launches exclusively at Opening Ceremony this season. For the un-initiated: the line of minimalist streetwear is designed and produced in NYC by OC alum from way back when Max Vanderwoude Gross. The cuts are streamlined and slightly cropped, and the fabrics and construction are A+. Think raw-edge pants and boxy pique polos. "We want to put out something timeless, unique, and exciting without adding unnecessary clutter," says Max.
Check out the collection here, in the Proper Gang lookbook and video trailer (with exclusive music by Brenmar
), shot by fellow OC alum Christelle de Castro
. And read my interview with Max below.
Shop all Proper Gang here
Alice Newell-Hanson: Hi Max. What's behind the name Proper Gang?
Max Vanderwoude Gross: It's a mixture of my influences and upbringing. Hip-hop and street culture are a big part of who I am. It is also about a family bond that I want to create with people who dig what we do and want to be a part of our movement. The brand is all about juxtaposition; it's a place where subcultures collide and where we create our own.
ANH: Who else is in the gang, and who would you like to initiate? Do you have an ideal customer?
MVG: I'm the founding member, then there is my homey Austin and my sister Marielle. There is also an expanding crew of Proper Gang-affiliated family. We don't have an ideal customer. If you can appreciate a piece, and it looks fly on you, then you are our ideal customer!
ANH: Do you have an initiation ceremony?
MVG: If you're lucky you will find out soon enough.
ANH: What's your fashion background?
MVG: I don't have a design background. I've worked in every other part of the industry except for design. I was actually at OC back in the day when 35 Howard Street was the only location. Those stairs in the summer—not a game. I also helped open and then worked at the previous Acne shop on Greene Street. Shout out to Nikki, Lizzy, Josette, Jasi, Jordan, Alley, Ian, Louise, and Morgan!
ANH: Who designed your logo?
MVG: The logo was a very close collaboration between myself and Marielle. She is a deeply talented graphic designer.
ANH: Can you talk a bit about the spring silhouettes and fabrics?
MVG: Our silhouettes are what we will build the brand on. We don't try to fit in with our peers, we prefer to stand apart from them. For fabrics, we look to our more avant-garde relatives and how they play with synthetics and blends. But we enjoy the classics as well. We just put our own spin on it all. There is a distinctly more European approach to our fits. We spend a lot of time developing them. The pants with their ankle-length crop are at the core of our DNA. It is not a trend thing, it is how we dress.
ANH: Long-term plans for PG?
MVG: Grow our gang slowly and carefully. Continue to work and collaborate with beautiful and talented people. Improve and evolve to make the dopest clothing out there. You all are going to love PG FW13!
Shop all Proper Gang here
Max Vanderwoude Gross
Christelle de Castro