For most of its life, NYC-based brand 3sixteen has been known for one thing: denim. Though the label started out with a line of tee shirts, in its 13 years of existence it has become one of the most recommended names for those looking to get their feet wet in the world of raw denim. From the reasonable price point to the proprietary fabric woven by Japan’s prestigious Kuroki Mills, the brand has been positioned for success from the beginning, and its partnership with iconic denim retailer Self Edge has solidified it as a cornerstone of the modern raw denim market.
3sixteen, though, has released some great non-denim collections in the past. With an emphasis on quality fabrics and heritage workwear, the brand has a defined aesthetic that perfectly complements its denim. The new collection for Fall/Winter 2016, though, takes the look in a bit of a new direction. The focus this season seems to shift dramatically away from the denim, instead showcasing shirts, accessories, outerwear, and footwear. The jackets and shirts are decorated with some refreshing patterns, like a bold camouflage Type III jacket and a floral print short sleeve workshirt. Indigo appears on the outerwear as well, but in more forms than the tried-and-true denim jacket. The highlight of the collection on that front is a work jacket made of indigo-dyed sashiko fabric, whose raised texture gives the appearance of a subtle quilted pattern from afar.
The brand is also stepping up its leather offerings this season by partnering with Canadian bootmaker and fan-favorite Viberg. 3sixteen has chosen Viberg’s two most popular silhouettes, the Service boot and the Scout boot, for the collaboration, releasing two iterations of the Service boot and one of the Scout. The former comes in a brogued captoe and plaintoe version, the first finished with a stacked leather sole and the second with a Dainite one. The Scout boot, though, is admirably louder than the other two. The upper is constructed of a beautiful blue roughout suede and sits atop an aggressive Vibram Gloxi-Cut wedge sole. The result is an attention-grabbing but versatile shoe that is functional as well as fashionable.
3sixteen’s site states that it is a denim company first and foremost. This season’s diversification, though, is certainly welcome. Releasing riskier seasonal and collaborative garments while continuing to offer the non-rotating core product allows the brand to expand its creative horizons and to develop its aesthetic without alienating a core group of customers, and if this season is any indication of things to come it will be well worth keeping an eye on 3sixteen.
What do you think of 3sixteen’s F/W 2016 collection? Let’s hear it here or on Twitter @BillChangNY