While this minimalist mindset continues to permeate the fashion industry, it’s currently more commonly found among womenswear brands. Enter the burgeoning menswear label OLDENBURGH, in which founder and designer John Ayo has established a brand identity focusing on versatility and small-batch styles.
An extension of Ayo’s detail-oriented aesthetic and overall consciousness as a consumer, the menswear line reflects a refined taste that’s equal parts subtle and unique. Each piece offers versatility and a sense of sophistication exuded by the designer himself.
Well-traveled, well-spoken, and naturally, well-dressed, Ayo is a modern renaissance man. From architecture and contemporary art to high fashion and music, the 34-year-old intellectual property attorney wields a level taste and eccentricity that feeds Ayo’s modern take on classic styles. “Clothes that work in the city or the country” is the simplest way he describes it. Ayo’s transient lifestyle lends itself to designs focused on year-round versatility.
“I spend so much time on the road, so the clothes are designed with ease of adaptability in mind,” he said.
Names like the “roadster cardigan” and “walking jacket” articulate nomadic tendencies, paralleling Ayo’s own jet-setting lifestyle and that of kindred spirits (Jonathan Tyler, for example) who share an appreciation for understated style.
For spring/summer, Ayo’s curation of delicate fabrics—Italian cotton, ultra-soft Irish linen—alongside textural details and accoutrements—suit Texas’ relentless summer temperatures, while offering a breezier interpretation of the OLDENBURGH aesthetic.
This fall, shades of brown and earth tones remain the common thread. In regards to a statement fabric or statement piece from the upcoming collection, Ayo has challenged himself to forgo bold patterns and prints in favor of luxe, monochrome hues. “[The solids] are so rich in texture that they work as a print,” he said.
He’s also going more casual—at least, as casual as it gets for one who never wears denim—with fitted sweatshirts made of fleece or loopback fabrics that exude the OLDENBURGH aesthetic of unpretentious luxury.
See more photos and a timelapse video from the shoot below.