A Florida native, Miguel Antoinne Wright grew up with an interest in fashion and what he described as “the fantasy of piecing outfits together.” He moved to the Big Apple with the intent of becoming a designer. After graduating from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, he took a job at Bloomingdale’s as a buyer.
“I wanted to shatter the intimidation I had of dealing with buyers by becoming a buyer myself,” he recalled. “Since a great part of my job relies heavily on instincts and intuition, I wanted to learn something more concrete like how fashion businesses are profitable.”
Armed with that knowledge, he revised the business plan he had written at F.I.T. and launched his design company. His studio is in midtown Manhattan’s garment district.
Antoinne emerges at a time when there are relatively few Black American designers and even fewer Black menswear designers. Discounting a handful of African-American celebrities who own menswear labels such as Sean Combs and LL Cool J, Antoinne is one of only three Black menswear designers to show collections during New York fashion week in the last decade. The other two were London’s Ozwald Boateng and Everett Hall of Washington, D.C., who have not participated in years.
Miguel Antoinne is a luxury designer men’s clothing brand. ~ Our commitment is to excellence. ~ We employ prudent tailoring standards in the construction of each garment. ~ Our discipline is to be meticulous in our attention to detail. ~ We understand that luxury is a privilege and that craftsmanship is everything. ~ We take a timeless approach to design. ~ We are driven by quality. ~ Fit matters. ~ Our garments are constructed from the finest fabrics from around the world. ~ Shopping online is smart, efficient, and essential. ~ We are here to serve you. Eight years have catapulted his excellence and unadulterated status.
We love that a Black man representing a luxury brand that has evolved luxury menswear. Shattering the ceiling, the myths and the whispers that lounge around the fashion industry. Its a long journey to excellence and Miguel is shifting the tide with each tailored garment he creates. My Grandmother used to say “everyone gets their day in the sun-well Miguel is beaming!
Antoinne designs for men who take care of their bodies and project strength and confidence rather than loudness and false bravado. His garments are tailored, and he cuts them slightly away from the body in a way that makes them look and feel fitted but not tight. Pieces easily can be worn as ensembles or integrated individually into an existing wardrobe: elongated, military-inspired shirts; raw-edged knit sweaters; tapered pants and calf-length shorts with ingeniously cut pockets; cropped jackets of coated linen and soft matte leather.
“Modernity was the canvas on which the collection was created,” he said. “My design aesthetic is forward but timeless.”
It’s a style that has caught the fancy of more than a few celebrities. Comedian-actor Marlon Wayans has been spotted wearing Antoinne designs, and singer Trey Songz rocked clothes by Antoinne in his “Yesterday” music video last year. Antoinne’s popularity is growing in Asia, which is sure to please his investors.
Fashion critics who went to his off-site presentation in February during fashion week—he introduced his spring 2010 collection inside the legendary Bryant Park tents last September—noted a distinctive point of view.
“There’s a sleek sophistication to Miguel Antoinne’s designs that is very refreshing and exciting,” said style editor Karyn Collins, who writes for Jet, 40-74 Magazine and other publications. “Men’s sportswear doesn’t always have such a fine sense of tailoring and detail, but I find these qualities in Antoinne’s collection. I think his line will do very well, and it won’t be long before his line is picked up by a major retailer who can give the line the exposure it deserves.”
That might be considered full circle for Antoinne, who strategically went to work at Bloomingdale’s before moving into professional fashion design just two years ago.
Miguel Antoinne has opened his first stand-alone store: a two-level boutique at 39 Wooster Street in Soho. Antoinne explained that as he began to close out some of his underperforming wholesale accounts, customers urged him to open a space of his own. “I knew it was a great opportunity for us to showcase everything we do as a brand,” he said.
The decor is minimal, with black racks of clothing lining the walls. Antoinne may have chosen to keep things simple with the interior design, but the same isn’t necessarily true for the merchandise. His collections include plenty of leather, as well as items like a silk dress in a hand-painted floral fabric. He also offers clients custom pieces, and says, “For me, every piece should be special. Every item has it’s moment.”
Some excerpts and pictures takem from Pittsburgh Courier and Essence Magazine.