First Look: Vena Cava for Aqua

Vena Cava is continuing its push into more affordable markets with its latest expansion, a capsule collection for Bloomingdale’s in-house line, Aqua. Fashionista has a first look at the line, which includes a black-and-white print silk tee, a double-breasted and belted black sweater coat, and a gray tee with a see-through back. The small but solid collection is slated to hit racks in September and its price point is, surprisingly, said to be less than that of Vena Cava’s other lower-priced line, Viva Vena. The good news for Vena Cava fans not residing in major fashion capitals: the collection will retail both at Bloomingdale’s and at Bloomingdales.com come fall.

In other lower-priced news, Scott Sternberg’s Band of Outsiders is launching another collection under its well-tailored umbrella. The latest addition to the BoO family is girl, an “entry-level womenswear line,” according to Business of Fashion. Expect a lot more specifics to drop sometime around NYFW.

Band of Outsiders’ New Bag

Scott Sternberg–the former CAA agent and brains behind the exponentially expanding fashion brand Band of Outsiders (which includes the ladies line Boy)–isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, fresh off of adding e-commerce into the mix over at BOO’s LA headquarters, Sternberg has announced he’ll soon be offering lower-priced alternatives to his women’s line. In the meantime, Sternberg is ramping up production of his women’s line from twice a season to four times a season as a result of the fact that women’s fashion inherently houses a must more rapid turnover rate.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sternberg sites his west coast stomping grounds as essential to his brand’s success story. “If I was here in New York in this mix influenced by the same thing all these people are influenced by, the edge would be gone,” he says, adding, “this [L.A.] bubble is vital to being able to do something that is not informed by fashion.” Apparently, not following in line with the many burgeoning NYC fashion brands includes casting humor-loving Hollywood muses (from Jason Schwartzman to Leslie Mann) for campaigns and embracing odd ball blog endeavors. The latter include homages by Sternberg to both his love for legos and cookies, respectively.

Why Your Band of Outsiders Sweater Is Made in China

In an op-ed of sorts, Scott Sternberg — the CAA agent turned fashion designer behind Band of Outsiders and Boy — muses on his manufacturing process from conception to final product for the fantastic online editorial porthole Selectism.com. More logistical than creative, the post covers the specifics of making both Boy and Band of Oustiders’ full lines from fabric sourcing to final garment. Most surprising is the fact that brand, which is technically LA-based, is truly a citizen of the world when it comes to both fabrics and labor — a facet of modern manufacturing that reflects the structure of more and more brands.

Parts of the manufacturing process are completely NYC and LA-centric (namely when it comes to suits and accessories). “The suits are made at Martin Greenfield Clothiers, a 100+ year old hand-tailoring factory in Bushwick, New York. The shirts are cut, sewn, washed/dyed, etc. in Los Angeles. The ties are cut and hand-rolled in Manhattan.” Meanwhile, Sternberg is moving Boy’s entire production to Italy this year to keep the line’s fabrics, cuts, and tailoring standardized. Interestingly enough, some of Sternberg’s sweaters are made entirely in China: “Chinese cashmere can be superior depending on the type of sweater, so we’ll make those sweaters there — we do so not to save money or become part of the evil Empire but because it’s the best solution for a given product.” In the same vein, Sternberg’s shirts are made solely in Japan. While maintaining an emphasis on USA-made lines is no doubt important in today’s day and age (especially with areas like NYC’s garment district suffering severe cutbacks given the lethal combination of globalization and a recession), it’s interesting to look at relatively young brands that are truly taking advantage of the global fashion market. As Sternberg points out, tags reading “made in China” or “made in the USA” don’t necessarily mean what they used to.

Steven Alan’s Perfect Bag & Band of Outsiders for Barneys

Steven Alan is on a mission. The designer made a name for himself outfitting New York’s downtown set in his namesake wears; he has since expanded nationwide as well as internationally through the likes of a recent collaboration with Uniqlo. And now Alan is teaming up with none other than Richard Branson. “Steven Alan is currently Down Under, working on a project with V Australia — Richard Branson’s new airline,” says Valet. “Alan’s traveling around the country getting the full treatment and gathering inspiration for his idea of the perfect travel bag, which will sell at his NYC and LA stores.” In the meantime, Alan’s project will be taking on an interactive bend; specifically prospective shoppers can offer feedback on Alan’s choice of materials, shape, etc.

Back in the states, Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg just debuted a new collection exclusive to Barneys New York (it’s currently stocked at six of the store’s locations). Titled “No Bunk! No Junk!,” Sternberg’s collection is meant to “tap into Barney’s heritage,” which melds both a classic sense of Wall Street power dressing as well as a more pared down version of European chic. The collection includes solely black and white pieces and centers around basics. Think staples that aren’t too sleek: “a basic black suit in not-so-basic corduroy; a leather jacket that doesn’t take itself too seriously; and a plaid shirt that’s just … a really great-fitting plaid shirt,” says GQ. Altogether, it’s a collection Sternberg sums up as ” very American — with the proportions that make fat guys hate me.”

Band of Outsiders & Boy Bring the Beach, Kim Gordon Defends Leggings

Scott Sternberg brought a taste of his SoCal stomping grounds to Milk Studios Saturday for his SS10 Fashion Week presentation for Band of Outsiders and Boy. Models were outfitted in Sternberg’s classic Americana-meets-prep-meets-California cool. Blazers for women were shrunken, while cuffed khaki shorts and cropped trousers were cut on the loose side. For men, suit jackets, relaxed button-up shirts, slim-legged pants, and bomber jackets were fashioned decidedly more trim. Thanks to a jam-packed crowd, the beach scene was matched by notably warm interior temperatures. But that didn’t dissuade the likes of Jason Schwartzman, Kirsten Dunst, Leigh Lezark, and Rachel McAdams (the latter of which has been attending shows with Anna Wintour, generating rooms of a Vogue cover in the works) in a Boy bandage skirt fresh off the SS10 line among other A-listers from paying their respects to Sternberg.

