Derek: Define your style and how you carved out a niche in menswear.
Todd: I grew up in Iowa and always had an affinity for clothes. I spent a lot of time shopping and reading magazines and watching all the old greats, whether it was Calvin Klein or Ralph or Armani, and this is probably in the 90's, early 90's. Kind of fell in love with the idea of designing clothes and I knew when I had to move to New York City — I graduated college, I originally was studying architecture and switched to design. I always had an affinity for design and in general making things look better — I knew if I wanted to be any good at what I was doing, that I needed to work for the best and Ralph, for me, was it. He epitomizes American style and luxury. So that’s where I started.
Derek: This idea of American heritage, how does it leave room to evolve AND stay timeless? I think you touched on that a little bit with street wear, so I'd like to dig a little deeper. How does street wear influence Todd Snyder?
The beauty of fashion is that it evolves and changes, thankfully! Otherwise we'd all be very bored and nobody really likes to look like everybody else, everyone wants to have their own identity and what I try to do is just give a small edit of what I think our guy wants to wear. You know he doesn't want to be super trendy but he also doesn't want to be super behind and it's about striking that balance.
Derek: For me and my personal style, you give men great basics that we can count on, but have a little edge thrown in there where we can set ourselves apart without being trendy.
Todd: Yeah that's well said I mean that's essentially what I try to do. I try to update every basic piece a guy should own, whether its a chino and doing it in a stretch fabric. Fit is really important to me and I know a lot about it, so I try to make the best fitting pant that’s semi universal - meaning it's going to fit a lot of people - and the same thing with a t-shirt. Give something that's slightly different whether it’s - you know we make our shirts in LA, which I love - and it's a really good quality and we do a pocket tee with a little button thrown on it that also identifies it, in a way. It’s kind of like your little badge of honor.
Derek: When you're in a rut or you have a creative block, how do you resolve it?
Derek: What are you consuming right now? Books, television, podcasts, wine, products, what are you into?
Todd: I'm super into podcasts right now. That’s my newest addition. I know I'm probably late to the game, but there are some really amazing stories out there and people are being really candid and it's pretty awesome. People are telling their whole story for you to hear and you don't have to wait for it to get on 60 Minutes now. You can actually hear it on a podcast, and you probably hear more of it, which is kind of cool.
Derek: So I could not be more excited to welcome you as an Autotype Design Club Member. The premise here is that I want to celebrate design. I want to create a design community where we turn people on to new things. Where we celebrate what you do and I think, most importantly, is preserve craft. I want to connect future designers, I want to give them the leg-up that you and I have been so fortunate to have. So what excites you about Autotype and why?
Todd: I see something that's missing in the industry or a brand that's kind of become dormant and I want to bring it back to its original prowess but then also it’s exciting to work and play in someone else's sandbox and play with their toys. That for me is super exciting and working with other people that are creative always help to inspire me. And if anything I always learn I get different cues and different ideas when I watch somebody else's process. It inspires me to think differently and I think that's part of being creative, is always trying to think differently. Working with like-minded individuals and working with creatives, the whole thing swells together and I think people do more when they're in a community, feeding off each other through inspiration and support.