Michelle Obama-Approved Designer Wes Gordon Hits "It Boy" Status At Age 25

Michelle Obama-Approved Designer Wes Gordon Hits "It Boy" Status At Age 25
Fashion designer Wes Gordon
(Courtesy Getty Images)

Before designer Wes Gordon was getting mobbed by fashion fans at his presentations, he was engaging in an activity typical to New York newcomers in their early 20s: desperately looking for an apartment, and venting about it on the Internet.

“I was soon reminded that New York real estate hunting is part game, part adventure, and part hell,” Gordon wrote in December 2010 for the Daily Front Row, where he contributed to the Chic Report column. “We looked at what felt like every single available property in Manhattan.”

Three years after his arrival in New York, Gordon’s housing situation has long been solved, and he certainly doesn’t have time to blog about it. In January, the 25-year-old won Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award for his ready-to-wear lines (he had shown three up to that point). Michelle Obama walked the red carpet at the Kids’ Choice Awards in one of his houndstooth jackets. And on Tuesday, the New York Post announced to its readership that Gordon is the new “It Boy” of fashion.

After growing up in Georgia, where he dabbled in dressmaking for his debutante friends, Gordon left for Central Saint Martins, the school made famous for training the likes of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. He studied with Tom Ford, graduated, and not long after his arrival in New York, debuted his first collection, in September 2010. The conditions were not particularly glamorous: he showed in a hotel room at the St. Regis, at 9 a.m., during the brunt of a blizzard. Still, the turnout was impressive — no lesser arbiter of taste than Oscar de la Renta showed up to check out the clothes.

At this point, the “It Boy” status may be deserved. Gordon’s aesthetic is fully formed, refreshing, and elegant. There’s no posturing toward the perverse — if anything, his subversion comes from a conservative touch, albeit one that refuses to let the clothes look stuffy. The frenzy at his fall/winter 2012 presentation in New York caused a security guard to say, “That’s probably what Justin Bieber feels like all the time.”  

When Gordon tells the Post he wants to open a boutique on Madison — where Proenza Schouler landed after relentless courtship from SoHo — it’s nothing shocking. It will probably happen.

And in August, the Coveteur took a camera into the Bowery loft Gordon eventually decided was home. The place is a deluge of crisp vintage and color, its nooks stuffed with Corgi socks, Prada shirts, Hermes ties, and Cartier watches — not to mention bottles of Veuve Cliquot, cheeky drink coasters, hotel matchbooks, silver serving trays, a copy of “Lolita,” and a few human skulls. His apartment problems have apparently been solved.