What would Nino Brown wear today?
Wesley Snipes’ character in the cult classic crime thriller “New Jack City” has spawned a thousand rap lyrics, and this season, he was the inspiration for Angelo Urrutia’s spring collection under his 4SDesigns label.
A finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the New York-based designer was thinking about Americana, as seen through the prism of his adolescence. “What’s considered now streetwear was called urban back then,” he recalled. “Even going to play basketball, you had this notion of getting dressed.”
Hence his upscale take on workwear classics, with items including hunting jackets, camp shirts and chinos, but done in opulent fabrics. A satiny khaki bomber jacket came in a camouflage-patterned fil coupé jacquard that sprouted loose threads, while trompe-l’oeil jeans were actually made of leather.
Urrutia, who has worked for brands including Barbour, Adidas and Nepenthes America, designs most of the fabrics himself. “I always think about what the capacity of the mill is, and then I try to push as much as I can to create something new,” he said, showing off a striped shirt woven through with raffia.
He pointed out refined details like the buttons on a silky blazer, made of metal dipped in resin, but the silhouettes were easy, with oversized tops and jackets matched with fluid pants in fabrics like viscose and organza. A T-shirt paid homage to Manhattan Cable TV, the early ‘80s public access channel that featured programs like Glenn O’Brien’s “TV Party.”
Many designers talk about reinterpreting luxury for a new generation. Urrutia went beyond pastiche to offer a compelling vision of his own.