Designer by Necessity feat. Waraire Boswell

April 11th, 2014

Through Articles of Style I’ve had the opportunity to meet many fashion designers, and get up close and personal with a lot of menswear collections.

Waraire Boswell is my new favorite designer. Not only because he has great story and a sharp eye for style, but also because he’s one of the coolest and humblest guys I’ve met in the fashion industry.

Boswell, a native of California, became a designer out of necessity turned opportunity. Entering high school he was five foot eight. Three months later he grew to six foot three. That’s seven inches in three months, or 2.3″/month. He eventually topped out at a very slim and long 6’7″. While the height certainly helped his hoops game – Boswell attended Cal State Northridge on a basketball scholarship – it also left him with an obvious problem. There were no clothes that fit him, and Boswell is a man of style.

He started his professional career at United Talent Agency and William Morris Agency, two of the most prestigious talent agencies in Hollywood. As a talent agent, you wear a suit every day. And how it look matters. So out of necessity, Boswell began to dabble in custom trousers, then shirts, then suits. It wasn’t long before the agents took notice of Boswell’s unique sense of personal style, and his attention to detail. His apparel became so prevalent amongst his colleagues and associates that he eventually parted ways from the agency and began making custom menswear full-time, all made in Los Angeles.

As his popularity increased amongst the agents, word eventually spread to their clients. Soon he was making suits for celebrities such as Oliver Stone, Ashton Kutcher and Ryan Gosling. With a speciality in tailoring for the tall & slim physique, Boswell also accumulated a deep roster of star athlete clients, including: LeBron James (this burgundy tux was his), Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, Matt Kemp, Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia, Carl Crawford, and the list goes on.

We got together with Boswell at his studio in downtown Los Angeles to hang for an afternoon and share with you a taste of his highly celebrated personal style.

1. Suit Sweats Harmony

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“This is a classic look brought to contemporary standards. The dark Brown linen jacket, black Irish plaid shirt (w/red buttons), multi windowpane pants, red velvet slips – all colorful and harmonious in their blend.

I have long been a fan of runners (pants).  The Boswell version adds an elegant touch to a perennially athletic staple… I am glad that the Articles of Style crew is capturing this, so your readers can trace back and see the first person to do the runner under the guise of a suit fabric.”

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This Fall Boswell is looking to spin-off his success in the custom business with a beautifully designed ready-to-wear line.

He’s starting by creating some buzz with a series of collaborations dropping later this month:

  • Waraire Boswell x Garrett Leight glasses: 4/20-25/2014
  • Boswell x Del Toro: 4/20-25/2014
  • Boswell x Grungy Gentleman: 4/20/2014
  • Boswell X Grover: 5/1/2014
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  • Custom Chocolate DB by Waraire Boswell ·
  • Custom Black Irish plaid Shirt by Waraire Boswell ·
  • Custom Beige Plaid Pants by Waraire Boswell ·
  • Red Velvet Slippers by Boswell x Del Toro

2. Hollywood Glamour

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“I’ve had this suit for 10 years, but it looks and fits as if I made it yesterday. This is a living testament to quality, great fabric, vision, and precision. My inspiration for this suit was: what would Patrice Lumumba wear to a meeting with Gianni Agnelli (in the late 60’s, early 70’s)?

The white shirt is a staple, accompanied by the monogrammed velvet slips, it’s just enough… When creating hallmark pieces, always create them along with staples and basics to pair them with.”

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True story: we shot this look on the roof of the Ace hotel in downtown LA on a Tuesday morning. After Alex got the shots, we grabbed a cappuccino to-go at the Ace coffee bar on street level. The young woman manning the register was very sweet, but a little overly complimentary to Waraire and I that it was almost embarrassing. After a borderline group applause for good tailored style in LA, we randomly bumped into Jim Nelson (the editor-in-chief of GQ) who happened to be having breakfast in the same place and noticed Boswell’s suit (and probably all of the positive attention).

Moral of the story: dressing well opens doors and can make introductions.

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  • Tortoise Shell & creme Sunglasses Garrett Leight x Waraire Boswell ·
  • White Woven Shirt by Waraire Boswell ·
  • Navy Velvet Slippers by Boswell x Del Toro
  • · Dusk Brown Tweed Suit


Cigar Linen Suit

3. West Coast Casual Cool

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“This is my every day non-suit look. The henley is one of my staples, it’s often the foundation of my outfit. This particular henley is from the BOSWELL X Grungy Gentleman collaboration, available April 15th.

The sweater is easy, casual and invisible in plain sight. The runners have an added elegance with the satin tuxedo stripe on the side… And the common projects top it off.”

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For a little more on Boswell, check out WaraireBoswell.com, and watch his episode of ‘How of Rock It‘ on Esquire Network.

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  • Black Sweater by BOSWELL basics ·
  • Black Henley by BOSWELL X Grungy Gentleman ·
  • Tuxedo Runners by BOSWELL basics ·
  • White Sneakers by Common Projects

 

Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Boswell for participating!

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

 

Photography by Alex Crawford 

Photos from this shoot are now added to the Articles of Style Style Guide