When Tommy Ton joined Deveaux as creative director two years ago, this New York-based label was a menswear line. Today, its business is in majority womenswear. All those years shooting street style outside the shows have paid off. Ton says observation is only part of it, though; careful listening to what his friends, customers, and friends who have become customers want is also essential. He hears women ask for sleeves that cover their upper arms, pants without pleats and skirts with specific made-to-be-flattering proportions. That may sound dry, but Ton enthuses about such details. He’s not in this for the runway glory, he seems to truly enjoy the nitty gritty of making clothes. After a couple of seasons of shows in New York, Ton and Deveaux’s designer Andrea Tsao opted for a showroom presentation in Paris (pre-corona times…) for autumn-winter 2020. The attractions of this brand aren’t editorial, their efforts are aimed not at magazine pages, but at women’s everyday wardrobes. As people running a small company, Ton and Tsao are practicing sustainability by using fabrics across categories. This time that means they made a shirt dress and a poncho anorak hybrid in the same khaki shade of water-resistant cotton nylon – pragmatic for the brand and for their often on-the-road customers. The New Yorkers are really good in tactile, soft minimalism: The Row, Gabriela Hearst, Khaite and Deveaux are a gang.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.