Archive Fashion: The 50 Holy Grails of Modern Menswear

We’re living in a particularly great moment in menswear, and not just for the obvious reasons. Yes, the big fashion brands are devoting more creativity and resources than ever to the once-staid category. And yes, we’ve never had a more robust and interesting tier of independent designers, mavericks, and visionaries reinventing the business. But more than all that, there’s a new cause for excitement: A thriving network of fresh subcultures are developing around men’s style, demonstrating that fashion isn’t merely about what you buy and wear—it’s something you can participate in, something with layers of meaning and history that rewards those who lean in for a closer look. The archival scene—an informal network of vintage-fashion dealers, collectors, and superfans—has turned the masterpieces of collections past into wearable, even essential, pieces of the menswear universe of the present. Dark-fashion disciples, sneaker freaks, watch nuts—all of these communities have helped keep the best parts of their respective histories in rotation today. These 50 pieces were nearly all sourced online, and for the right price, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon your size, you can buy and wear them all. And if these holy grails don’t move you, there are surely 50 more out there, waiting to be discovered.

1. Craig Green

Quilted Worker Jacket
Spring-Summer 2017

Craig Green emerged as a star of the London fashion scene in 2013, but what’s kept him vital and important after nearly a decade in business is his willingness to iterate and experiment with his signature worker jacket—as he has with this audacious baroque patchwork. —Yang-Yi Goh

2. Undercover

85 Denim
Fall-Winter 2005

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