Even before Covid hit, Lambert conceived Factor as a reaction to the ultra-thin, overly picky men’s aesthetic that had long been embraced. (The name speaks to every little detail that goes into a finished garment, and the apostrophe is a nod to Atlanta’s iconic Muse’s store, which was the first in town to stock Polo.) At Sid Mashburn, Lambert says, “We all have custom made clothes day, every day. We didn’t really send anyone out the door with anything. We were in a world very well designed to the point of becoming lean. It was a world where guys knew the measurement of the hem openings of their pants down to eighths of an inch.
Lambert started to go the other way. An obsession with Yves Saint Laurent mid-1970s suits – aggressive shoulders, flowing pants – began to permeate her everyday wardrobe. He started grabbing costumes off the rack and wearing them as is, “as Sid designed them, almost like a statement, like, ‘It’s a seamless garment.’
Lambert is still obsessed with proportion and form, but only in the most important places. “What I’m trying to do is adapt the structure of a body, that is your shoulders and your face, with the best possible quality and the narrowest shoulder, and then let it drape naturally, ”he says. When he was directing trunk shows for Sid Mashburn, Lambert would be heard using terms like “waist removal”: everything was in the service of a clean, aggressive line. Now he describes the jackets and pants as “soft”, “long” and “drooping”.
Fortunately, the look isn’t all about the attitude. As skateboarders around the world have discovered, a more relaxed silhouette means your garment will have a longer life. Which sounds great when talking about a Carhartt jacket, and even better when talking about a handmade ivory canvas blazer. “People can wear this garment harder,” Lambert says. “Because when you have skinny clothes, they don’t last.”
What is not part of the 23-piece collection is almost as remarkable as what is. There are no ties and not a single patterned fabric. “There were enough of them there, you know?” Lambert said. Instead, there’s a Lewis Leathers horse-leather blazer, with matching pants that Lambert describes as “$ 2,000,501”. (Sick!) There are also oversized oxford shirts, buttonless jackets, custom playboy derbies made with venerable punk shoemaker George Cox, and mesh socks inspired by LL Bean underwear designed for 60s fishermen. (Who needs ties when you have mesh socks?)
As the Sid Mashburn empire has spread across the country, filling the J.Crew-shaped void in the closets of young professionals, the brand has proven that people will pay a high price for clothes that exactly match. whatever they want, whatever their specificity. Lambert is betting that in 2021 those same customers will pay even more – Factor’s clothing is sold separately; blazers start at $ 2,350 – to give up some of that control and step into your own aesthetic universe. But since Lambert wants his musician and bartender buddies to join in on the action, you can also go to his showroom and purchase a pair of custom Ben Davis chinos. They cost $ 50 and are only available in black, and Lambert will pin them and adapt them with Factor’s iconic stovepipe leg as if they were $ 650 wool and mohair pants.
Lately, Lambert says he’s noticed a lot more of Ben Davis’ signature red gorilla spots around Little Five Points. But for now, he says, “we don’t intend to chase the numbers. Hope that is the case as long as we can go.
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