Todd Snyder, menswear designer and ISU alumnus, has been nominated for the America Swarovski Award for Menswear again this year.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America announced nominees for their 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards, which will take place on June 3 in New York City.
“It’s great,” Snyder said on his nomination. “It has been a dream come true. I love what I do, and this makes me happy that I went in the direction that I did and followed my dreams.”
Voted best dressed in high school, Snyder said he was always interested in clothing, but originally attended Iowa State for a career in finance.
Working as a salesman at Badowers, a men’s clothing store in Des Moines, is how Snyder discovered his true passion for fashion design.
“While selling there, I became interested in what was happening in the tailor’s shop,” Snyder explained. “I quickly started to help out after-hours and weekends. I fell in love with making and altering garments, and from there I decided I wanted to be a designer.”
After graduating with a degree in fashion design, Snyder moved to New York City to pursue his design career working for Ralph Lauren, his favorite designer.
“It was something in my blood,” Snyder said about his passion for apparel design. “After working at Badowers, I knew that I wanted to be a designer. Come to find out from my Grandma Snyder that in Dutch, Snyder meant tailor.”
After working for other prominent fashion labels, such as GAP and J. Crew, Snyder launched his own menswear collection in 2011, which first appeared in Bergdorf Goodman, Ron Herman and Neiman Marcus.
Today, with two award nominations and recognition as one of GQ Magazine’s Best New Menswear Designers, Todd Snyder New York is becoming more popular in the world of menswear.
“Mr. Snyder is who I can thank for showing me a whole new side of fashion,” said Eileen Moores, sophomore in apparel, merchandising and design. “Last year he featured his line in the Iowa State Fashion Show, and right then I was inspired to do a new route in fashion.”
Moores now holds the position of Men’s Fashion Director for the campus publication Trend Magazine, and said she enjoys the types of garments Snyder makes, as well as the theme of his line.
“The type of clothes he makes are timeless pieces that men can wear over and over,” Moores said. “He is able to make a classic garment fashion-forward with the small details he adds.”
The designer’s fall 2013 collection was inspired by British motorcycles from the 1950s.
“I wanted to mix it up with tailored jackets,” Snyder said. “I wanted to have a gentleman’s approach to tailoring. I was trying to be a little badass for the season.”
The designer described himself as a pretty average guy who believes in dressing simply and investing in styles that can be worn for many years.
“I like sports, cars, bars, but I also like clothes,” Snyder explained. “My philosophy is clothes can make the guy. It’s important to always look your best. Girls love a well-dressed man.”
Store openings in Japan and New York are next for the brand, and Snyder recently traveled to Japan for a pop-up shop at Barney’s New York.
“It was a big event. All their top clients showed up,” Snyder said. “I was able to meet a lot of my customers. It was a lot of fun.”
For future designers at Iowa State, Snyder said it is important to start from the bottom and work your way up.
“I did that through my entire career,” Snyder said. “Some people get impatient and want to skip steps. They are the ones that never make it. Work hard, and good things will come.”