Cult-Favorite Aussie Menswear Brand Informale Just Opened a Pop-Up Shop in N.Y.C.

Down Under clothier Informale is headed to the Big Apple for its first U.S. pop-up, which will be held from May 3 to 6 at the street-level storefront of West Village tailor J. Mueser, located at 19 Christopher Street. It’s a four-day event three years in the making, as it had originally been planned for May 2020 and had to be canceled because of the pandemic’s travel restrictions.

The Melbourne-based label was launched in November 2018 by Steve Calder and his wife Jordana, with a single style emblematic of its dressed-down yet elegant approach: the T005, a linen drawstring trouser marked by a high waist, a full leg line, and double pleats. In the years since, Informale’s “Australian approach with European flavor,” as Calder puts it, has grown to encompass everything from belted rain coats to long-sleeved polo shirts to shorts inspired by a pair the U.S. Army issued in 1958.

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“We focus on a seasonless collection of vintage-esque garments with old-school quality and character, with many of our designs directly referenced from the 1940s to ’80s vintage pieces,” Calder tells Robb Report, speaking to his company’s assortment. And while those period touches are crucial to the Informale aesthetic, just as important is how and where the clothing is made. Calder stresses that the garments are cut only from natural materials such as cotton, linen, and wool in substantial weights and period-authentic weaves and made in limited product runs by skilled machinists operating in its Melbourne workshop.

Informale founder Steve Calder.
Informale founder Steve Calder.

“We celebrate patina and love how these garments get better the more they are worn,” Calder says of his clothing’s quality and longevity.

Despite the pandemic’s interruption, it feels as if a New York visit by Informale was inevitable. Calder names the United States as the company’s second-largest market after Australia, with New York, California, and Texas accounting for the greatest number of clients. And he’d been acquainted with his hosts since meeting tailor Jake Mueser and his team at Pitti Uomo in 2017.

The more buttoned-up brand, which built its reputation on New York-made bespoke suits and unstructured Neapolitan tailoring, may seem like a strange bedfellow to Informale’s military and workwear-inspired universe. But Calder believes that the two businesses are more alike than meets the eye.

Informale's SO58 shorts are inspired by a pair the U.S. Army issued in 1958.
Informale’s SO58 shorts are inspired by a pair the U.S. Army issued in 1958.

“J.Mueser has many of the same values as us, including the highest quality clothing and pride in where and how their garments are made,” he says. “J.Mueser occupies that more tailored realm, which Informale’s more casual approach fits perfectly into.”

J. Mueser editorial director Chase Winfrey agrees, citing the influence of tailoring on many Informale designs. “While we have a more formal offering, Informale has a great approach to casualwear,” he tells Robb Report. “Laidback but still really smartly tailored,”

Visitors to the pop-up can expect to encounter a wide variety of Informale’s spring and summer offering, including its linen drawstring trousers, military shorts, a denim workwear jacket, and high-rise selvedge jeans. In addition, Informale will use the occasion to debut new styles, including a summer-weighted iteration of its jungle jacket made from lightweight ripstop fabric.

And though the Aussie maker’s New York stopover is brief, it’s unlikely to be the last time it comes Stateside. “We’d absolutely love to come back,” Calder says of a potential return. “I have my eye on a few cities where the demand is growing, so stay tuned.”

Informale—coming soon to a city near you.

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