The Look // Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen

“It’s certainly my most daring collection to date,” says designer Micah Cohen of the LA based menswear collection Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen. The designer has said that the Grey referenced in his collection  name is “about a balance in extremes.” For spring, that balance reveals itself in exuberant prints and tailoring with attitude. Read on for the skinny on Micah’s sartorial influences, and how he really feels about the Lakers.

DOES THE DESIGN PROCESS START WITH A THEME?

While there’s no specific theme, animal and bold abstract prints, bright colors and athletic- inspired gear are the driving design elements. Their use in the collection is definitely streetwear influenced with a mixing and mashing of the colors and prints.  When I realized the direction of the collection, it kind of brought me back to middle school when I was wearing brightly colored Starter jackets, Cross Colors and weird printed shirts.  There’s even a little grunge in there somehow.

What does this collection mean to you?

This collection was definitely my most bold.  My previous collections featured subtle color palettes but never anything resembling the loud prints and colors I used for SS13.  It’s certainly my most daring collection to date, but I think it turned out well.  So it’s given me a boost of confidence to create more directional collections.

Are there any secrets of the studio we might share?

A key fabric (editorially at least!) is the navy ikat print. It’s used throughout the collection on tops, bottoms and outerwear.  The print was also used on a gauzy fabric for a scarf and we blew up the print and used it as a backdrop for HITS, the band that played at my SS13 NY Fashion Week Presentation. The print was also featured on my favorite look from the presentation—a head-to-toe navy ikat print shirt and shorts combo with a layered tie-dye tank. Not a look for the faint of heart or for anyone who values their eyesight.

I really don’t have any ‘secrets of the studio.’ I travel to China (Guangzhou and Nantong) quite frequently to source materials and for production, but I have a pretty simple process with a small infrastructure. Design it, sample it, sell it, make it, hope someone buys it. Repeat.

What other artists have inspired you recently?

We consider Nicki Minaj an artist, right?

Since we’re sharing your spring ‘13 lookbook, what are you excited about for the new year?

I’m really excited about launching my women’s line for AW13 because as the old Spanish proverb goes, “Ladies be shopping!” I’ve had a great response to the launch of my e-commerce site in November so I’m already working on adding some great new features which will improve the overall experience. Unrelated to Shades of Grey, I’m stoked about the new Blackberry 10 OS on their N-Series device. I can’t wait to type on actual keys again. And late in 2013 (so it counts!), I’m looking forward to the next Lakers season, because this season isn’t going so well. Please resign, Dwight, please.