Meet the Designer Behind Albert Hammond Jr.’s New Look for The Strokes Tour

In a light-filled suite at a Lower East Side hotel, Amber Doyle and Albert Hammond Jr. are in the midst of their final fitting, flipping through a rack of kaleidoscopic suits. Days before The Strokes head to Europe for the next spree of performance dates, the pair are making the last tweaks to the veritable capsule collection of tailoring they’ve created together over the past year, all in preparation for the iconic band’s global comeback tour. “I started to realize that what I like wearing on the street often has zero impact on stage,” Hammond Jr. says of the decision behind teaming up with Doyle, a bespoke tailor whose razor-sharp silhouettes have made her a favorite among New York’s music scene, having collaborated with bands like Chain and The Gang and DJ Kristine Barilli.

<cite class="credit">Photo: Courtesy of Amber Doyle</cite>
Photo: Courtesy of Amber Doyle

As the duo thumb through zippered pants, drapey button-downs that Doyle reimagined from archival images of The Clash, and vintage shirts, they call out some of their wide-ranging inspirations. These span from Hammond Jr.’s experience in MotoGP racing, the “sex appeal” of Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, and designer Freddie Burretti’s work with David Bowie. Indeed, Doyle counts Burretti as one of her strongest personal influences. “He made all of the most iconic suits for David Bowie, the yellow suit, the ‘Life on Mars?’ mint green suit, and most of his stage clothing from 1974 to the early ’80s,” she notes. “I would always see these images growing up, then I found this person behind the artist who’s just so brilliant and really pushed the line.”

<cite class="credit">Photo: Courtesy of Nicolas Bloise</cite>
Photo: Courtesy of Nicolas Bloise

As Hammond Jr.’s wife Justyna and dog Violet lounge nearby on a sofa, the finer details are under examination. “That stripe kept me up at night,” Doyle says of the hand-stitched grosgrain ribbon that runs shoulder-to-ankle down a black three-piece “racing suit,” comprised of Holland & Sherry fabric and earmarked for his Open’er Festival performance in Poland. “After being suited by Amber, I’m excited for all my shows—but playing Poland is exciting because Justyna is Polish, so I get to see my extended family, and she gets to see me in play in her country,” says Hammond Jr. It was, in fact, Justyna—a creative director that Doyle knew through friends—who first connected the pair last spring. “Albert really wanted a suit; he’s been talking about it basically since we met,” she remembers. “He tried different companies to do custom but it never felt right, and I was like: ‘You should ask Amber, she makes suits all the time for people, you should talk.’”

And after months of trading ideas, with Doyle even flying to California for secret brainstorming sessions, their collaborative chemistry makes it seem as if they’ve known each other much longer than a few long-distance months. Now, as the wardrobe takes shape, they’re able to recognize a shared passion for classic lines and the unmistakable cool factor of polished silhouettes. “I always wore a suit when I was young because no one could tell me no. They might not like you, but they had to let you in,” says Hammond Jr. And Doyle, whose preference for tailored pieces is mirrored in her own workwear for the day—a broad-shouldered, striped lurex blazer with oversized lapels and matching wide-leg trousers—agrees that the suit has a timeless attitude. “I think that’s what’s really interesting about the whole idea of the suit, is that it’s stood the test of time, and for whatever reason, it has power to it,” she offers. “There are all of these things that we think of subconsciously, we associate it with business, power, wealth—but even when you twist it around in this very modernized way, you still have all of those ideas behind it.”

<cite class="credit">Photo: Courtesy of Nicolas Bloise</cite>
Photo: Courtesy of Nicolas Bloise

As the final looks are pieced together, the nods to Hammond Jr.’s DIY days before The Strokes became a garage rock household name become more noticeable. He often eschews a tie and instead secures the collars of Doyle’s creations with a single safety pin, recreating the nonchalant repair hack he perfected with the original worn-to-the-bone shirts that served as templates for the new collection. Still, he’s learning a new few tricks from his tailor. “She taught me that you always undo the first button,” he says, pointing at the cuffs. “Usually for suits off the rack, the sleeves have to be adjusted, so they’re not real buttonholes,” Doyle explains. “It’s all in the details—her friends even made me these boots that I wear,” Hammond Jr. says, gesturing toward his feet at the leather ankle-grazing pair designed by Doyle’s friends at The Mad Tailor.

<cite class="credit">Photo: Courtesy of Zuzannna Sosnowska</cite>
Photo: Courtesy of Zuzannna Sosnowska

“I’ve been dressing him head to toe—literally to toe,” adds Doyle. “We’re on the verge of starting an underwear line,” Hammond Jr. quips. But in fact, a shared ready-to-wear label together is something they’re already discussing as their next excuse to collaborate. “In the future, in terms of what we potentially make, I always think it’s interesting to reach more people and see who’s going to gravitate toward it—who’s really going to wear it,” says Doyle. For Hammond Jr, it’s the perfect allusion to his punk rock instinct for using art and style to shift cultural norms. “My idea would be to change a big portion of how people look and feel, that something as simple as this could influence how people act with each other,” Hammond Jr. adds. “I dream really big.”

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Originally Appeared on Vogue