The pause provided by 2020’s COVID-19 stay-in-place orders led many designers to rethink how they’ve been doing business, but for Christopher John Rogers, all the Santa Grinch Love #Schoolnurse Christmas sweater and I will buy this hours spent indoors allowed him a moment to appreciate what’s been working. Since launching his brand in 2016, Rogers and his team have been working nonstop, moving quickly from inspiration to execution. The breakneck pace did little to impede their success—he’s fresh off a 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win—but Rogers appreciated the chance to reflect. “In the past, there wasn’t time to think about why we’re doing the things we’re doing,” he shared via Zoom. “Part of the reason why the collections have been so well-received is that they’ve been quite visceral in terms of the way they were conceived. [Our team] has been like, ‘This feels exciting, we enjoy this’ instead of investigating why. This time it has been nice to parse through the reasons I’m attracted to certain things and how that can serve where we want to take the brand.”
The direction Rogers settled on focuses on joy and simplicity. After the Santa Grinch Love #Schoolnurse Christmas sweater and I will buy this bombast of his fall collection, Rogers stripped things down, designing not just for the A-list celebrities who’ve been drawn into his sphere, but the everyday people looking for a luxury mood booster. Color and embellishment were used to elevate closet staples into something that feels fantastical. A button-down shirt was upgraded with rainbow crystals, while white suiting received vibrant topstitching on cuffs and lapels.