Parke & Ronen turned up the heat was turned way up at New York Fashion Week: Men’s! When the design duo’s models took the runway, it was a muscle meat market! Celebrating 20 years, the menswear line released a special capsule collection for Spring/Summer 2018 to celebrate their platinum anniversary.
When Ronen Jehezkel arrived in New York in 1991 after receiving his degree in Alta Moda (Italian Haute Couture) from the Instituto Europeo Di Design in Rome, Italy, he wanted to take his dream of fashion success to the streets. Literally.
“I came to New York and wanted to see the city through my eyes and needed to make some money,” Jehezkel explained to the Observer. “I was hanging out with friends and looking at what people were selling on the street and what sold the best t-shirt. T-shirts are accessories, unisex, seasonless da, da, da, da, da. A few drinks later: vests! You can wear it shirtless, it’s seasonless, men wear it, women wear it.”
With a mere $500 investment and small collections of vests produced in his Soho loft, the seeds of this young, innovative company were planted. Building on the initial success of this venture, Ronen moved his operation to a studio and storefront in Tribeca.
Then in 1993, Ronen met Parke Lutter, a design student at the Parsons School of Design. Shortly after Parke attained his degree in Fashion Design, in 1997, the two joined forces to open a new company and launch Parke & Ronen. Their contrasting backgrounds fused the European traditions of haute couture and the American sensibilities of Seventh Avenue, resulting in an exceptional creative synergy.
Later, they went into swimwear for men.
“We really didn’t know anything about swimwear,” Jehezkel admits. “Nothing we made was expressly for swim at first, we would use this fabric that wasn’t made for swimming so after five times on the beach it changed colors and faded. People would buy it because it was fashionable. Then of course, we learned.”
Check out the 20 very sexy pics from Parke & Ronen’s Spring/Summer 2018 show at New York Fashion Week: Men’s:
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