Designer Todd Snyder Talks Summer Style, Creativity, and His New Store at Rockefeller Center
Take one step into Todd Snyder’s well-manicured world of classic Americana-by-way-of-New York, and you realize you might need your passport. There’s a global sensibility to Todd’s work that can easily traverse from Iowa to Ibiza (perhaps with just a shoe swap), a nod to his career in fashion that has taken him to far-flung places.
“I came from the Midwest, and in my career, I’ve traveled the world — from Europe to Japan and back to [Iowa],” Snyder tells The Center Magazine. “But ultimately, I want to bring it all home and make everything comfortable and have people feel like they’re part of this big community.”
He plans to do just that with his recently opened storefront at Rockefeller Center, the fifth jewel in his crown of outposts across New York and Connecticut (with two more on the way). Guests can anticipate a warm, cosmopolitan experience filled with the nostalgic, vintage markers that make the Todd Snyder experience so singular. We spoke in-depth with the designer about Rockefeller Center, his travel-fueled creativity, and how to pack for a busy summer travel schedule.
New Store, New Stories
Opening a store in Rockefeller Center is a full-circle moment for Snyder, who visited the landmark as soon as he first moved to New York City in the early 1990s. To him, the prospect of seeing his business among the other mega-brands that populate the campus is still surreal. His store is the latest in an effort to bring in a mix of downtown and Brooklyn businesses to the iconic midtown Manhattan retail hub, engineered by his friend, the designer and entrepreneur Jenna Lyons. “The concept seemed super innovative, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it,” he says about the opportunity.
Patrons can expect a true expression of the Todd Snyder brand, including interiors evocative of early 20th century homes — three different rooms with their own signature colors (one being a hue dubbed “Todd Snyder olive”) — and elements of London’s Saville Row gentlemen’s shops. “I like to think of my stores as clubhouses or gathering places to foster community,” he says. No membership is required, though. For Snyder, “It’s an expression of the things I love.”
Snyder’s Global Style
With the renewed sense of wanderlust felt by so many, Snyder’s latest collection is a hit parade of travel-inspired pieces meant to transport customers. “It’s been such a creative time for me, I can really focus my energy on the output,” says Snyder. “And now we’re all ready to go places again.” From camp collar shirts emblazoned with “Havana Car Club,” to patchwork indigo shirts undoubtedly inspired by the Japanese tradition of indigo dying, to sleek Italian seersucker jackets, you could almost feel the (blissful) jet lag from imagining the looks you can put together. Though the clothes feature nods to some of his favorite places, the silhouettes are streamlined and have a lot of mileage on them. “Just because a piece is bringing you to Palm Beach or Capri, it doesn’t mean you change your persona or style.”
Cool (and Contemporary) For the Summer
With a summer filled with travel again, we asked Snyder about how to dress well and effectively, even when you’re on the go. He says the key is to make sure you’re packing great basics you can take everywhere, and then changing little details of your looks based on where you’re going (atmosphere, temperature, etc). “It’s similar to how I design the collection, there’s a foundation to a man’s wardrobe. You can add the cool pieces onto it and all of a sudden you have a cool outfit,” he says. A key component he stresses: having a great suit on hand. “I think everyone is saying ‘yes’ to every wedding they get invited to right now.”
Todd Snyder is open at 620 5th Avenue in the Channel Gardens Monday through Saturday 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.