When it comes to so-called workwear, there’s no shortage of brands touting chore coats and selvedge denim jeans. There are only a handful of designers, however, that have put in the time beyond the sewing table and inside the factories which these clothes were originally designed. And, that makes a big difference according to Ohio-born designer Darryl Brown. “At the end of the day, workwear is just a trend for them but for me, it’s my natural being,” Brown tells StockX. “That’s where I’m from; I’m from the Midwest; I really lived it. ”
His eponymous collection — launched in fall 2019 — is clearly workwear-inspired, featuring painters coats, mechanics jackets, cargo pants, work shirts and more. For Brown, it’s more than just inspired. Before Brown was styling, rifling through stores in search of clothes for Kanye West, he worked for years in industrial jobs. He was a steelworker for General Motors and a railroad engineer long before he launched his own label.
Workwear as a trend has seeped into every streetwear and designer collection in the last decade, so it’s easy to dismiss any fashion brand’s utilitarian inspirations as mere speculation lacking experience. But, Brown grew up seeing — and eventually using — workwear for its intended purpose. “I did the 9-to-5 factory life,” Brown says. “I really wore these pieces every day. My dad actually wore these pieces, my mom actually wore these pieces.”
Brown cites Carhartt and Dickies as influences on the collection, and that’s clear. From the logo to the iron-on barcodes, color palette and overall design aesthetic, these heritage labels are a part of the DNA of Darryl Brown. But, there’s also a certain degree of elegance as well. The stitch work and silhouettes are carefully considered, with proportions that are more dialed-in than typical work clothes. The fabrics eschew the poly-blends often used by workwear brands. “I love all of these heritage brands and their message and I’m going to capture the hard structure of these lifetime legacy brands,” Brown explains. “But, I’m going to message it with the elegance and quality of a Dries Van Noten.”
Ultimately, Brown designs each piece to have the longevity of classic garments he grew up with — the quality speaks for itself. Whether you’re a fan of workwear, vintage clothing or just great design, Darryl Brown Clothing Company is worth checking out.