It was kind of a shock this past summer when news hit that Band of Outsiders would be making a comeback after shuttering the year before. Well, apparently the grand return didn’t go so well.
WWD is reporting that the team instated by CLCC SA (which now owns BoO) has been ousted, and that its one collection (Spring 2017) will not go into production. A new team, including Daniel Hettmann as the new brand director, and Angelo Van Mol designing, has already been hired. Their first collection will be Fall 2017, and it will focus on menswear.
CLCC’s managing director Antony Verbaeys told WWD that the brand would be returning to its California-preppy look. “The West Coast vibe is an essential element of our brand’s character and positioning. As such, everything we do will continue to reinforce and expand upon this core element,” he said.
For reference: CLCC SA is a Belgium-based company. The team hired for the first re-boot was comprised of Belgian-based designers. Hettmann and Van Mol are also based in Europe. BoO’s founder, Scott Sternberg, who is from the West Coast, is not involved. No one involved in either reboot is from the West Coast.
There is no doubt that the designers hired are talented. But one of the biggest challenges of rebooting a brand without its founder (especially one with such a distinct niche style) is to find a team that can either seamlessly carry on without disruption, or one that can facilitate an effective identity overhaul. The bizarre middle ground of wanting to cling to the original aesthetic (while not completely understanding it), but also go in a different direction results in BoO’s Spring 2017 lineup, which was simply deemed an underwhelming “good enough.”
“Instead of riffing on the quirky prep aesthetic established by Sternberg (which is surprisingly relevant again), the new Band designers pushed aside that prep perspective almost entirely, and took up with streetwear instead, which made for an almost painfully predictable experience,” wrote FU reviewer and contributing editor Brittany Adams.
At any rate, the newest iteration of Band of Outsiders will debut during men’s fashion week in Paris in January. So, get ready for that.