To kick off New York’s Fashion Week on Thursday, Los Angeles–based brand Band of Outsiders took style out into the streets: for his fall 2013 menswear presentation, designer Scott Sternberg sent two models out on a 12-hour scavenger hunt around Manhattan. “For me, it feels so silly to do a runway show for menswear, so that opens the field for imagination,” Sternberg said. He followed models Matt Hitt and Miles Garber around the city on a translucent flatbed truck—a command center that held Band’s new collection and a portable photo studio--to capture the boys (and the collection) in the midst of competitive fury.
Starting bright and early, both models were greeted at their respective apartments, where they had to exchange their phones for a pair of clean white underwear. “I put them on my head,” said Garber, a 22-year-old model from Los Angeles. With that auspicious start, they proceeded to scramble around Manhattan, following a series of clues that led them from meeting up with famed Momofuku pastry chef Christina Tosi to grabbing Shake Shack burgers for comedian Aziz Ansari and culminating at the brand’s after-party at The Monkey Bar. “The worst clue was getting a Woody Allen clue and being 22,” Garber explained of the day’s troubles, “I know who [he] is, but I don’t know him that well.” Garber’s friends even played along remotely. “Lol'ing at the fact that band of outsiders is making my buddy miles run around nyc for fashunz,” one pal tweeted. Sadly, the social-media support wasn’t enough to save Garber from losing out to his competitor (and good friend), Hitt.
But the real winner here is Sternberg, who’s been experimenting with alternative fashion-show presentation formats for the past few seasons. Sternberg says that his recent shows are “sort of my childhood fantasies come to life.” Over the summer, he placed a model in the window of an anonymous Paris gallery for 60 hours and live-streamed the whole thing over the Internet, to much acclaim. Yesterday’s extravaganza proved to be an equally viral smash, with many of his fans trading commentary about the scavenger hunt on Twitter. “The latest @bandofoutsiders #mattvsmiles clue is at GQ headquarters. I am stuck in class twenty blocks away. God. Damnit,” tweeted Band fan Andrew Craig. Sternberg reasons: “You can’t pay for that with an ad.”
See highlights from the Band of Outsiders scavenger hunt below:
And they’re off! Look 1. #mattvsmiles. (at Bryant Park)
Clue 2: Growing up it is likely with these blocks you did play, and now it is time to be a kid for a day. Snap to it in color and if things go your way, you’ll leave with a version of you good enough for display. #mattvsmiles. (at Bryant Park)
Hello Union Square: Game Control has moved and Player 2 has arrived first. #mattvsmiles, #nyfw. (at Union Square Park)
Queen Tosi and the Players. #momofuku, #mattvsmiles. (at Momofuku Milk Bar)
Clue 9: Things are getting dangerously delicious at the Comedy Cellar. Aziz is hungry and declared that it’s favorite-meal-eating weather. So duck into parm and sandwich Little Italy and NOLA together, or grab him a burger from the shack where the lines take forever. #mattvsmiles, #polaroid, #throwbackthursday. (at Union Square Park)
Player 1 gets there first! Thanks to our bud @azizansari for being a part of the game and hosting tonight’s party. #mattvsmiles, #shakeshack. (at Comedy Cellar)
Clue 10: You’ve scavenged and hunted and said plenty of cheese, now it’s time to cross the finish and do as you please. Find the bar that’s more fun than a barrel of chimpanzees. If you’re a friend of Graydon, getting in is always a breeze. #mattvsmiles, #nyfw, #lastlook. (at Union Square Park)