J.Sabatino Designs for Disheveled Dandies


Self-taught designer Jay Sabatino showed his collection for the first time during New York Fashion Week last month, a small presentation to debut the eight looks in his fall line. The clothing is vintage-inspired and debonair: a checked suit, a black and blue flight jacket, slim, loose-fitting pants rolled around the ankle, and more. Though he lived in New York for fifteen years working as a vintage clothing buyer and window designer — eventually becoming a display director at Barneys — he moved to Tokyo to launch his own line, J.Sabatino, in 2007. He relies on artful fabric treatments to achieve a dated, washed-out effect, a look he describes as the "disheveled dandy" or "tattered gentleman."

Sabatino's design inspiration ranges from "Charlie Chaplin in Coney Island" (spring 2010) to the 1980 movie Permanent Vacation and the music of Tom Waits (fall 2010), but the clothes are refreshingly wearable. "I design my clothing to be mixed into a guy’s wardrobe, not statement pieces," he explains. "I tell all my customers not to dress like my models in the show, but to use my clothing in their own way." J.Sabatino is sold at Opening Ceremony and Barneys Co-op. Click ahead to see more of his fall collection.