Phipps Spring 2024 Menswear Collection


Phipps is a popular name in America. “A funny thing we’ve discovered, which is something new to me being back in the US, is that Phipps is a very common name here,” said Spencer Phipps on a call from Los Angeles, where he relocated from Paris. “There’s a strip club, there’s a mall, there’s a grocery store, [and] a radiology center,” named Phipps, according to the designer’s research. There’s even three separate North American lakes with the designer’s last name. 

Luckily for Phipps, the man, and for Phipps, the brand, there doesn’t seem to be another fashion label by the same name. The designer leveraged this discovery in his spring 2024 collection, morphing his logo into race car patches that looked less Formula 1 than NASCAR—“the down market version” he joked. 

This visual interpretation of his name served as a solid base for the new collection. “It’s all very character based, and just weird American people,” he said of his starting point, explaining he was after the “countercultural ruggedness” found in workwear, late ’90s L.L. Bean and Abercrombie, Carhartt, and souvenir shop clothes. The Phipps twist was the sense of humor he brought to his plaids, denim, and camos. “Especially with rugged American wear, it’s all very serious, but I’ve encountered people that are quite funny and strange with their presentation,” he said.

There was also a slight nod of kink—gay kink. “He knows what Tom of Finland is,” said Phipps of his customer. That came across most clearly in the handsome strangeness—and sexiness—of a pair of vintage leather chaps hybridized with jeans. Where does Phipps find old chaps? “I have my weird places to get them,” he explained. “No one really wants old chaps, they just sit there.” 

Phipps has switched his business to a see-now, buy-now structure. “This model is more in line with this digital-first intimacy that you get from online stuff,” he said. As of late last year, the designer started putting himself front and center in his collection imagery, posting videos on Instagram dressing up in the classic “GRWM” (get ready with me) style. The positive feedback was instantaneous, he explained. There’s value in speaking to your customer versus at them, seems to be the takeaway. 

That Phipps himself is a guy with a great beard and interesting style who works out—and whose muscles are on display in the videos—certainly helps. (“Intimacy” is right!) His comments are almost equal parts “thirsty” and shopping inquiries, but pretty much all of them are about the product—be that how good he looks in a pair or jeans or how someone wants to buy them in order to pull them off in the same way. This is 2024 DTC marketing done right: meet your customer where they’re at, mid-scroll.

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Tags: Phipps, runway, runway_review, Spring 2024 Menswear

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