Extreme Know-Howe



Courtesy Jade Howe

An L.A. designer reveals hip young men’s fashions for spring. A classic Southern Californian who comes from a skateboard/surfboard culture, fashion designer Jade Howe calls his menswear “cowboy punk meets English country gentleman.”

The goal, he says, is for men dressed in his designs to win compliments from women. One way, he suggests, is wearing blue: “Women are attracted to men wearing the color blue.”

Though European designers such as Hedi Slimane and John Galliano inspire Howe, he doesn’t take the game too seriously. He still gets true clarity “going for a surf.”

Not surprising from a designer who distressed denim, as he says, by “taking my ’66 Dodge Charger with a 427 V8 to Irwindale speedway and dragging the jeans around the track, then finishing them off in the winner’s circle with a burnout.”

A graduate of Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Howe reflects the West Coast-centric nature of Fashion Week El Paseo. He spent many years designing for surf and skate industry leaders, including Quicksilver and Fox Racing. In 1991, he started the apparel and surfboard divisions for the popular  retailer Hawaiian Island Creations. Yearning to take his experience to the next level and seeing a need to help men like himself dress better, Howe teamed with skateboard legends Tony Hawk and Per Welinder; they filtered their creative energy into a new label, Howe, which emphasizes contemporary sportswear that’s sophisticated yet modern, and inspired by music and the West Coast lifestyle.

The “cowboy punk meets English country gentleman” comes from his blend of European fashion trends and fabrication, as well as a “punk dandy aesthetic.” Howe championed the skinny jean and deconstructed blazer and helped the industry define a stylish new look for thirtysomething professionals.

“I want to level the playing field for guys,” he has said. “Fashion isn’t just for women. In fact, we are not only creating fitted tailored clothing for men. We’re doing it in a way that appeals to women. That’s the goal, to get the compliment, that nod of approval, the hand on your shoulder for an extra second adoring the soft, tactile feel of European fabric, such as Italian yarn.”

Seattle Pacific Industries pur-chased the Howe label in 2007, freeing the designer — who stayed onboard as creative director with his core team — to heighten the brand to its current status.

Today, he’s interested in the “indie executive”: the “hard-playing, creative, and career-minded guy whose lifestyle has him on the move from his corner office to backstage within minutes.”

The Jade Howe collection featured at Fashion Week El Paseo on Men’s Night (March 27, 2009) benefits Desert AIDS Project.

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Richard Linklater Earns Film Fest's Sonny Bono Visionary Award

Two-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Jan. 3.

Dining in a Winter Wonderland

Palm Springs' Lori Tiedeman, an interior designer for more than 30 years, tells us how to bring the holiday magic to our own homes.

Santa Baby

Here are Him and Her holiday gift suggestions to reward your significant other for being so nice (or naughty) with a sweet something under the tree.

Tom Dreesen Performs Act to Benefit Barbara Sinatra's Children's Center

Tom Dreesen recalls Frank Sinatra didn't go to bed until sun up, so they would leave Sinatra's Rancho Mirage compound in the middle of the night and drive around the Coachella Valley talking, politics, sports, and Sinatra's childhood.

Rosamund Pike Merits Palm Springs Film Festival's Breakthrough Performance Award

Actress Rosamund Pike will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.