#FASHIONHOUSTON: What inspires menswear designer Zachary Prell?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Menswear designer, Zachary Prell was in town for his Fashion Houston presentation and yours truly had the chance to talk with him after his runway show! I love talking to menswear designers, because men's fashion really intrigues me as I feel it's something that I'm still learning, and I hope that my future hubby dresses well!! 
Fashion Designer Zachary Prell and I
What was your motivation for creating this label?
I started the line because I worked in finance for about 10 years and I could never find great fitting sports shirts that I could wear from day to evening.  Being able to wear something during the day and then put on a jacket or a sports coat at night and go out with your favorite pair of jeans was the inspiration for this line.  Having the versatility to go from day to evening.

There's so much focus on women needing to go from day to night, that I think people forget that men need to go from day to night too! 
Right! We have to have a good time too!

I'm new to learning men's fashion, so tell me more about the importance of fit for men?  
Well, we're a contemporary sportswear brand with our line sold at Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, & Nordstrom. We're a modern brand, that is meant for what I call the "V" silhouette. Our sports shirts are broader in the chest and a little leaner in the waist so they look tailored and not super casual. Our fit really runs the fitting really runs the gamut. We really want to be able to fit every guy.  We're not specific on one age group either. Our line is for that city guy who's on the go who needs a great wardrobe to support his lifestyle. Whether he's a finance dude, or he's in a  more creative field, it's a line that's for the professional who wants to look great and feel great too.

I love your video ad for the line filmed in the meat-packing district?
Yes, the concept was to be able to go from work to play, day to night, and you really see that in the video. It really shows the progression of how you can wear our product to the office, but also feel casual and cool and night.

I have to ask! Do you still do finance?
Well, for me, to be an entrepreneur you have to do it with both feet in. I launched the company out of my apartment in 2006 and we've been wholesaling for 5 years, since 2008. The first 2 years were online-only out of my apartment. I was doing all of the picking and packing myself and then we made the leap. Ha, clearly I don't have the bandwidth to still work in finance, so this is my full-time job. 

Do you miss it?
Not at all. Not at all! I work up every day really appreciative and excited that we are making clothes, that guys respond well too. They feel great in our clothes. When I see a client put something on for the first time, and he says, "Where have you been all my life"? That really feels like we're doing our job, and doing  great job.

What tips would you offer someone looking to make a full-time leap into fashion?
I think just follow your passion and do what you love! That's how I got into this. I wasn't happy with how my own clothes fit and so I decided to really do something about it and make a change. I think if there's something that you feel passionate about, and you have the kind of drive just take it one day at a time. Chip away at it. Building a brand doesn't happen over night. It's taken me 7 or 8 years and I still feel like we're in the early inning of a very long game.

Great advice! Is this your first time in Houston? 
I've been to Houston to support our retail partners for trunk shows a number of times, but this is our first time being here for Fashion Houston and it's a really big honor! 

You can find Zachary Prell's line at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom & Saks 5th Avenue.
For more information on Zachary Prell please visit the following sites:

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