story by Landon Peoples
photos by Aeric Meredith-Guojon
Copperwheat’s Spring 2012 menswear collection confirms good things really do come in twos. The print/tailoring duo, cousins Ben and Lee Copperwheat, have managed to translate their emphatic British idiosyncrasies into designs that are definitive New York. “I smashed up a million different things ranging from atom bomb clouds to nuclear missiles to the Queen’s coronation,” Ben described. At first glance, Copperwheat prints are enough to make anyone’s creative light bulbs go off. When I took out my fashion magnifying glass, though, intricate details in the cuts of collared shirts, board shorts and blazers came to life amidst the exotic, graffiti-like prints. Bombs? The Queen? I heart NY? A million different things, indeed, but completely inspiring.
I arrived early to catch a glimpse inside the minds of Copperwheat’s fraternal genius, and judging by the location alone (SoHo’s Cappellini), I could tell the presentation would follow suit. As the music of Corey Jon burst through the speakers, the models enter the showroom and take their positions against floor-to-ceiling banners reflective of what they were wearing. Lightning bolts of neon’s, geometric hues, and glowing graphics on sleek vests, sweaters, backpacks and sneakers contribute to the hype these two created. “The imagery is quite aggressive when you think about it, but I think we did it in a playful way, which makes our clothes fun to wear,” Lee said. Before leaving, my departure was greeted with a tote that radiated shear Copperwheat coolness. Clothes that are redefining the direction of menswear and Copperwheat swagger? Sign me up!
The Copperwheat boys have decided Spring 2012 is the season of freedom, and rebelling against economic pressure and the norms of menswear. They’ve done just that by letting their individuality run wild. And in the eloquent words of Lee Copperwheat himself, “We’ve tried the commercial route. Blah, blah, blah. We’re artists at the end of the day. Fuck that.”