Fashion brand Willem finds inspiration in the Montauk of the ’70s

A New Montauk Look Book




New menswear brand Willem trekked out to the sandy trails of Montauk for its latest campaign, highlighting this season’s collection of ready-to-wear designed by Sean McDonagh. Made for the refined, huggable urban thug who seeks solace on the shoreline, Willem’s wares range from everyday tees and Oxford shirts to statement outerwear like the Mick Motorcycle Jacket, perhaps the brand’s most coveted item, made using antique Japanese military nylon — and yours for $468.

The campaign features Wes Anderson and Spike Lee muse (and jewelry designer) Waris Ahluwalia, and South Fork fixture (and Half Gallery founder) Bill Powers, along with a secondary cast of rogue hipsters. Its imagery draws from “’70s Montauk seen through the lens of Peter Beard,” a photographer best known for his African wildlife work but whose atmospheric work on the East End, when he was a Montauk resident, helped to define the style of an era.

“I’ve been spending my summers in Montauk since I was two years old,” McDonagh recalled during a recent chat. “So, when we were choosing
a theme for our first Spring/Summer collection, the starting point for us was naturally Montauk, as some of my earliest memories come from the town and its beaches,” he said.

“For every collection, we choose a creative figure as our muse, and Beard was always an interesting and complicated character to us, and personified what we remember Montauk feeling like in its purest moments. He’s polished, while at the same time being very natural and almost organic, laid-back yet deliberate, and his focus was on preserving the special places and feelings that cannot be re-created or man-made.”

Willem products start at $50. Available at http://www.willemnyc.com.