by Jeremy Danté

PARIS – “no to racism, for the love the game” read a piece of paper that umit benan carried out at the end of his FW14 menswear runway show in paris. there was a ‘great day in harlem’ feel to the collection which was both inspired and genuinely re-created. the entire cast of male models were of black; ranging in age from young to old. the wide ranged set of designs fared well in contrast with benan’s past work, proving to be a fitting addition to his archive. completely defining classic menswear style, the idea of all-black casting is one that has become a bold statement in fashion. some question whether this is a momentary act of recognition or a mainstay. diversity across the board in fashion has been in question for the past several years. with models like naomi campbell and iman tackling the issues head on, the runway seems to be making progress. the collection presented benan signatures in both style, as well as casting. i applaud the true mark of showmanship exemplified this season, and hope that umit benan, as a label, will continue to represent diversity as it has in the past and present, as well as unbridled talent in the scope of menswear design. i loved that the collection felt a bit more pedestrian- relatable. it was down to earth, it felt familiar. the models brought about an ease, as if they had on their own clothes and it all magically happened to work together in a collection. the varsity-style letter “B” that adorned the collections outerwear brought about a feel of camaraderie, in the sense of a fraternity, or brotherhood. the message of hope, as it relates to diversifying fashion stood out, stronger than the clothes, while the clothes helped this message to be conveyed.

visit style.com for full coverage of the FW14 men’s show season
click image to view collection gallery