An SU alumnus merges architecture and fashion

A graduate of the architecture school designs Blueprint Blazer for a crowdfunding website.

Brandon Stevens, a 2011 graduate from Syracuse University School of Architecture, is putting his design skills to the test – not in building, but in fashion.

He’s the proud maker of the Blueprint Blazer, a piece designed for on-the-go architects.  The stylish, yet functional, frock incorporates all things important to today’s modern architect: polish and precision.

“I think my design’s solid in that it’s a variation on an established type,” Stevens said. “So it can be affordably produced. It has an overarching theme that’s backed up with details and fits within Betabrand’s tendency towards producing industry-specific garments.”

The exterior jacket is made of charcoal-colored wool with black leather detailing and white stitching. The interior displays a background of blue, silk screen printed floor plans, reminding architects of the by-gone era of the blueprint. The chest pocket sports a white band to carry that handy compass while a larger interior pocket holds a personal 5-by-8.25 inch notebook. A ruler is stitched into one sleeve and an architectural scale on the other. Its wearers will never have to carry supplies again, Stevens assures.

>His design appears on the innovative, crowdfunding fashion site,  “As their name suggests, they’re all about prototyping new clothing,” he said.  “But their goal is to transfer creative power away from the landed aristocracy of fashion magnates and into the hands of some average Joe with a unique idea.”

Grouped with other garments, such as the Smuggler’s Jacket, Pumpkin Spice Leggings and the Khermaid Dress, his blazer is part of Betabrand’s Hack the Dress Code Contest, which allows customers to vote for their favorite design to be manufactured and sold.

His sleek design has a leg up on the competition, said Stevens.  But his narrow audience is keeping him from taking the lead.

The highest-rated piece in the contest is called The Suitsy, a business-suit onesie. While the creativity of The Suitsy impresses Stevens, he’s concerned about the inconvenience of removing enough of the one-piece suit to use the bathroom.  This struggle outweighs the benefits of throwing on a suit in one fell swoop, he said.

Suits are supposed to be fitted individually to each man, Stevens pointed out.  So, tailoring the suit to the right size is another major problem, he said.  “If he doesn't produce a shockingly vast array of sizes in this, it might look like an ill-fitting suit.”

Stevens is glad his work is affiliated with Betabrand, which “relies somewhat heavily on the designers to not only produce ideas and imagery, but publicize them as well.” 

Blueprint Blazer

You can help Brandon by voting online today for his design. If the product gets enough votes, it enters a funding phase and people start attaching money to their votes. They become investors in its future. 

Brandon Stevens is a project designer at Open Atelier Architects in Syracuse. This is his first time working in the world of fashion. 

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