4.20.2015

Complex UK | Athleisure Designer Bobby Abley Talks London Versus New York

Bobby Abley is two years into his own brand and has already received props on both sides of the Atlantic. Most notable was Spring/Summer 15's Little Mermaid themed collection that featured a neoprene Ursula—the film's chief antagonist, a 'sea witch'—sweatshirt (Selfridges has an exclusive all gold version) and a more attainable Ursula iPhone case. In a world where Young Thug wears Ugg, and rappers wear skirts, crop-tops and dresses, the kitsch-kinda-matriarchal Ursula print seems like a smart play.  That sort of standout but functional aesthetic is what colors Abley’s designs. Having logged time working with Jeremy Scott and Alexander McQueen, the designer combines an athletic, streetwear base with a wholly individualistic, sometimes-slightly-dark-but-playful sort of appeal, owing something of a debt to the way Jean Charles de Castelbajac and Iceberg worked cartoon and toy-like ideas into their own takes on casual classics. Take his logo as prime example: it’s an imprint of a teddy bear.
This February, after showing as a part of London's MAN show for three seasons, Abley upped sticks to New York. After a very small two-or-three look preview in London, the designer headed to New York City’s Milk Studios to show his full Fall 2015 collection as a part of the MADE Program during New York Fashion Week. Here, we get real with the designer about what went into that move, his new Concrete Jungle collection and what it’s like collaborating with the likes of Money and Disney.

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