When it comes to designer collections, our eyes are bigger than our wallets. So, while us guys would love to be rocking every Todd Snyder piece this fall, there was always that damn Time Warner bill. That’s where the Gap and our friends at GQ have come to the rescue. GQ enlisted their 2012 Best New Menswear Designers to create capsule collections for the iconic American retailer with near flawless results. Ian Velardi, Todd Snyder, Saturdays Surf, BLK DNM, Ovadia & Sons, and Mark McNairy New Amsterdam prove why they were anointed the top of the heap by adding their own spin to this limited-edition collab with Gap. Trust us, you’ll want to wake up early on September 27 when it launches to snatch those Mark McNairy camo cargo pants at your local Gap (or, if you're not into trying anything on, online).We were on hand Tuesday night to celebrate the launch at Pier 40, where even a near monsoon didn’t stop the titans of the menswear world and an errant Lonely Boy (Penn Badgley) from stopping by. When Gap's executive vice president of merchandising told us the brand was trying to “step up their men’s game,” he wasn’t kidding around. We took a few minutes to chat with the designers to get some styling tips, their fave Gap buys, and why Mark McNairy doesn’t want Justin Timberlake wearing his clothes. Plus, we've got an exclusive look at Mark's Gap video — and, obviously, a slideshow featuring the entire range. Click through to see what you're scoring first (note, women can get involved, too!). Which celebrity would you most like to see wearing your collection?
Mark McNairy: “That’s very difficult.”
Ian Velardi: “John McEnroe.”
Morgan Paige: “I think it would be cool to see Willam Dafoe wearing Saturdays.”
Todd Snyder: “I mean, Paul Newman.”
Shimon Ovadia (Ovadia & Sons): “Carey Grant, Clarke Gable, Frank Sinatra. None of the new movie stars, they don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
What about the male celeb you'd least like to rock your duds?
Mark: “Justin Timberlake, 'cause I used to love him, but now I don’t anymore since he won’t make a fucking record.”
Ian: “Justin Bieber.”
Morgan: “Anyone can wear Saturdays!”
Todd: “Who’s the guy that did The Wrestler? Mickey Rourke. Yeah, old Mickey Rourke. I’d love to see young Mickey Rourke wearing my collection.”
Shimon: “I’m going to pass.”
Double-breasted suit, can every guy wear it or is it only for the sartorially inclined?
Mark: “Almost every guy can do it … almost.”
Ian: “Sartorially inclined.”
Morgan: “The sartorially inclined.”
Todd: “No, every guy should wear it. It hides a lot.”
Shimon: “Every guy can wear it as long as it’s the right fit.”
What inspired you during NY Fashion Week?
Mark: “My show.”
Ian: “Not being here, I was in New Orleans.”
Morgan: “Watching my girlfriend’s [Jenné Lombard] Fashion Week 'Made' just do the most incredible things and launch some incredible designers.”
Todd: “It was the first time I went to Fashion’s Night Out. It was like the Mardi Gras of fashion.”
Shimon: “Seeing the J. Press collection that we designed come to life.”
Who would you rather dress, Ryan Lochte or Michael Phelps?
Mark: "I don’t give a shit."
Ian: “Ryan Lochte because I hung out with him in Vegas.”
Morgan: “Phelps (laughs) I just saw Lochte.”
Todd: “That’s a tough one. I think Michael Phelps because he is a little older.”
Shimon: “Michael Phelps.”
What items from Gap would you pair with your collection to get the perfect high/low look?
Mark: “Pick up what’s on the floor beside your bed.”
Ian: “The Gap is the most iconic American sportswear brand. If they added some more tailored clothing it would be a home run with my stuff.”
Morgan: “A lot of the fleece and the oxfords are cohesive with what we do and the Gap does it so well. It’s a nice bridge.”
Todd: “The pocket tee. It’s the quintessential American piece that every guy owns and they kind of invented it.”
Shimon: “Stick to the basics. The V-neck sweaters, turtleneck sweaters, cardigans, and they have a nice slim fit chino.”
What was one item you wanted to bring to the men across America via the GQ + Gap collection?
Ian: “The unconstructed tailored suit. It was one of the first things I designed.”
Morgan: “For us, the waxed canvas bomber jacket was a big piece so we are excited to push that out there.”
Todd: “It’s kind of unique because I used to work there, so this is very full circle. I wanted to bring a designer point of view. Pushing the envelope a little and brining luxury that’s rooted in their classic American style.”
Shimon: “I wanted to make the fleece with the big arch 'GAP' on it, but they didn’t need me for that. I wanted to bring our line to a more mass market audience.”
What should every man have in his closet?
Mark: “A shit load of my shit.”
Ian: “Clean underwear.”
Morgan: “A good pair of chinos.”
Todd: “One great suit.”
Shimon: “A navy blue knit tie.”
And what should a man not have in his closet?
Mark: “I’m not gonna answer that.”
Ian: “Dirty underwear.”
Todd: “Square toed shoes.”
Shimon: “Any blazers with super skinny lapels.”
Photo/Video: Courtesy of Gap