Nicholas Raefski Spring Summer 2022 at New York Fashion Week

Go West Young Boy and Become a Man : A modish take on the American Cowboy

The cowboy is a rugged, idyllic American figure who forged through many unknowns to tame the West. Cowboys are heroes to many young boys growing up, as they embody the idea of breaking from the norm to fill a greater purpose.

For his Spring/Summer 2022 Collection – his first full scale collection – Nicholas Raefski found inspiration in the cult of the American cowboy while he drew parallels to his own journey. Raefski, in becoming a man personally and professionally, finds himself wanting to push barriers in American contemporary fashion.

Cowboys and the West are referenced literally in some key pieces (an all-over knitted CARD-igan and a Colt 45 tee-shirt) and subtly throughout the collection (stitch lines borrowed from classic cowboy pieces and a scarf referencing Clint Eastwood’s famous knit poncho from “The Good the Bad and the Ugly”). Raefski fuses traditional silhouettes (five-pocket pants, work-shirts and a puffer jacket) with novel designs (a modern take on the cowboy vest and slimmed-down patterns) and the collection is no Namby-Pamby.

As he builds and creates his own path, Nicolas Raefski knows that the man he wants to become already exists – he does not need to find that person, just grow into him.

Nicholas Raefski currently lives in New York City. He just graduated from Fordham University with a degree in economics and a master’s in media management. He ran Division I cross country and track while at Fordham and became a conference champion. Without a formal education in fashion and design, Raefski has put together a team of autodidacts and launched his namesake label.

Through this collection and his work, Raefski aims to tell powerful stories, and aspires to make a positive impact on his community, locally and on a grander scale. Raefski’s passions (cinema and the outdoors) heavily influence his work with frequent nods to pop culture and athletics.

Raefski hopes to use his platform to advocate for mental health, an issue that is often overlooked in young people, and a sometime a personal struggle.

All images courtesy of Nicholas Raefski

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