Designer by Necessity feat. Waraire Boswell

April 11th, 2014

Through Articles of Style I’ve had the opportunity to meet many fashion designers, and get up close and personal with a lot of menswear collections.

Waraire Boswell is my new favorite designer. Not only because he has great story and a sharp eye for style, but also because he’s one of the coolest and humblest guys I’ve met in the fashion industry.

Boswell, a native of California, became a designer out of necessity turned opportunity. Entering high school he was five foot eight. Three months later he grew to six foot three. That’s seven inches in three months, or 2.3″/month. He eventually topped out at a very slim and long 6’7″. While the height certainly helped his hoops game – Boswell attended Cal State Northridge on a basketball scholarship – it also left him with an obvious problem. There were no clothes that fit him, and Boswell is a man of style.

He started his professional career at United Talent Agency and William Morris Agency, two of the most prestigious talent agencies in Hollywood. As a talent agent, you wear a suit every day. And how it look matters. So out of necessity, Boswell began to dabble in custom trousers, then shirts, then suits. It wasn’t long before the agents took notice of Boswell’s unique sense of personal style, and his attention to detail. His apparel became so prevalent amongst his colleagues and associates that he eventually parted ways from the agency and began making custom menswear full-time, all made in Los Angeles.

As his popularity increased amongst the agents, word eventually spread to their clients. Soon he was making suits for celebrities such as Oliver Stone, Ashton Kutcher and Ryan Gosling. With a speciality in tailoring for the tall & slim physique, Boswell also accumulated a deep roster of star athlete clients, including: LeBron James (this burgundy tux was his), Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, Matt Kemp, Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia, Carl Crawford, and the list goes on.

We got together with Boswell at his studio in downtown Los Angeles to hang for an afternoon and share with you a taste of his highly celebrated personal style.

    1. Suit Sweats Harmony

    001

    “This is a classic look brought to contemporary standards. The dark Brown linen jacket, black Irish plaid shirt (w/red buttons), multi windowpane pants, red velvet slips – all colorful and harmonious in their blend.

    I have long been a fan of runners (pants).  The Boswell version adds an elegant touch to a perennially athletic staple… I am glad that the Articles of Style crew is capturing this, so your readers can trace back and see the first person to do the runner under the guise of a suit fabric.”

    011

    This Fall Boswell is looking to spin-off his success in the custom business with a beautifully designed ready-to-wear line.

    He’s starting by creating some buzz with a series of collaborations dropping later this month:

    • Waraire Boswell x Garrett Leight glasses: 4/20-25/2014
    • Boswell x Del Toro: 4/20-25/2014
    • Boswell x Grungy Gentleman: 4/20/2014
    • Boswell X Grover: 5/1/2014

    014

    012

    • Custom Chocolate DB by Waraire Boswell
    • Custom Black Irish plaid Shirt by Waraire Boswell
    • Custom Beige Plaid Pants by Waraire Boswell
    • Red Velvet Slippers by Boswell x Del Toro

    2. Hollywood Glamour

    018

    “I’ve had this suit for 10 years, but it looks and fits as if I made it yesterday. This is a living testament to quality, great fabric, vision, and precision. My inspiration for this suit was: what would Patrice Lumumba wear to a meeting with Gianni Agnelli (in the late 60’s, early 70’s)?

    The white shirt is a staple, accompanied by the monogrammed velvet slips, it’s just enough… When creating hallmark pieces, always create them along with staples and basics to pair them with.”

    039

    True story: we shot this look on the roof of the Ace hotel in downtown LA on a Tuesday morning. After Alex got the shots, we grabbed a cappuccino to-go at the Ace coffee bar on street level. The young woman manning the register was very sweet, but a little overly complimentary to Waraire and I that it was almost embarrassing. After a borderline group applause for good tailored style in LA, we randomly bumped into Jim Nelson (the editor-in-chief of GQ) who happened to be having breakfast in the same place and noticed Boswell’s suit (and probably all of the positive attention).

    Moral of the story: dressing well opens doors and can make introductions.

