Engineering Clothing Spring / Summer 2022 Collection
Mark: Engineering clothing
Season: Spring / Summer 2022
Key pieces: Among the classic EG jackets, jeans and overlays, patterned coats, shirts, shorts, pants and chore suits stand out even more. The best of the bunch, however, may be the Kumanokoido stuffed animals created especially for this collection, all profits of which will be donated to the construction Mali water well.
Editor’s Notes: Engineered Garments’ signature trick is to revive classic menswear pieces: bag blazers, fashion-ish parkas, cargo pants – in durable fabrics and unusually smart new shapes on great running sneakers. Spring / Summer 2022 once again transforms the familiar silhouettes of workwear into something fresh, but it tackles the daunting task of consciously representing African inspiration.
It is a difficult subject, which is sometimes explored by creators with very uneven results. A stranger’s perspective on safari clothing can easily slip into colonialist tropes so fleshed out without thinking.
“For a long time, I have been inspired by the beautiful images and the vast array of cultures in Africa,” Engineered Garments founder Daiki Suzuki said in a statement. “This season’s colors are inspired by the khaki of the Sahara Desert, the green of the savannah and the blue sky of Africa.” Suzuki also admits the influence of ’80s Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, and Hemingway’s vision of Abercrombie & Fitch – see safari jackets, striped lounge suits and fishing vests for proof. Additional inspiration came from musicians like Talking Heads, Malcolm McLaren and Peter Gabriel.
Suzuki is a thoughtful guy; he understands that Africa’s suffering biodiversity is a real crisis, hence his brand’s charitable Kumanokoido collection. That being said, Suzuki and Engineered Garments retain a very Japanese fascination with international cultures – despite being entirely based in New York – until the use of “ethnic“jargon (in Japanese,”ethnic“is a general term for indigenous cultures).
Now, to be clear, this is not a call: Engineered Garments SS22 does not trample on heritage or appropriate culture (although there is some Madras tiles). It would have been nice to see fabrics sourced from African artisans or perhaps strong condemnation from colonialist tropes, but this is a noticeably lush collection imbued with appreciation, not appropriation.