Paul Stuart’s First Wholesale Collection Has a Rat Pack Vibe

Forty years before George Clooney stepped into the role of Danny Ocean in the 2001 remake of the film “Oceans 11,” Frank Sinatra was the epitome of cool.

So this spring, Javier Suarez, creative director of men’s shoes and accessories for Paul Stuart, is channeling the “Chairman of the Board” and his Rat Pack gang for the retailer’s first wholesale collection.

“It was a time of effortless style,” said Suarez, who turned to the original 1960 movie for direction. “It was an attitude, when streetwear was about casual elegance and style.” He compares it to today’s interpretation that focuses on athletic and sportswear.

Javier Suarez Paul Stuart
Designer Javier Suarez
CREDIT: George Chinsee

Suarez is reinterpreting classic footwear styles of the era such as the Venetian moc. This time around, the designer does it both casually in suede with a rubber bottom and more formally with a metal bit trim.

Paul Stuart Spring 2019
Paul Stuart Venetian moc for spring ’19
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

While Sinatra and his fellow Las Vegas icons preferred suiting up, their contemporary — and fellow trendsetter — Steve McQueen was known for his sporty weekend wear.

Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen in 1960.
CREDIT: Kobal/Shutterstock

“He was a rebel guy with a lot of personality,” said Suarez, who pays homage to McQueen with the Game, a white calf and suede shoe with a natural-color cup sole.

Paul Stuart
Paul Stuart’s Game sneakers for spring ’19.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Suarez, whose résumé includes work at Ferragamo and Bally, joined Paul Stuart this past year and was tasked with the development of a more modern collection of footwear that still holds to the brand’s roots.

“The history of Paul Stuart is classic with a European twist,” Suarez told FN in an interview earlier this year. “However, we don’t want to get too fancy. It’s not about over-design.”

Previously, the label only sold its footwear direct to consumer through its global boutiques, but starting in spring ’19, it will begin wholesaling shoes through outside retail partners.

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