Wardrobe NYC, a new range of direct-to-consumer luxury essentials, is the combined work of stylist and Vogue Australia fashion director Christine Centenera, and designer Josh Goot. The pair have been partners for the last 10 years, and are now on a mission to refine wardrobes by creating luxury for the modern consumer.
“As a stylist, I sometimes find it difficult to find what I think is the perfect blazer or the perfect white shirt,” says Centenera. “Something that is not defined by a specific brand, that is high quality and nondescript,” she says.
“When Josh first approached me about the project, what appealed to me was the idea of providing a solution for people. I think we take for granted how often people find it challenging to get dressed in the morning.”
Josh Goot, the label, went under in 2015, but it seems the designer’s best days are still ahead of him.
If you look to Wardrobe NYC’s first release, the duo answer most modern dressing dilemma with refined staples. Theirs are a perfectly tailored button-down shirt, coat, blazer, T-shirt, legging, hoodie, knit and pant. Apart from a white shirt, everything in the range is offered only in a democratic black.
Items are purchasable only in four- or eight-piece “wardrobes”, rather than individually. The full collection features only 16 pieces in total: eight for men and eight for women – a radical move in the current age of fast fashion. Everything is made in Italy and there are only 100 “wardrobes” available to purchase for men and women. While the respective $2000 and $4000 price tags might seem like a steep investment, keep in mind one luxury designer coat alone (by the likes of Acne, for example) can set you back between $1500 and $2000. And these collections are all encompassing, so you won’t need to invest in any other pieces.
In order to make headway with Wardrobe NYC, Goot has put his eponymous label on hiatus indefinitely. His label entered voluntary administration two years ago, before creditors voted to return the company to Goot a month later. With the restructure, the designer then shuttered his Australian retail stores and made the move to New York in 2016 to rethink his processes.
Goot tells Broadsheet the idea for Wardrobe NYC came from the energy of New York. “At the time, I was thinking about how best to evolve what I love about fashion into something that makes sense in a modern world. I think there is a clear disconnect between the values of a progressive society and the notion of ‘fast fashion’ or conventional luxury. People appreciate quality and design, but they also want something that feel honest, fair and better.”
If you’re familiar with Centenera’s personal style (she’s a street-style blog favourite, not to mention the alleged mastermind behind Kim Kardashian’s high-fashion, minimalist makeover), you can see her aesthetic leanings all over Wardrobe NYC – particularly in the strong-shouldered blazer, and leggings.
“Wardrobe NYC came from a personal place and also a place of practicality,” says Centenera. “We really envisioned how people, including ourselves, can wear the clothes in our everyday lives.”
“We were really conscious from the outset to have as much equality and similarity across the design, fabrication and construction of both the men’s and women’s pieces. The capsules feel very similar and that is intentional and a key element of the brand,” says Goot.
With the first release covering the tailored essentials, where to next? The label plans on releasing three capsules in 2018, with a “sports-inspired wardrobe” next on the cards – without the distraction of branding. Centenera consults for Kanye West’s Yeezy line, so it’s a natural progression for her.
“I never thought I would be on this side of the fence creating clothes,” she says. “Working on Wardrobe NYC has been a study on each piece. It was nice to have the luxury of time to spend on each piece to really refine it.”