    036

    028

    043

    • Tortoise Shell & creme Sunglasses Garrett Leight x Waraire Boswell
    • Dusk Brown Tweed Suit by Waraire Boswell
    • White Woven Shirt by Waraire Boswell
    • Navy Velvet Slippers by Boswell x Del Toro

    3. West Coast Casual Cool

    049

    “This is my every day non-suit look. The henley is one of my staples, it’s often the foundation of my outfit. This particular henley is from the BOSWELL X Grungy Gentleman collaboration, available April 15th.

    The sweater is easy, casual and invisible in plain sight. The runners have an added elegance with the satin tuxedo stripe on the side… And the common projects top it off.”

    052

    For a little more on Boswell, check out WaraireBoswell.com, and watch his episode of ‘How of Rock It‘ on Esquire Network.

    057

    058

    061

    • Black Sweater by BOSWELL basics
    • Black Henley by BOSWELL X Grungy Gentleman
    • Tuxedo Runners by BOSWELL basics
    • White Sneakers by Common Projects

     

    Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Boswell for participating!

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

     

    Photography by Alex Crawford 

    Photos from this shoot are now added to the Articles of Style Style Guide

    • Tony Eugene Parham Jr.

      i have scoured literally thousands of online suits. i work full time in menswear. I fit men all day everyday. this take on the shawl collar is just brilliant. sheer debauchery. bedlam. i love it. it honestly makes me proud i have left my old career to work full time in what i love…….art and menswear.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Murder-Of-Crows-Stylist-Diy-artist-Photographer/373321226096078?sk=photos_albums Dualleh

      The bottons on db blazer! The shirt, fabric! Everything spot on:)

    • B.Collins

      This is a great story! Not only that as a tall and slim guy I can really appreciate this story. I really love the fact that you all at TSB men profile your peers as well as support their efforts by collaborating and wearing each others products. I am happy for the progression of TSB men. Keep it coming. I am going to look up Waraire Boswell now.
      Peace and Gods Blessings
      B.Collins

      Waraire Boswell
      Waraire Boswell

    • JoeFromTexas

      I really don’t like the running pants/ sweats movement. And I despise slippers, I just can’t stand it. And yet this guy comes through as so comfortable and confident in his clothes, that I didn’t even notice the slippers and sweats at first. I just noticed how confident and great this guy looked. Even noticing the sweats, the slippers, I still have to say this guy is incredibly well dressed. Brilliant post.

    • Blake

      best personal style ever featured on this website…everything looks so natural together..this feature is a gem..

    • Tom

      Exudes effortless cool. The most stylish guy you’ve profiled.

    • David

      I’m a huge fan of all three looks but the shirt in look one is amazing.

    • Anant

      The Common Projects are beautiful. Got my pair just a few weeks ago. Waraire has to be one of my favorite features on this site and I’ve been lurking for awhile lol

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        CPs are the truth.

    • http://unseenflirtspoetry.wordpress.com Unseen Flirtations

      ps: his route into tailoring reminds me of the UK’s Adrian Sauvage, also an ex basketball player who was too tall to settle on off-the-rack. Google him if you don’t know.

    • http://unseenflirtspoetry.wordpress.com Unseen Flirtations

      Superb. The man flirts casually with dandyism but avoids the pretentious. Uncompromisingly sharp and unwaveringly serious, but playful enough to dabble in details that could leave a less confident man feeling clownish.

      Superb. Subtleties of colourplay that tie potentially disparate pieces together. Pro moves all the way, but still somehow more quiet in confidence than bolshy in expression.

      Superb. Silhouettes that flatter his form and defy trend. Style forward, rooted in a personal narrative. Idiosyncratic but understandably fashionable.

      etc.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Wow. That was heavy! Agreed!

    • Dr. Shrock

      Love the first look!

    • ChrisD

      That is my favourite double-breasted jacket, which isn’t a look I typically like. The silhouette is perfect, slim and at it’s narrowest right in the middle (maybe slightly biased towards the upper half).
      Saving that pic if I ever get one custom-made :)

    • d4nimal

      A true badass. His style is coming out of his pores. For looks like that, you need confidence and a certain mojo most people can’t pull off.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Style = Mojo

        It’s not just clothes, it’s a way of life.

    • Miguel

      Man, i saw the instagram pictures the other day and started to Google him and found some incredible outfits and desings, those Blazers on Lebron, Bosch and others were amazing but more amazing it’s his story.

