Argentine label Ay Not Dead has always embraced a bit of an edge — its first collection was titled “Le freak c’est chic.” Founded by brothers Diego, Martin, and Noel Romero in 2003, the label is rooted in South American music and art, incorporating liberal doses of leather, laces, and splashy prints. But despite its rock undertones, the brand doesn’t skimp on wearable basics, from versatile jackets to slim-cut denim and cropped trousers. Though Ay Not Dead has four stand-alone stores in Argentina and wholesale accounts throughout Mexico, Hong Kong, England, and Sweden, spring 2011 marks its first foray into the U.S. market.
Inspired by an imaginary encounter between designer Coco Chanel and Argentine painter Xul Solar, the “Coco & Xul” collection melds recognizable Chanel elements like tweed jackets, sailor stripes, bow necklines, and menswear-inspired shirting with bold geometric prints, bright colors, and cutouts borrowed from Solar. Ranging from $40 to $150, the refreshingly affordable line is stocked at Babel Fair, Court, and Pixie Market. Click ahead to see more.