“It feels good to be taken more seriously,” said Tanner Richie as he and his partner in life and business, Fletcher Kasell, walked through their spring 2024 collection. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for the duo. In March, Bad Bunny covered TIME Magazine wearing their now signature bow suit, and in June their Tanner Fletcher label was announced as one of the ten finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. This has translated into both editorial and retail interest: Folks from Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus sat front row, as did editors from most glossies. Not too shabby for a brand launched only three years ago.
But their debut runway show this afternoon, themed as a beauty pageant and featuring witty descriptions of each model contestant, was all giggles. Such is the Tanner Fletcher duality. It can be a serious brand without being self-serious, it can be whimsical and kitschy as well as wearable and sensible, and it can dress both the Upper East Side lady and the Bushwick enby.
“I think that the cooler, younger people see it as more of a Bushwick vintage-y vibe, and our older customer sees the refinement and the richness in the fabrics,” said Richie. This kind of self-awareness will serve him and Kasell well as they continue to shape their label, and it had a welcome impact in their spring lineup. For starters, they continued to expand their assortment of dresses and more traditionally womenswear pieces. The frocks were pretty, well cut, and teetered on the line between the pair’s retro-now aesthetic and the way the woman shopping for a sheath on Net-A-Porter or Moda Operandi dresses. A bias cut silk floral number and a sheer black slip were particularly convincing here. “Our customer sees it as genderless, versus the [insert e-tailer here] which sees it as a very girly dress in line with other of their brands,” said Kasell.
This season the designers also expanded on what constitute basics in their world. A couple of slip dresses, a run of pinstripe tailoring, jorts with frilly lace and ribbon accents, a cutesy ribbed tank top, cozy grandma knits, and a run of fantastic white dress shirts. They got these just right, and were smart to enhance them with some funkier pieces like silk garter belts or knitted floral brooches.
The duo found more confidence to experiment with a variety of fabrications, too. Two suits—the most eccentric—stood out in the lineup: One with lacey and silky trims sewn on in a striped pattern, and another cut in a black and white floral jacquard with its edges frayed. Also cool: floral separates covered in sheer sequins. It’s these kinds of pieces that really hit the spot at Tanner Fletcher. They’ve found a balance between modern and retro, now to amp up the weirdness.