      The first two looks were amazing but the THAT blazer in look 2 was…mind blown,

      Thanks Dan, guys for an excellent story and post.

    • Jeanscuffed

      This dude is one of your editorials better geniuses (if that makes sense). His personal style is definitely something that I can’t see anyone else emmulate. And Look #2….I’m sorry, but if I was the cashier I would have bypassed compliments and asked for a picture. His suit isn’t something you talk about to others and expect them to grasp how luxe it looks. But oddly, even though his outfits scream Original, his haircut is something that speaks out to me, and I want to try it. I already have a part cut in but I’m not sure how the rest of his hair looks. Are they small twists or just nappy ends? All in all, this is one of your better posts Dan, meaning this is one that will always stick out in my mind.

    • MN

      Yes!

      Maybe your best post ever.

      I liked Nasr’s fits but this is far more creative.

      I’m actually somewhat inspired to go cop some elastic cuff sweats

    • Eman

      One of the best features I’ve seen. This has got me inspired to go out and play around with some looks similar to the last one.

    • AdamE

      This post is killer! Not sure I could ever rock the slipper loafers like he does, but great mixture of classic elements with some unconventional twists!

    • Jace

      killed it

    • Kyle Leon Norville

      I don’t usually comment on much but this feature definitely brought my fingers to the key board

      All 3 looks were absolutely stellar. This provided much inspiration. Great post!

    • Vincent

      These three looks are incredibly well put together. Waraire really knows what’s what…color, texture, pattern, proportion, nailed. Love this feature.

    • Andrew G.

      Whoa man! This is some ridiculous style. Boswell, you are doing menswear unlike anyone else. Teach me! Work with me!

    • Stephen

      I think that these are, quite possibly, my three favourite looks featured here. This man’s style blows my mind.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Agreed. My favorite feature to date. Boswell sets the bar high for all future TSBmen profiles!

        Thanks for reading Stephen.

    • http://DapperAdvisor.com/ Akil McLeod

      This is a very inspirational post. I believe that one day my career will eventually change to something pertaining to men’s fashion, and after reading his story I am convinced that I will be able to make that transition sooner than later.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Inspiration is our business! The secret is believing Akil. The hardest part of entrepreneurship, in my opinion, is battling self doubt.

        Cheers.

    • Tom

      One of the best features ever posted on this site!

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Yessir

        • Tom

          Dan, while we’re on the topic of personal tailoring. Have you ever considered making a feature about the different levels of personal tailoring? Sort of like that feature you did with black lapel / suitsupply etc…
          Only this time you could recommend things to go for as a first-timer, the price point to expect, materials and so on?

    • Sergio Arteaga

      This is some next level shit and I mean that in a good way!

    • JM

      Love these looks, quite a few grammar and syntax errors throughout. Might want to go through and edit it.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Grammar police always keeping me in check. I combed it again – can you be more specific?

        • Paul

          I emailed you guys a few months back and would be happy to edit your work gratis. I am a published writer and teacher and would love you work with you guys. Cheers!

    • Shawn

      Look # 1, love the jacket and shirt, although I’m not particularly fond of the colored buttons. Plus, the fact that the patch breast pocket makes it impossible to sew the top left jacket button looks a little odd. Never been a fan of elastic ankles, but these looks great! Look # 2, loooove the suit! Those thick shawl lapel are to die for. Although I’m not a fan of the air tie look, it would look ok if the collar was different. It’s missing some roll, and I (personally) think the collar points would look better if longer. Look # 3, not my cup of tea but I respect his search for something different!

    • cam

      It’s post and gentleman like this, that makes me wish I worked in the indusrty. Very inspiring story. The runners are quite an interesting take

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        It’s never too late Cam :)

        • cam

          Is that an offer? ;)

    • JBells

      I was never a fan of the elastic ankles outside of sweat pants but look 1 has totally changed my mind.
      All in all this may be my favorite TSB feature. Waraire carries himself with such confidence and nonchalance as if to say, ya they’re just clothes. I love all these looks.
      Best of luck on the success of your collabs Waraire

    • Sabir M. Peele

      Dan,

      All I can say that not only is his story impressive, but, the way he designs pieces is truly outstanding. The shawl lapel suit blew my mind.

      Best,

      Sabir

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        It’s even better in person my man.

        Hope all is well Sabir!