AT THE APRIL debut of Portland womenswear brand Isaac Hers' fall 2012 line, another label turned heads, especially those of the well-dressed men in attendance. Warming up the main event, along with the Woodlands, was PINO, a line of men's accessories designed by Crispin Argento, focusing primarily on dapper neckwear and kerchiefs. Himself rarely on the scene without a collar and tie, Argento worked with Brooks Brothers to create full looks that charmed with their spring pastels as much as with the visible glee on the faces of the models.
"I had the whitest Nikes in high school," says Argento of his lifelong affinity for dressing up, although it's only been about a year since he became serious about becoming active in the fashion world. Like many in the Portland industry, his interest doesn't end at creating ties he hopes men will wear "for 20 years," but in making the city a more viable place to be a designer.
"In some respects, it's an experiment," Argento admits of PINO, through which he is gathering real-world information to better understand the challenges of designing in Portland. This summer he plans to organize champagne socials and invite people from the business, design, and consumer communities to encourage related discussion.
Serious issues aside, PINO's high-quality, moderately priced items could be just the jolt your summer wardrobe needs to grab attention. As he puts it, "It used to be punks who turned people's heads, and now it's the guy in the tie." pinoportland.com