From the gunslingers of Deadwood to the suited gents of Mad Men, Janie Bryant knows how to dress men (fictional and otherwise) of certain eras. With her forthcoming collaboration with Colorado-based bespoke menswear label Inherent Clothier, the Emmy-winning costume designer isn't just helping modern men suit up in style — she's encouraging them to take charge of their mental wellness, too.
Inherent Clothier was co-founded by marketing and branding pro Taylor Draper (yup, he just happens to share a surname with Mad Men's lead character), suit designer Dace Miller, and logistics expert Ian Lee. More than just an online suit customization service, the Colorado Springs-headquartered brand partners with local and national organizations to raise awareness about depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention among men.
The brand's Bryant Draper collection with the L.A. costumer is set to arrive in November. Comprised of fall-ready wardrobe staples, the capsule features looks for everyday events and red carpet affairs alike: Think a chestnut brown chalk-striped suit "reminiscent of America's Golden Age," a classic black tux jacket, a swanky white dinner suit, a camel hair winter car coat with a pop of red, and more.
Also in the mix are sport coats in windowpane patterned-blue Irish linen and brown colorways, casual cotton button-downs, a classic pinstripe shirt with a club collar, and leather belts and footwear.
Clients can use the company's digital concierge to shop made-to-measure suits, and those in Colorado book fitting appointments at the brand's soon-to-open brick-and-mortar studio or at their own home or office. The IRL space will also host pop-up events that support the brand's goal of sparking conversations about mental health issues.
On the heels of dreaming up the wardrobes of the Mad Men cast (among many other shows and films), Bryant has had her sights set on creating a men's line of her own. But rather than be a one-time collaborator, her experience designing with Inherent Clothier led her to become a co-owner of the brand.
"This collaboration is truly a dream come true and has been years in the making for me. I love designing menswear and have been looking for the right company to partner with in this endeavor," she explains.
Draper has made it his mission to replace the concept of "manning up" with opening up about depression and mental health. During some of his darkest times, he explains how a sharply tailored suit (in addition to regular therapy and incorporating more self-care into his routine) helped brighten his outlook on life. His experience with his own confidence-boosting wardrobe inspired him to co-found Inherent Clothier.
Working with Bryant has been "an incredible experience. Janie is the kindest most joyful person I've met in the industry," Draper tells UncoverLA. "She has such an extensive knowledge of the history of menswear, cinema, and design. We worked so well together, and we were able to design the entire collection in a day's worth of work. There is such great energy between the two of us, and we were on the same page every step of the way."
Inherent Clothier's team "has such a keen eye for aesthetics, and just like me, care immensely about the quality of materials and the quality of the construction of the suit. Each piece is tailor-made to the buyer, which I love," Bryant adds."There's a lot of attention to detail that goes into making beautiful menswear, and Taylor is mindful of every design element from head to toe. I feel strongly that we have shared aesthetics and values, and a true passion to create an amazing collection of menswear."
With the Inherent Clothier CEO in town to shoot the campaign with his newfound Hollywood collaborator, we caught up with both designers to learn more about their first collection together, how L.A. inspired their designs, why they believe people should still get dressed up (even if they've got nowhere to go), and more.
Read on below and see more shots from the swanky lookbook (which was shot at a cool abode in Culver City), and shop the Bryant Draper collection when it lands online next month here.
It's fitting that Taylor's last name just happens to be the same as Mad Men's main man! On that note, were there any design details that stayed with you when you worked on the show, and how did that influence your first collection?
Janie Bryant: When I got the opportunity to become part of the Inherent Clothier family, it was learning that Taylor's last name is Draper that really sealed the deal! It was just meant to be. When I was designing for Mad Men, I was given the opportunity to create such fabulous suits for our leading men. It was such an incredible experience getting to create menswear for the men of Madison Avenue, and I'm so thrilled to be doing it again.
If there's one thing the men of Mad Men knew, it was how to look fantastic in a suit! The 1960s was an incredible time for menswear, and you'll see some elements in the collection that pay homage to that era.
Taylor, how did you connect with Janie, and can you tell us more about the conversation(s) that led to her becoming part of the company and not just a collaborator?
TD: Getting connected with Janie seemed like it was a "stars aligned" type situation. Linda Kearns, Janie's agent from Matchbook Company, read our press release from our team by happenstance and reached out to possibly do a collaboration. Janie and I got on the phone and really hit it off, she is the kindest most down to earth person.
On that phone call, Janie expressed it was a dream of hers to own a menswear company and she'd like to do more than just a collaboration. I was so excited to hear that. So we put an offer together and went from there!
Inherent Clothier is a strong advocate of mental health, and how a good suit can help boost confidence. How have you seen this in action in your own work, whether on set or with people you know?
JB: Dressing for yourself is something I find vital for your confidence. It's like magic, putting on a perfectly tailored suit — it's so empowering. When dressing actors on set, putting on the costume is often the final step of getting into character, and I cannot emphasize how important of a step it is. Getting into the character's clothes and really feeling what it's like to walk in their shoes — literally — gets the actors totally focused.
If applicable, how has L.A. influenced aspects of the collection?
JB: Both Taylor and I can be a little old school with the way we like our suits, so we turned to old Hollywood stars like Cary Grant, Clarke Gable, and Montgomery Clift for inspiration. Back in the golden age of film, men wore suits every single day, it was an incredible time! L.A. has had so much history that revolves around fashion — it would have been impossible to not be inspired by seven the littlest bit of it.
In some parts of the country, in-person events are still up in the air — why should people get suited up anyway?
JB: Getting dressed for yourself is such a mood booster! Even if you put a suit on just to work from home and run to the grocery store, you'll feel much more accomplished than if you've done the exact same in loungewear. Getting ready in the morning and putting in your suit puts you in a different headspace. Whenever I do I feel much more inspired to seize the day.
TD: People absolutely need to still get suited up whether there is events or not. Inherent Clothier is all about confidence and what that confidence can do for you. When you're feeling confident about yourself and how your presented to the world you can overcome life's obstacles like depression and anxiety. So even if you're just on zoom meetings, show your sphere of influence you still respect yourself and care for yourself by dressing well.
Can you also share more about the shoot in L.A., and the inspiration behind the Bryant Draper collection?
TD: The inspiration for the Bryant Draper Collection came from two things. Janie and I really wanted to do earth tones, and have it be a capsule collection, meaning if you only had this collection in your closet you'd be set in terms of a wardrobe. The shoot took place at an incredible home in L.A., our art director Steven was working eight hours a day for a week to find the perfect home to showcase the main pieces of the collection.
Taylor, are you a fan of Mad Men and if so, which character's style do you relate to most?
TD: Absolutely I am. The menswear in that show (by Janie) is one of the reasons I'm where I'm at today. I definitely relate to Sterling's style. It's so elegant, and the way he matches patterns is incredible.