Amid a soundtrack so loud it turned most conversations into shouting matches, I managed a few moments with punk rock’s queen mother Kim Gordon (who in addition to still helping front Sonic Youth, designs a line called Mirror/Dash, which retails exclusively at Urban Outfitters). Given the fact that Sternberg’s line borrows its name from a Jean-Luc Godard film, I asked Gordon what her favorite fashion films are: “I like Pierrot le fou [also by Godard] a lot. Anna Karina’s look I’ve always liked.” What styles is Gordon working on right now as far as her own line? “Every two months we do another delivery; right now we’re working on things that can work with different ages, that are easy but that can also be pulled together. That have shape to them and are also feminine, but not so girly or anything.” Speaking of easy, how does she feel about leggings being as omnipresent in fashion’s lexicon as ever? “I wear them all the time.”

Fashion Mafia Pays Tribute to New Garde

The CFDA held its annual awards ceremony in New York last night, honoring a rising generation of fashion power players, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama (who accepted the commendation of Board of Directors’ Special Tribute via satellite). CFDA President Diane Von Furstenberg held court, while Tracey Ullman hosted. The latter opened the ceremony with a Keifer Sutherland head-butting joke, which garnered only “weak laughter,” says Fashionologie. It probably didn’t help matters that Jack McCollough, half of the design team behind Proenza Schouler (who won the title of Accessories Designer of the Year) and the recipient of said head-butt post-Costume Gala, was in attendance.

As for the other winners:

Popular Vote Award: Ralph Lauren Menswear Designer of the Year: a tie between Italo Zucchelli (Calvin Klein) and Scott Sternberg (Band of Outsiders) Womenswear Designer of the Year: Alexander Wang Swarovski Award for Menswear: Tim Hamilton Swarovski Award for Womenswear: Alexander Wang Swarovski Award for Accessories: Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry Womenswear Designer of the Year: Rodarte

All in all, there weren’t too many surprises. But the honors awarded do solidify Justin Giunta and Tim Hamilton’s rising stars within the fashion industry, not to mention the fact that Rodarte beat out both Marc Jacobs (a runner-up for Womenswear last year as well) and Narciso Rodriguez shows that the industry is hungry for new blood. Also of note: Alexander Wang’s tux alternative (which included Comme des Garçons shorts and a Helmut Lang tuxedo jacket), an invasion of togas (a trend Kate Moss no doubt helped spearhead with her Costume Gala ensemble), and Jack White in a brown plaid suit (which most likely won’t be spawning a sea of followers).

Scott Sternberg on Social Atheism & Airplane Karma

imageScott Sternberg — the CAA agent-turned-fashion designer behind Band of Outsiders and Boy — is a marketing maven. Having cut his teeth at one of the industry’s most cutthroat talent agencies, the Midwest-reared and LA-based designer is well aware how much image can effect others’ perceptions of you. And he’s not afraid to tell you what he thinks. So when The Style Advisor asked Sternberg for his top 10 “rules of style,” it’s little surprise that what resulted makes for an interesting read. For the full list, click here; for a few select gems, hit the jump.

● Opening a conversation with “What do you do?” makes you sound like a shifty, social-climbing dickwad. Small talk is for sissies, but if you’re stuck with it, you can certainly come up with something better than that.

● Cigarettes are a vile, dirty habit. Joints, on the other hand, are perfectly acceptable.

● Rabid atheism does not lead to attractive or acceptable cocktail-party conversation. You know who you are, and you need to chill. We get it, okay? God is for dummies. Now shut your hole.

● It’s just not cool to fart on a plane, even if everyone’s ears are plugged from the altitude and they can’t hear where it came from. Heed my warning: Airplane-fart karma is a bitch, and you will find yourself at the receiving end on a sleepless transcontinental red-eye soon enough.

Fashion Week: Scott Sternberg Sings Last Song of the Night

When I first arrived downstairs at Milk Studios for Band of Outsiders and Boy’s SS09 presentation, there was a bit of a panic. The elevator connecting an increasingly large crowd with the presentation upstairs only took 15 at a time. Nearly a dozen flights up in the penthouse, a significantly more serene scene awaited. Screening on opposite white walls were three separate films — two of which captured high-watt celebs Kirsten Dunst and Max Minghella, solo, standing/jumping their way through Scott Sternberg’s latest collections. An ethereal soundtrack played loudly but did little to muffle the excited voices filling the room. Editors pawed looks from the new Boy and Band of Outsiders collections, which were on display and available for copping a feel on racks lining one wall. Draped across lit white boxes were partially transparent men’s button-up shirts and track jackets. All in all, the collection seemed well received, no doubt in large part thanks to its wearability.

I found myself drooling over Boy’s shrunken blazers, a simple yet sexy asymmetrical black dress, and Manolo Blahniks made especially for the collection. After fully soaking in the goods on display, and before attempting to once again brave the terrible weather outdoors, I asked Sternberg where exactly he would be celebrating. “I’m going to go karaoke,” he told me. So, what exactly are Sternberg’s karaoke songs of choice? “I usually start with a Monkees song, something like that. You know, ‘Daydream Believer’.” And for the last song of the night? “A duet. Maybe the one from Grease.” Timeless classics, just like Stenberg’s lines.