Photos by Bryan Rindfuss
Story by famous Chick-Lit Writer Desiree Prieto, as usual :)
What does one talk about while interviewing absolutely talented, drop-dead gorgeous—not to mention famous—designers visiting from New York City? Well to start with, the weather. “It’s fucking hot, ha?” I asked Logan Neitzel, after he declared that it was in fact his first time not only in San Antonio, but the vast state of Texas. “Yes, it’s super hot,” he began, “I left New York and it was 50 degrees and raining. So, it’s nice here. Totally.”
“Here” happens to be the sloan/hall on Broadway, where the designer is launching a collection in the new women’s fashion department made specifically for the stores in San Antonio and Houston.
Neitzel’s fashion career began after design school in Seattle, with an international knitwear company, New York Fashion Week, and a stint in reality television. “So do we need to talk about Project Runway?” I politely asked with hesitation, given that the show is in its ninth season and Neitzel starred in its sixth. “I’m totally tired and over it,” the tall and sexy designer divulged. “It was a long time ago and a good decision to get to where I am, but I’ve definitely moved on from that point.”
While Neitzel has moved on, his craftsmanship, which he learned from his Blackfoot, Idaho upbringing, is a thread that continues throughout each of his collections. “I grew up in small-town Idaho so that’s where I started out with leather work and that’s where it evolved,” he explained. “My grandpa made saddles, fixed saddles and stuff like that so I still use some of his old tools to make my pieces now. Craft is like, super important.”
The designer toured me through his new collection featured at sloan/hall, maintaining that it’s a somewhat basic sampling of his work. “They’ve ordered before and have had good luck with some of the pieces so I kind of took some variations of that and transferred it into silk or did different jersey versions.” In particular, the uplits have been really popular in Houston and are still one of Neitzel’s signature pieces, although not everyone is familiar with them. “It’s an old military term for what they [soldiers] used to have on their jackets,” says Neitzel. Worn over the shoulders, the masculine black leather uplits are handmade and Neitzel recommends wearing them over a feminine piece, like one of his dresses, for contrast. The rest of his collection is just as unique as the uplits. The detailing of a white faux-jean jacket rolls up like a cigarette; a stressed black leather scarf jacket zips up the neck; and layering pieces are made of raw mesh with grill grain straps. The hand-cut bull hide corset and silk dresses are among my favorite in the collection, as well as the bright leather clutches with Neitzel’s signature cross logo.
“It’s kind of a mix of different seasons,” said the designer, who, just for fun also brought in a blue Madonna-inspired bra, which will unfortunately not be available for purchase at the store. It happened to appear a bit displaced among Neitzel’s other, more conservative Texas-attire, but nonetheless represented the whimsical spirit of his usually structured and yet edgy New York fashion. While the sloane/hall collection isn’t as racy as Madonna bras, the “mix of different seasons” ensures that Neitzel’s clothing can be worn year-round in Texas; where it is "fucking hot" and unfortunately almost never 50 degrees and raining.