic T-shirts and embroidered outerwear from the brand, including sweatshirts and a Letterman jacket suitable for cooler nights. Los Angeles.
After getting his start at Selfridges, Vayder launched in the US at Saks Fifth Avenue a month ago. In February, the brand entered Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. But Harrods comes first in December.
“I have incredible relationships with so many retailers, but the ones with Selfridges and Harrods in particular are really special,” Geller said of the initial focus in the UK. “In our previous business (at Paige) I saw what happened when we went and really worked in the UK market and how that helped us launch elsewhere, even nationally and in other regions of Europe.
After a month at Saks, in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, “sales have exceeded our wildest dreams,” he added, naming the latter as their best-selling market. “And what’s amazing is that it’s product-driven. These are the people who love the product.
They were looking to elevate their childhood styles seen on the streets of Los Angeles in the 90s.
“What streetwear was back then is not necessarily what people consider it to be today,” Geller said. “This crossover of luxury with streetwear that’s happened over the last 10 or 15 years has been fantastic. But I wanted to kind of go back to the roots, at least the roots for me, and kind of say, “Okay, if you were my age and you experienced this, what’s the classic view of this?” »
He changes the silhouette – wider pants, oversized cuts – while emphasizing quality, with materials from Italy: “A little more classic and long-term, less focused on novelty, not so loud and in your face. »
The loudest element is the graphics, created by photographer Michael Muller.
“Michael captured this era that we’re talking about,” Geller said. “He was exactly that creative, rebellious Renaissance man we were talking about. He came on board as visual director. He photographed our entire launch campaign, then he opened his entire photo library to us. How to make graphics luxurious? This is a $40,000 print on a T-shirt that Michael gave us access to.
It brings the whole vision to life, he said. “I can’t think of a better way to elevate graphic design than to work with a true artist.”
And the vision is ambitious: “When we met with our financiers a long time ago, they said to us: “OK, in 10 years, what clothing brand do you want to be? And I said: ‘I want to be Red Bull. I don’t want to be another clothing brand.