Mad Men



Sweden's Whyszeck infuses simple with sexy. By Ryan Haase


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In the swelling menswear market, reasoning can get swiftly shoved aside. With today's racks stocked with things like ostrich-skin holsters and shagreen sweatpants, it's a challenge figuring out which styles could be dashing, and which could look as foolish as an incidentally nationalist headscarf. Fortunately, brands like Whyszeck come along to remind us that sometimes the sexiest man is the one wearing a simple, well-cut shirt, or the one in a pair of lean, unadulterated jeans. "Our designs are more minimalist because the wearer should be free to express his personality--that is the most interesting part," says designer Fredrik Pira. "The clothes should aid, not take over."


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Such measured taste doesn't often come from the flamboyant fold of rock musicians. Back in 2004, when Pira and friend Christian Cerna first started Whyszeck, the name referred to their band. "Music and the surrounding subculture is full of imagination," says Pira. "There's always some movement or cultural happening to excite you." With all this creative energy swirling around them, it wasn't long before Pira and Cerna packed up their instruments and picked up some sewing machines.


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Based in Sweden, the label adopts plenty of that slick, streamlined Scandinavian aesthetic. Leather jackets arrive as bold, solid squares, uninterrupted by jagged lapels, curved hems, or any other excess shard of cloth. The shirts are crisp and succinct, with cropped little collars and expertly pruned silhouettes. "We started with the 1960s British working-class uniform," says Pira. "Then we injected a bit of that hard mod and early skinhead scene." Dark, contrasting clusters of buttons punctuate the pale striped broadcloth on one top, while black ink seeps over the electric-red of a dip-dyed sweater. A pair of slim-but-not-too-skinny trousers is rendered in sheeny nylon, and the rigid Japanese selvedge of another pant gets broken up by gentle pleats. Whyszeck understands that anyone can paste frippery on fabric and call it a trend, but only smart, wearable garments will last beyond a season to become, perhaps, staples.

For more information and availability, go to www.whyszeck.com.

Sweden's Whyszeck infuses simple with sexy.