No Man Walks Alone recently convinced Stephan Schneider to re-release his Merino Coat, which was originally part of his FW11 Frozen Waves collection. I’ve been wanting one for years. It’s the stuff of legends, and heavily sought after by style enthusiasts, but frustratingly hard to find.
Schneider, for those unfamiliar, is a Belgian designer with a strong background in textiles, and works not only as a designer for his own label, but also as a professor at one of the fine arts universities in Berlin. His work is a breath of fresh air in men’s fashion, which nowadays seems to operate on two polar ends. There’s the heavy reliance on traditionalism and archival material on the one hand (e.g. traditional tailoring and old-timey workwear), and dark colors and aggressive silhouettes on the other (e.g. gothninja and its increasing number of derivatives).
Schneider’s work is different. It has a subtle masculinity to it, with its looser cuts, rich fabrics, and warm uses of color. There’s admittedly nothing high-concept here — and many of the pieces are in some ways quite simple — but there’s always an element of design to keep one amused. Indeed, for the kind of guy who wants something a little different and contemporary, but doesn’t want to get too abstract, much of Schneider’s work fits the bill.
Take this coat, for example. It’s a single-breasted topcoat with a knitted scarf liner. The liner and its accompanying hood can be kept in for a more causal and interesting look, and the hood can be propped up slightly to achieve the effect you see at the top of this post. For a more professional (or at least conservative) style, you can remove the hood and liner and use this piece as a simple topcoat.
No Man Walks Alone was able to get Schneider to reissue the coat in three new color combinations: a charcoal nailhead body with a dark charcoal liner; a deep green body with a cream liner; and a much heavier coat made with a grey body and dark charcoal liner. Most of the stock is sold out, save for a few pieces in green, but some coats may get returned as people try to figure out their sizes. This one isn’t going back, however. It fits perfectly, and I’m already looking forward to when the weather gets cold enough for me to wear it.
(Pictured above: Charcoal Merino coat by Stephan Schneider; cream basketweave sweater by Inis Meain; double black straight legged jeans by 3sixteen; and black & white bball high-tops by Common Projects).