Hailing from North Carolina, Mark McNairy is an American fashion designer born on 8th March, 1961. The fashion industry recognizes McNairy as the former creative director for the clothing company J.Press, best known its Ivy League inspired clothing. His own collection Mark McNairy New Amsterdam is counted as one of his best works.
Not much is known about when and where McNairy acquired formal education in fashion but his career began when he started working for J.Press. His job was to bring new designs into the fashion scene and invigorate the brand by launching new footwear designs. McNairy’s contribution to J.Press was an updated sportswear collection along with a new tailored clothing line in 2005. Later, he started working for Southwick, an American clothing company dealing in tailored clothing. He helped Southwick revive their brand from Massachusetts called Lawrence and reintroduce it to new customers. The brand has a fan following of men all over America for its natural shouldered look.
With a unique taste for menswear fashion, McNairy’s task was to give the seventy nine year old American brand a fresh new look and feel. In order to fulfill the task, he incorporated different fabrics and new detailing into the collection. McNairy’s special attention to detail helped Southwick gain its once forgotten glory in the ever demanding menswear fashion industry. To draw attention towards the newly reintroduced brand, McNairy also redesigned Southwick’s website. He also collaborated with Engineered Garments to create the spring / summer collection of 2009 which specifically targeted young men.
Quite recently, McNairy attempted to fly solo with his new footwear collection launched as a part of his new eponymous label, Mark McNairy New Amsterdam; the collection raved surprisingly positive reviews and paved the way for McNairy’s success in gold. In a dull, boring color ridden market, the footwear inspired by vintage English and American shoe designs was created by McNairy with a prep-chic style. All of his shoes are made in Northhamptonshire, England. The footwear collection is divided into two collections. One is the ‘Red brick soul’ which consists of chukka boots, dirty boots, loafers and saddle shoes; all created by incorporating the red brick colored shoe sole. The second group is called the New England collection which includes a mix of American and traditional English designs of formal shoes all wrapped into one.
Famous magazines and newspapers like the Washington Post, GQ, New York Times and VMen have all displayed McNairy’s contemporary designs with a traditional touch quite often. McNairy has also received much love from Japan for his outstanding work. In 2012, McNairy designed a t-shirt with a bold capital print, ‘Manifest Destiny’ for GAP. In the 19th century, Manifest Destiny was a belief held by many Anglo Americans that they were destined inheritors of the American continent. The violent colonization of people of other races at the hands of these Anglo Americans was also believed to be divinely ordained. Due to negative customer and public response, the controversial t-shirt was discontinued by GAP. Mark McNairy tried to make people understand that the idea behind his design was misunderstood but the media didn’t pay much heed to what he had to say. Despite the controversy, neither GAP nor McNairy offered an apology to the public for the offensively designed t-shirt. Today, Mark McNairy holds the post of creative director for Woolrich Woolen Mills.