We are pleased to introduce our new correspondent from New York. Mr. Felner possesses a very profound understanding of the world of fashion. Author of a huge number of fashion reviews, he’s involved in many projects, being a correspondent to a number of renowned magazines.
Meet Jeffrey Felner! More articles from him coming soon!
Photo by Robert Presutti
What was your first job in fashion and how did you get it?
My first real fashion job was a textile designer for cheap men’s shirtings. I was fresh out of college and I wanted to work more than anything. Disillusioned by what I was trained for, advertising, I went to see a friend of my uncle who was a big deal in the men’s shirting trade. We chatted and he asked if I wanted to take a chance. I haven’t had any work experience or any skills, but I wanted to give it a try. That was the start of a 7 years learning experience, by going from novice to boss with a staff of 20 artists and being a sort of golden boy in the business having catapulted sales to a staggering 15 million dollars in 1975.
Those who work in the fashion industry are generally in love with their work. How did you fall in love?
I think I fell in love as kid. I was mesmerized by the NY Sunday Times, fashion magazines and clothes in general. Every job I ever took was a challenge as it was always something I had never done before. With all my gathered experience and my adventuresome nature I was able to never be bored.
New York is vibrant metropolis, one of the biggest fashion centers in the world. What differentiates it from the European fashion centers?
NYC’s garment center or where most brands were originally centered has changed dramatically. It differed from the Europeans as they had no specific area where showrooms were concentrated to such a great degree. We, in NYC, no longer have a long list of designers who were on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Sadly, NYC fashion is not what it was but then again fashion is at a very awkward time when hype rules rather than fashion design. In other words, like it or not the fashion business is about selling clothes which is becomes more the exception rather than the rule.
What is the most exciting thing about your job?
Without question, the most exciting part of my work is who I come in contact with; from authors to designers from all over the world. The internet has provided access to everyone and opened doors that seemed impossible 15 years ago. I am occasionally humbled by the praise I receive from the most notable of people.
Which one was your favorite men’s collection in 2016 so far? Why?
Since I am more of a classicist, I prefer those collections that are less trendy and more timeless. I am a fan of Etro and Armani even if they do seem diametrically opposed in their points of view. I was a big fan of Berlutti and Hermes but when they surrendered to trend I simply backed away.
Could you say a few words about your projects?
I am lucky enough to have a rather large web of contacts that enables me to provide interesting subjects to write about or interview. Part of why my work has garnered respect is that it is always presented in an honest straightforward way that few others seems to adhere to. I try to offer context to the present and the past.
Do you have a message to our readers?
My message to all lovers of fashion is to stay educated and not be swept up or blinded by hyped up trends. Chances are what the media is hyping has already been done but they choose to overlook those facts since apparently fashion’s memory is short.