Since its launch with a capsule collection for Fall/Winter 2012, Matthew, Alex, and Samantha Orley, the designers behind Orley had conquered the New York with it’s unique high quality knitwear design.
Orley’s New York Fashion Week debut for Fall/Winter 2014 was warmly applauded and draws large crowds for its signature aesthetic, a mix of youth and elegant, life and history. Orley has since been nominated for several awards, including 2014 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, 2015 CFDA Swarovski Award, 2015 LVMH Prize, And also for this year’s CFDA Swarovski Award.


In anticipation of the upcoming Spring/Summer 2017 men’s fashion week, we invited Orley to share with us some of their memorable experiences, inspirations and ideas.


What defines Orley?

Orley is defined by its multiplicity.  It is a combination of modernism, nostalgia, classicism and youthfulness.


Tell us something about the design process and the starting point of a collection.

It is really about intuition, doing what feels right, trying to create a mood that feels true to who we are but has an opportunity to surprise our customer and expand on the story that we have previously been telling.



What is the most challenging part of designing a new collection?

We don’t approach new collections from the perspective of a challenge, the vocabulary is simply a continuation of what we have previously been building.  Each season the story grows a little bit and evolves a little bit.


Where do you find inspiration in designing a collection?

We look at art a lot, but the influences in a single collection can be pretty disparate.  For Fall we were looking at the work of the Japanese graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo, German artists from the 20’s like Max Beckman and Otto Dix, Robert Rauschenberg.  It sort of becomes a stew of ideas that gets mixed up into something that is more about Orley than any single influence.


Orley’s collection seems always playful, elegant and feminine. The collection cross between the gender effortlessly, Is that always the part of the idea or just happen naturally?

For us it isn’t necessarily about masculine or feminine, it is just about doing something that feels true to who we are.  American menswear tends to exist within a really old school definition of masculinity that none of us really subscribe to.  I think you can be masculine without being macho, and I think being a little feminine can often be more masculine than one-dimensional masculinity.


The collection is also made beautifully and wearable. Be wearable also the important part when designing the collection? And how to keep the collection wearable and still very interesting?

We make clothes, and we make clothes that are hopefully desirable.  If we wanted to make art we would do that.  This isn’t that, it needs to have a covetability.  If it doesn’t create a real desire there isn’t a reason for clothing to exist.


As Orley grows and gets more and more popular each season, Does it make any difference? 

We are still a small company, and we work pretty tirelessly.  For us it is just about staying focused.  All of the external perceptions tend to be a distraction.



What’s the next for Orley?

We have really been enjoying growing the women’s collection.  It is something we wanted to do for a long time, and the fact that people are really responding positively to it has been great for us.


The most memorable behind the scene story?

Well we sold our first collection out of Matthew and Samantha’s apartment in the east village.  We didn’t think anyone would come to see it, but we shot a lookbook and had some great appointments, and six months later we were picked up by Bergdorf Goodman.




Any advice for young people these days wanting to get into fashion?

My two pieces of advice would be firstly to have a specialty.  Whether it is footwear or knitwear or textiles or tailoring, being really strong in one thing is better than a superficial knowledge of many things.  And then I would spend some time working for other companies.  Each company has its own processes and experiencing the different ways of working I think drastically improves designer’s skill sets.


Mens fashion month just weeks away… can you guys tell us a little bit about the upcoming collection? 

Nope!  It is a surprise.








All clothes Orley SS2016
Models: Jeremie & Paul Barry at D1 Models
Photographer: Jae Foo
Stylist: Joaquin Gregorio
Grooming: Mike Fernandez using NARS for skin, Evo for Hair
Styling Assistant: Luke Randall
Casting/Production: J+Casting