Wardements Is the New Brand Mastering the High and Low

Wardements Is the New Brand Mastering the High and Low

Iconic hairstylist Ward Stegerhoek is diving into the world of street style with a brand that appeals to the masses.

Iconic hairstylist Ward Stegerhoek is diving into the world of street style with a brand that appeals to the masses.

Text: Priya Rao

V is proud to launch our pop-up shop with Wardements, presented with Inez and Vinoodh, tonight at 11 Mercer. The pop-up shop officially opens tomorrow and runs until March 3rd. A portion of proceeds from special Orange Babies pieces from the shop will be donated to the Orange Babies Foundation. Learn more about the rising brand below. 

When Ward Stegerhoek began toying with the notion of creating a fashion brand last year, he didn’t need to undertake a complete career change: the Dutch-born hairstylist rose to fame in the early ’90s working alongside stylist Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele and tending to the ’dos of supermodels like Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, and Cindy Crawford. His kitschy label Wardements, which launches for Spring 2018, was merely happenstance.

“Starting a fashion line was not a decision I consciously made,” says Stegerhoek. “Since the age of 12, I was on my mother’s sewing machine. I was this kind of strange kid who wanted to wear Vivienne Westwood and my mom would say, ‘A thousand dollars for a pair of jogging pants? You can forget that.’” Eventually, his mother would drive the would-be designer to the fabric store and Stegerhoek would make his version of said jogging pants all by himself. “Even before I did hair, I did clothes,” he reflects.

Though Stegerhoek isn’t classically trained, he does have the benefit of 20 years of note-taking backstage at all the major fashion shows. He began making collectible pieces while on trips to Venice Beach, which ultimately became the impetus for Wardements. “I would go to those random T-shirt shops and I would always make a T-shirt for myself, really oversized with something funny and my name ‘Ward’ on it,” he says. “Then last January and February [2017], I was on a shoot with Inez and Vinoodh and I made one that said, ‘Look like Barbie, Smoke like Marley’ on the front and put ‘Wardements’ on my butt, and everyone wanted one.” The power of social media led fans to contact Stegerhoek over direct message to request one of these tees when they saw the fashion flock wearing them. After 250 pleas for this early Wardements, Stegerhoek knew he was on to something.

Perhaps it is Stegerhoek’s appreciation for high-low that has made his fashion a runaway success. Wardements intentionally has a Vetements-esque aesthetic—think huge hoodies sewn from three Champion garments, patched bomber jackets, and drop-crotch sweatpants. His Instagram account gained 21,000 followers in a matter of months, and he has the fashion world’s stamp of approval, thanks to friends like models Gigi Hadid, Daphne Groeneveld, Małgosia Bela, and Marjan Jonkman. Pretty soon, retailers like SPRMRKT Ibiza came calling, as did collaborations with Selima Optique, Diana Broussard, and Kangol (look out for his “Strangers Have the Best Candy” hat, it’s sure to be a keepsake).

What started as one-off pieces has become a full-fledged collection of recycled jeans, sparkly leggings, and dresses for Spring 2018. “I thought everyone would have a good giggle over it, the haters would hate me more, [and] the lovers would love me more, but so far it’s all been good,” he says. As he preps for Fall 2018, the designer is still not used to his newfound fame. “This is crazy, insane, even,” he enthuses. “After all the hard work and all I’ve achieved in hair, I’ve never seen a reaction like this. Fashion wasn’t something I was planning.”

Photographed by Heath Grout

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