Under the leadership of head men’s designer Nicole Wiesmann, Vince brings its luxe yet laid-back wardrobe essentials to Philadelphia this fall.
Vince’s new Walnut Street boutique will carry its ready-to-wear staples: tees, knits, sweaters, jackets, trousers—and now, men’s footwear.
With a new Walnut Street store, Vince is bringing its high-low luxe basics to Philadelphia. What’s more, the Los Angeles-based line is making menswear a major focus for its first boutique in Philly, lining its neat racks and shelves with knits, outerwear, and even shoes. For Vince’s vice president of men’s design, Nicole Wiesmann, menswear has proved a perfect match for her detail-focused aesthetic.
“I always had a more masculine sense of style because I liked how men’s clothes were constructed,” she explains. “It was more about the interior and inside pockets and the attention to detail where women’s is much more about silhouette.”'
The new Walnut Street boutique, which opened in September.
Design has been a part of Wiesmann’s life since her teenage years. A key moment came when Wiesmann moved to New York after college and began seeking design jobs. “I initially thought I was going to go into women’s and then I got a really great opportunity to work at Tommy Hilfiger,” she says. Stints at Nautica, Structure, and Banana Republic soon followed before Wiesmann was tapped to join the Vince team. For the role, she left New York for the Los Angeles headquarters, a move that helped reinspire her. “It’s a challenge because it really gave me an insight into the brand that I wouldn’t have had if I had stayed in New York because it really is a mix of the New York chic and the LA cool. And when you come out here, it’s a very different perspective on how you dress.”
That LA cool is seen in abundance in the new store. “The idea is everyday luxury. So we do bring in these very easy pieces but we put a twist on them and we make them feel special,” says Wiesmann.
Concept boards for Vince designs.
To her mind, Vince’s key pieces integrate themselves seamlessly into the Philadelphia man’s lifestyle: cashmere joggers, pima tees, and wool cashmere pea coats for relaxing or grabbing morning coffee; chinos, shirts, and wool cashmere blazers for work. “The idea is having these different end uses and having versatility within the product,” says Wiesmann. “I think the key word is ‘effortless,’ because we want to do fashion but we also want to make it really approachable for the everyday guy.”
That sentiment is clearly seen in Vince’s fall collection, which takes its inspiration from the work of minimalist artist Donald Judd and relies on a palette of cool neutrals that features burgundies and blues within an overarching concept the designer calls “sophisticated industrial.”
A handsome new look from Vince’s fall line.
“We are really about mixing the high and low,” she explains—dip dying cashmere, for instance, to achieve a rougher texture and make the pieces “not so precious.”
“We went after joggers,” she adds, “and pairing those with leather pieces and fitted wool cashmere blazers, [having] the hard pieces dress up the soft pieces.”
This season also sees the debut of Vince’s men’s footwear line. Wiesmann’s favorites include the Adam leather high top, the Austin sport suede leather sneaker, and the Carter leather boot. Like the rest of the line, each is defined by a simple elegance that allows it to feel both casual and smart. As Wiesmann puts it, “I think what we really have to offer guys is being the ultimate brand for everyday luxury.” 1701 Walnut St., 215-220-4965