Though we’re seeing the beginnings of a shift toward acceptance of plus size men in fashion, we’re still not seeing many brands offering the apparel needed to clothe them. Because of this, people like 29 year old Brandon Coates are stepping up to deliver exactly what we’re looking for by creating their own lines. As he preps for the debut of his line this week during New York Fashion Week, I talked to Brandon about the long road to launching Brandon Kyle Menswear, why now is the time to do it, and how you’ll be able to buy clothes from his line, this week, in sizes 1x to 4x.
Give us a little of your background. Do you have experience in plus size fashion?
I am a plus size expert with 10 years of experience in the fashion industry, having worked diligently with premier plus size brands, models, and publications. Having served as a designer, stylist and creative director, I have earned the respect and admiration of fashion editors, and influencers who like my aesthetic. I started my career as an intern with Monif C. Plus Sizes in 2006, working my way up to head designer. I am native New Yorker, and have always been immersed in fashion and culture.
Why launch your own line?
I have been a portly man most of my life, and understand the woes and gripes that a man of a particular size has in finding clothing that is not only flattering, but suits my fashionable sensibility. Starting a plus menswear line is the natural progression in my journey to make plus size fashion equal.
Now that it’s getting more attention, do you feel like the plus size men’s fashion industry is beginning to grow?
This is an exciting time for plus men’s fashion, with more people taking a stand and letting their voices be heard, and models like Zach Miko being signed to a major agency. There is a buzz happening, and I feel like with the introduction of Brandon Kyle in the market, it will continue to gain momentum in a tangible way. I think back to the women’s plus size industry 10 years ago when I started. There were only a handful of designers in the market, and we all knew each other. Fast-forward to today, the landscape has changed tremendously and plus fashion has become more mainstream than ever before.
What can people expect from Brandon Kyle Menswear?
For the first collection, we focused our attention on 8 key styles to rejuvenate the plus mans wardrobe. Every piece in the Brandon Kyle Menswear Collection makes a resounding statement. We focused not only on fit, but details and fabrications that are not typically seen in plus mens fashion. Sequin, Ponti, and Stretch Fishnet are just a few of the fabrications used. This is sportswear with a twist. The 8 key styles are as follows:
1. The Ponti Bomber Jacket- A great versatile piece that can be dressed up or down, giving a touch of luxe with epaulets and gold military buttons.
2. The Ponti Hooded Short Sleeve Shirt- Great for off-duty weekends and semi casual Summer Soirees.
3. The Ponti Convertible Jogger Pant- Giving sportswear an edge of sophistication with gold hardware and sleek cargo pockets. These pants become even more versatile because when zipped off at the knee the convert seamlessly to cargo shorts.
4. The Military Jacket- A statement jacket that can be worn formally as a dinner jacket, or paired with jeans for a night not the town. Regally adorned with epaulets and gold military buttons.
5. The High-waist Pant- The twill pant gets a fashionable upgrade with a sleek wider waistband, and asymmetrical fly.
6. The Scarf-T- The casual Longline T-shirt get’s an upgrade with a curved hem, luxe slub cotton fabric, and a built in scarf for the perfect fashion touch.
7. The Netted Crew- The Crewneck Shirt gets an edgy overhaul with an open weave fishnet and stretch lining.
8. The Tuxedo Shirt- A classic re-mixed with a contemporary twist. This tux shirt features contrast buttons, a sequin bib, and a curved shirt tail that can be worn out or tucked in for a polished look.
You’re launching with sizes 1X – 4X. Do you have any plans to go beyond 4X in the future?
Yes, as the collection grows we will be offering a broader size range.
What else will you be adding to the Brandon Kyle Menswear line in the future?
As the collection grows, we would like to offer outerwear, suits, and large size accessories (gloves, hats, etc).
Go to brandonkylecollection.com to pre-order your favorite pieces, with prices ranging from $88 to $250, and orders shipping in mid-to-late October. Learn more about Brandon’s Fashion Week Debut here.