Szymon Zürn: A self-made man

"Clothes that are there to tell you something, but without shouting out their intention. Garments which are made to dress a man who creates himself and his ideas.”

Thus begins the press release for Szymon Zürn's Fall Winter 2010 collection, entitled "The Self-Made Man". It continues:

The first collection was launched for the spring and summer 2007 season. After a break Szymon Zürn is back and the dream is still intact, the goal is still the same.

I think at this point, a short video, "Work on It", based on that first collection, is appropriate:

Szymon Zürn, Summer from Szymon Zürn on Vimeo.

"I'm not afraid to go in it.This was the first collection I made after finishing fashion school. All the money I had saved up I put in production! My parents shook their heads and told me that it would be more smart to put it in the bank."

"After presentation the company received a lot of positive press! I'm most proud of the article that was published in Bon Magazine, written by Aleksander Kovacevic. Feedback from retailers was also very positive . But none of them had the balls to actually take the risk and buy the collection. I was yet an un-established trademark. So now I had no cash. And no idea what to do."

There is a personal history (marketers may call it "personal mythology") to Szymon Zürn, the label. I guess that is what first drew me to investigate. But returning to the Fall Winter 2010 collection:

With his present collection, he is painting you a portrait of a Swedish entrepreneur by the name of Anders Wall. How he danced all the way from the bottom up to the wealth. Szymon Zürn wants to make us remember that there are garments that can tell us things, that can express a dream, that can make us become what we want to be.

We can begin with absolutely nothing and stop right where we want.

00 Chris Gardner jacket

Above is the "Chris Gardner" jacket, which is available for pre-order from Zürn's Fall Winter 2010 collection. By this time it is obvious that associations are intentional. Some may find it superfluous, but I always appreciate a story behind things, even if it is unexpected to read about the varied providence of inspiration for clothes. But for Szymon Zürn, it even goes several levels deeper than that. But before proceeding to Fall 2010, let us look at the delicious offerings for the current season, Spring 2010.

01 Complicated shorts

These tan-colored shorts are made of suede. Suede! If women can have their shiny leather shorts, it's about time we get our fair share. I love its length and cut, the garter, the suede drawstring, and the pockets. Yes, you've guessed it: this pair also has a name: "Complicated". Complicated? For shorts?

The inspiration: 'Most men, they'll tell you a story. It won't be complicated, but it won't be interesting either.' (Edward Bloom, 'Big Fish'). Made in Poland by a talented craftswoman

02 Cut Corners chinos

The highlight for me for these "Cut Corners" chinos is the back panelling and of course, the pockets.

The inspiration: 'I had to cut corners in order to look good.' (Bilial, 'Cutting Corners') 100% cotton chinos made in Portugal

03 Growth shorts

Of course, if you are not yet ready for suede shorts, you can start with cotton pair in the same cut, "Growth", with a suede drawstring.

The inspiration: 'It occurred to me then, that perhaps the reason for my growth was I was intended for larger things. After all, a giant man can't have an ordinary-sized life.' (Edward Bloom, 'Big Fish')

04 Le Bleu tee

This "Le Bleu" shirt appears as the most simply named, but guess again.

The inspiration: 'What's it feel like when you dive?'
Jacques: 'It's a feeling of slipping without falling. The hardest thing is when you're at the bottom.'
Johanna: 'Why?'
Jacques: 'Cause you have to find a good reason to come back up…and I have a hard time finding one.'
(Jacques, 'Le Grand Bleu')

Gotta love the silhouette. Made in Italy from single jersey tricot, cotton

05 Out Here shorts

The shorts but in a boxy fit and in a gray, "raw construction type of fabric", but now named "Out Here".

The inspiration: 'Stop fucking around and be a man. there ain't nothing out here for you…' (Nas, 'Illmatic')

06 Tender Trap sweater

The cut of this gray melange "Tender Trap" sweater is gorgeous, with its 3/4 sleeves and curving front and back.

The inspiration: 'You're hooked, you're cooked, you're caught in the tender trap.' (Frank Sinatra, 'Tender Trap'). Made in Italy from unbrushed sweatshirt cotton

So clearly, I was also expecting something surprising with Zürn Fall Winter 2010 collection. Below are initial lookbook images starring the designer himself.

07 Lookbook 01

07 Lookbook 02

07 Lookbook 03

07 Lookbook 04

07 Lookbook 05

07 Lookbook 06

07 Lookbook 07

07 Lookbook 08

07 Lookbook 09

07 Lookbook 10

07 Lookbook 11

07 Lookbook 12

Szymon Zürn, Summer from Szymon Zürn on Vimeo.

Here is a behind-the-scenes clip.

Szymon Zürn, Winter from Szymon Zürn on Vimeo.

And here is another video, but on Szymon Zürn's Fall Winter 2008 collection, which utilizes beautiful materials and is uncompromising on cut.

With all these excellent visual aids that boosts customers' experience of the brand, I am wondering why the label has released another lookbook for Fall Winter 2010 that is both disoriented and too arrogant for its own good.

Stories only go so far, and they always have to be substantiated by the clothes. Though I am hoping, this must only be a PR slip.