Over the past couple of years, Thom Browne has swiftly become my favourite designer, specifically for his menswear. While the majority of designers are currently presenting more and more casual looks (in line with the trend), Thom Browne has maintained its hallmarked tailored and put-together looks. The New York Times recently wrote an article on how Thom Browne is an underestimated designer. Friedman, the author of the article, writes, “Mr. Browne took on corporate culture and the suburban dream, then twisted it. Instead of making the wearer seem like a cog in a wheel, Mr. Browne’s suits made him or her stand out.” While the identity of his brand lies in the idea of “the uniform,” his designs ironically breed individuality rather than conformity.
However, as much as I love his design, I admire Thom Browne all the more for his branding. The marketer in me is swept up with his approach. Not only do his offices and stores exemplify the aesthetic of the brand, but his employees seem to live in a Thom Browne world 24/7. Aka. Thom Browne has brand ambassadors through each of his employee’s social media outlets. His business is transformed into a sell-able lifestyle. Friedman retells a story of how an employee showed up to work in pink socks (gasp!), and Mr. Browne requested they remove them as they were “ruining the message.” Thom Browne hires people who can not only get behind the brand professionally, but can live the lifestyle it represents. From their work spaces to their personal style to their participation in the annual Thom Browne Thanksgiving football game (stylishly decked out in head-to-toe Thom Browne, of course), Mr. Browne has developed not just a business but a lifestyle that people (…I) want.
Note: For instance, the majority of these photos are sourced from Thom Browne employees’ instagram pages.