New York-based fashion designer Robert Geller wants men to feel secure in his clothes—secure not only in the knowledge that they're expertly dressed, but also in a sense of physical well-being. "I want to make clothes that make someone feel like they can endure whatever the world throws at them," says the Hamburg-born designer. Fittingly, his fall/winter 2016 collection, which just showed at New York Fashion Week: Men's, was inspired by the idea of overcoming adversity.
Inspired by a German fantasy novel called Momo—in which the title character defends her colorful home against "Men in Gray," a race of parasites who steal time from humans—Geller showed a series of monochromatic looks, ranging from black, to dusky purple, to mustard yellow, unveiled in order of darkest to lightest. A clever and optimistic take on the theme, the designer says it is one of his favorite collections yet.
Upon arriving in New York City in 2001, Geller worked with Marc Jacobs, before collaborating with Russian-born designer Alexandre Plokhov on a brand called Cloak. He launched his own line in 2007, winning the coveted GQ/CFDA New Menswear Designer Award not long afterward, in 2009. Safe to say Geller certainly knows the ins and outs of menswear, and what it takes to be a well-dressed man. Here he picks the five essential items every guy needs to face the world—or time-freezing Men in Gray—in style.