Christopher Bevans

Extreme Menswear

Much like in the world of extreme sports, emerging fashion designers often need to compete with the heavy hitters in their league in order to get the recognition and support necessary to move on to the next level and perfect their skill. The International Woolmark Competition is to fashion what the X Games are to snowboarding. First held in 1953, the Woolmark competition has been won by iconic fashion rock stars such as Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld in the past, and is now continuing the tradition of finding the most promising designers in menswear and womenswear. The competition challenges emerging designers to create designs using merino wool. This year, the winner for the U.S. Menswear Finals was Christopher Bevans, creative director and designer behind DYNE. He did not disappoint with his functional yet stylish snowboarding outfit.

As the creative director and designer behind the menswear label, DYNE, Bevans has worked with some of the most colorful names in the fashion, sports and music worlds. His initial exposure to the design world, however, was much humbler, although equally as exciting. At the tender age of 19, Bevans went from apprenticing to owning a New York tailoring business. Here he honed the tailoring skills and attention to detail that set DYNE apart from other sportswear lines. Carrying on his passion for precise tailoring, Bevans enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he learned about textiles from the owner of MOOD fabrics, Jack Sauma.

From there, Bevans’s career took off in small, powerful bursts. Thus far, he has designed and consulted with companies and industry heavyweights such as Adidas, Sean John, Marshawn Lynch, Jay-Z and even Kanye West. From 2003 to 2007, Bevans was the mastermind behind the Air Force 125th Anniversary campaign, and he also initiated Roger Federer’s RF logo. In those years of spreading his wings, Bevans earned a reputation as an expert craftsmen and tailor.

With all this experience under his belt, Bevans finally launched his own line, DYNE, to much anticipation in 2015. DYNE, which is self-described as a “liminal” brand, is meant to breach the boundaries of menswear by not limiting itself to sportswear or to everyday wear. In laymen’s terms, the line is meant to be high functioning like sportswear—comfortable, made with expertly engineered fabric, and flexible—but still stylish enough to be worn on a daily basis; the perfect combination for the fashion savvy, active city-dweller. Even DYNE’s promotional video, #UNITOFFORCE, seduces the inactive man to exercise, and the fitness guru to trade in his sweats and cut-off tees for a more metropolitan look.

Now, let’s take it from the city to the slopes. You’re hitting the trails mid-winter, when the powder is heaviest, and mother nature most feverishly rears her head with snow squalls, sleet, ice, wind, and avalanches. We’ve all heard tragic stories of people suffering serious injuries, getting lost in the mountains, and falling victim to unsuspected natural disasters during winter athletic endeavors. Still, every athlete, whether he or she admits it or not, wants to look cool while performing at the highest level, without sacrificing functionality. All sports require a certain amount of equipment that does not translate well into style; snowboarding, in particular, tends to include bulky equipment to provide the necessary protection from the elements. For the Woolmark U.S. Regional Finals, Bevans presented a full snowboarding look using merino wool, which included a water-resistant jacket that still features the characteristic tailoring for which Bevans is recognized. To allow snowboarders to be prepared for the potential natural hazards that they often face, Bevans designed the jacket with a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip. “Inspired by learning to snowboard in the 1980s – in a wool bomber jacket – Bevans designed a technical snowboard outfit, complete with an NFC chip,” explains the Woolmark write-up, “to track users in avalanches and ultimately bridge the gap between the brand and the consumer.” In a genius move, Bevans has figured out both how to keep his consumers safe, and how to bring them back to DYNE for more.

After winning the Woolmark U.S. Regionals, Bevans, along with womenswear winner, Zaid Affas, will be required to present a full capsule collection to compete in the international finals. With such a thorough look already present, it will be intriguing to see where Bevans goes for his collection, and, even more so, where athletes will be able to go with the final product.

Text Leah Tassinari