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Engineered Garments Fall/Winter 2023, revealed exclusively to Highsnobiety, is a tangible lesson in menswear legacy, like so many of the New York brand’s previous collections. Again, it’s steeped in founder Daiki Suzuki’s adoration of authentic, hardwearing clothing and updated with his knack for joyful exaggeration (read: big patterns, bigger silhouettes). The difference with EG FW23 is that its origins are extra personal.

Before launching Engineered Garments, Suzuki sourced vintage clothing and collectibles for Nepenthes founder Keizo Shimizu. This was back in the ’80s and ’90s, when menswear as we know it simply didn’t exist.

Vintage-obsessed Japanese shoppers craved authentic Americana and that meant trips to New York garment warehouses and California flea markets. It was on one of those mid-’90s trips that Suzuki stumbled across “tons of old magazines,” he explained in the notes for Engineered Garments’ Fall/Winter 2023 lookbook.

“The vendor was an old man who had several outdoor editions all dated from the 1910s up to the ’60s,” Suzuki recalled. “When I asked him to sell them all to me, he looked a bit sad and told me I would be buying his whole life. A part of me related with where he was coming from.”

Born in sleepy castle town Horisaki in 1962, Suzuki grew up surrounded by the bounty of nature, which in turn fostered an enduring fascination with outdoor gear. In particular, he was enraptured by the heavy duty ivy movement of the ’70s, which updated the preppy inclinations of the Take Ivy era with function-first stuff produced by brands like Red Wing, LL Bean, Sierra Designs, and Filson.

You can trace these cues through every collection bearing Suzuki’s name, whether its his work with Woolrich or the beautifully understated façade of the Nepenthes flagship store in his adopted home of New York.

Engineered Garments Fall/Winter 2023 places heavy duty ivy front and center. It’s more direct than prior EG offerings, hearkening back to the early days of Engineered Garments back in 2002.

20 years on, Engineered Garments feels no less vital. Its clothes are imminently approachable but as stylistically adventurous as ever.

Suzuki’s design team revamped the hunting jackets, wool flannel shirts, and double knee pants one would expect of the heavy duty ivy aesthetic, but they’re remixed in brilliant bird-patterned red and vivid florals or draped beneath a crochet-style poncho.

Classic tweed blazers and corduroy cargo pants are on hand for the purists, too, reflecting the balance that Engineered Garments staunchly provides year after year: exciting statement pieces anchored by reliable utility.

How does Suzuki follow a year with no less than eight footwear collaborations and a team-up with one of the world’s biggest streetwear labels?

By getting back to what he knows best, of course.
For “[Engineered Garments Fall/Winter 2023,] I return to my roots,” Suzuki said. “All the brands, products, and classic American outdoor styles I was influenced by, resurfacing and playing a role in my design process; revisiting our origins that still have their own unique place today.”