Good brands know they have to expand their business, but great ones do it without compromising the ideals that got them there in the first place. In the span of a year, Washington, DC-based designer Read Wall has transformed his shirting company into a full lifestyle collection. When we first discovered RCP, Wall had a steady selection of tees and button-downs. Renaming the brand under his own moniker, the label's just-launched website now boasts slim chinos and shorts, ties and waxed jackets perfect for early fall.
Which is ideal, since the items are slated to ship in late September. You may remember a portion of his proceeds went towards supporting African education. This social responsibility continues in the brand's new iteration—working with Books For Africa to distribute books to children. We checked in with Wall to get his thoughts on his favorite pieces, American style and the brands he likes to buy.
Wilson wax jacket, $475
The bright orange wax jacket stands out, of course, but I've been rocking the navy version most of the summer since there are thunder storms pretty much every night here in DC. The new neckwear is really crisp, too—I like the hula girl as a nice "go-to-hell' piece and, being a huge LSU football fan, I had to make the purple bengal tie.
University stripe oxford, $175
To me, it doesn't mean pushing the boundaries, it means doing what we do better than anyone else—or at least trying to—which is kind of what America is all about, anyway. My particular interpretation is pretty heavily influenced by Ivy League style of the '50s and '60s and what was called 'preppy' back in the day. It's a lot about attitude. Dressing up just enough so you can get away with more shenanigans.
The two modern designers who I really look up to are Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders and Michael Bastian. Band just nails the feel of how clothes should be worn—everything is casual but kind of uniform. There's something inherently preppy about wearing really nice clothes in such a nonchalant way, like the clothing version of a beat-up old Mercedes SL convertible.
Available for pre-order
at Read Wall