Modern Nostalgia Exposed: Abasi Rosborough SS17 “EPOCH”

New York City-based menswear label Abasi Rosborough returns this spring/summer with a collection inspired from trips to Kyoto and Tokyo that intermingles ancient and contemporary times titled “EPOCH.”

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Designers Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough’s trip to Kyoto and Tokyo led to conversations about the amalgamation of ancient and modern ideas, the preservation of natural materials, and the impact of traditional Eastern fashion not being dominated by the West.

The interior of the Tenryu-ji temple outside of Kyoto possesses architectural structural precision combined with natural unaltered materials, the luminescence of the washi paper, and the airflow through the corridors. The intention in referencing these ideas was not to simply romance them, but to bring them into everyday urban life in the cities.

The graphic print for this spring/summer season is derived from an antique dress the duo uncovered while browsing around a Brooklyn boutique. The graphic was scanned, scaled, and printed on Italian cotton canvas and linen textiles. One silhouette the graphic is printed on is the cotton canvas ARC PARKA, which has a shell framework influenced by the U.S. military parka.

“Steeped in tailoring, anatomy, functionality, and timelessness.” – Abdul Abasi

Visits to temples influenced decisions on structural fusion and updates to existing styles like the ARC DESERT SHIRT, a kimono-baseball shirt hybrid that has its interior bindings and finishes all exposed on the exterior of the garment. Italian linen was employed for the creation of this garment, in addition to the ARC ANKARA PANT.

The label unveiled a new style dubbed the ARC NORAGI, an ancient Japanese long indigo kimono assembled in deadstock viscose wool blend. In addition to the new style, the third reiteration of the ARC JACKET is displayed in the lookbook. The jacket was produced to become the epitome of progressive tailored menswear. The jacket has been designed ‘from within outward’, a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright, to accommodate the body’s anatomical needs for movement and flexibility.

The underarm and center back panels are made from cotton knit rib, the strongest and most flexible panel used to-date. The garment’s interior details (or “guts” as referred to by the A.R. team) like horsehair canvas, pockets, bindings, and chest pad stitching are exposed to illustrate the artistic integrity and vigorous technical labor behind each individual piece. The center front has a magnet closure instead of a button, and the back has an adjustable belted waist.

Their experience in Japan led to conversation, sketching, and deadstock fabric hunting for materials that felt natural, airy, and soulful; the collection came together to speak about the original idea.

Collection Standouts

ARC NORAGI $725.00

  • Viscose wool blend
  • Anatomical seaming
  • Deep, concealed side pockets
  • Inspired by antique indigo noragi styles in Japan

ARC JACKET $1,100.00

  • Tonal, striped wool
  • Pocketbags & bindings exposed
  • Exterior chest pocket (phone & sunglasses)
  • Magnetic center front closure
  • Back adjustable belt
  • Center-back panels

ARC PARKA (Shogi Print) $820.00

  • Italian cotton canvas
  • Custom ‘SHOGI’ graphic print
  • Shell framework inspired by US military parka
  • Anatomical seaming & raglan sleeves
  • Drawcords at waist & hem
  • Interior carrying straps


  • Italian linen
  • Kimono-baseball shirt hybrid
  • Exterior exposed bindings
  • Horn buttons
  • Anatomical seaming & vents

ARC HOOD $345.00

  • Cotton knit terry
  • Anatomical seaming
  • Cotton-rib knit underarms & cuffs
  • Side pockets

The “EPOCH” collection is currently available on their online store and at select stockists.

Company Overview

Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough met as classmates at FIT in New York during the mid-2000’s. Abasi was a missile and attack helicopter technician for the U.S. Army stationed in the Netherlands. Rosborough was a student-manager for the University of Arizona’s basketball team who networked his way into a team design meeting to submit his own jersey designs with Nike after he was amused with the underwhelming uniforms the historic athletic giant produced.

(via @abasirosborough)

The two dispersed their separate ways after finishing school but maintained mutual respect for one another’s unique styles which ultimately manifested in the brand’s 2013 launch. They decided that the Garment Center found on 35th street in New York City would be the local manufacturing home for newly christened label Abasi Rosborough.

The convenience of dropping in multiple times a week to check-in with the patternmakers and sewers allows for transparency and optimal quality control between both parties. The label’s key design DNA of exposing all seams and bindings are a tribute to the hard work and dreams of the cutters and sewers in these factories that go unnoticed and unappreciated.

A.R. Team: Abdul Abasi (left), Greg Rosborough (middle), & Aly Ndiaye (right) (via @abasirosborough)

One can’t mention Abasi Rosborough without the name Aly Ndiaye, a Senegalese model from Washington D.C. who became the face of Abasi Rosborough after the duo became enamored with the young model’s heartwarming personality during the label’s first collection photoshoot. Afterwards, Ndiaye chose to exclusively shoot with them for every following release after. He carries a mysterious aura that makes individuals ponder whether he came from 10,000 years ago or 10,000 years into the future.

The label strives to always push their own personal limits to alter how people visualize and conceptualize art.

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Author: Mike Doering


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