A good fit is essential — but we're not just talking about jeans. David Bruno, director of sales for Todd Snyder also found his perfect, uh, fit when he joined the team at one of hottest guys' brands on our radar. Bruno, formerly with Bergdorf Goodman and Simon Spurr, says, "I've never been so sure of success as I am now with Todd," a statement that takes on new meaning with the brand's recent CFDA nomination. In the running for the Swarovski Award for Menswear against other respected noms, including Antonio Azzuolo and Phillip Lim, we were seriously intrigued by the new label on the scene (Todd Snyder debuted in 2011) and one of the major players behind the brand. Thankfully, Bruno was nothing but candid as he spilled his excitement about the label, his own personal style, and what it's like to learn you've been nominated for a CFDA (hint: it calls for BIG high-fives and bubbly).
What was your initial reaction upon hearing Todd Snyder was nominated for a CFDA award?
"We obviously knew that the nominations were being announced that day, so we were all waiting for the call. It was actually pretty late in the day and I was convinced that we didn't get it. Not that we thought we deserved a nomination — we've only been in business for three seasons — but we had our fingers crossed. A little after 4 p.m. Todd actually burst into the room and yelled, 'We got it!' I high-fived him hard and then gave him a big hug. We got our team together and popped a bottle of champagne that we had left over from Fashion Week and then headed directly to the bar."
What do you think makes Todd Snyder such a fan favorite for the fellas?
"Quite simply, Todd's been in menswear for over 20 years. He's worked for the best in the business and is a nice guy, too. He's often too humble to say it, but I think he's one of the few designers responsible for the resurgence of American menswear, he just didn't do it under his own name until now.
"Not only does he have impeccable taste, he has an innate desire to make clothes that fit and appeal to a broad range of men."
What do you think this brand is bringing to the table that men might not be able to find elsewhere?
"The collection has been intentionally developed and styled to attract both the younger, more fashion-conscious guy, as well as the traditional luxury customer. We choose predominately Japanese and Italian fabrics and use Todd's decades of manufacturing relationships to make our clothes as fairly priced as possible. Todd's also made a concerted effort to scale the fit of the clothes so we accommodate a range of body types. Todd's from Iowa and is the smallest of three boys. We like that our clothes fit his brothers, as well as our Japanese customers."
Photographed by Kava Gorna
Tell us about your personal style. What are your top three tips any man can use?
"I've been fortunate to have worked as both a buyer and on the wholesale side, so my style has benefitted from years of acquisition. However, I think style largely has to do with what you feel comfortable in — you own the clothes, not the other way around. Since I did work for Bergdorf Goodman and Simon Spurr in the past, I have some beautiful Italian suits that I use to step things up for special events. Day to day is obviously all Todd Snyder. Recently, I've preferred our selvedge oxford shirts paired with our selvedge denim.
"My tips: 1 — Experiment with trends and brands until you find a style you feel comfortable with.
2 — Invest wisely. Shoes and suits should be as close to custom-made as possible.
3 — Accessorize. Watches, scarves, pocket squares, something around the wrist… Don't over do it, but add something."
Aside from Todd Snyder, which CFDA nominees would you like to see walk away with an award this year?
"I'd love for Simon Spurr to take home the Menswear [Designer of the Year] award. It was an honor working with him and I think he's got a bright future ahead, despite the recent setbacks."
What's been your favorite part about working with this brand? What does the future hold for you?
"Launching a brand requires deceptively hard work, and is a challenge to finance through its infancy, but the key is to love what you are doing. We are incredibly passionate about the products we produce and are hopeful that translates to the customer in the final garment. We have terrific retail partners, both in the US and Japan, that have supported us through the first year and have been fortunate to pick up new partners that we look forward to growing with.
"In the near future, I'm excited to expand the brand to Europe and further into Asia, work on developing our web presence (follow me @ToddSnyderNY), and probably opening a store or two.
"Personally, I can't wait to get back to Japan. Our trip last fall was so inspirational that we've based much of our work this year on our experience. I need to refuel."
Photographed by Kava Gorna/Jed Root