Thaddeus O’Neil is a New York native, born and raised surfing on Eastern Long Island. He studied philosophy and geology, obtaining a Master’s degree in philosophy of art. He worked as a model, writer and photographer’s assistant to several acclaimed fashion photographers, including his mentor Bruce Weber. He launched his namesake menswear collection in 2013. His main source of inspiration and creative release is still surfing off the beaches of Fire Island, NY and the surrounds. Somewhere between the sun-bleached haze of sand and surf and a place far less tangible and infinitely more cosmic lies the province of Thaddeus O'Neil. This season the designer set his poet's eye and beachy aesthetic on the Temple of the Burning Sun. Said temple doesn't exist on this earth, but the clothes painted a clear picture. As the collection was crystallizing, Thaddeus O'Neil took a trip to Japan, where the fiery orange-red of Shinto temples sparked inspiration; guests at the presentation were treated to a thundering performance by taiko drummers he stumbled upon in Washington Square Park, while the models' brilliant socks paid homage to the hue of those aforementioned temples. They peeked out from whiskey-color Ugg boots and slippers, which the designer professed to have been wearing since he was nine years old, making this season's partnership a natural fit; recall, too, that before they found notoriety as the de rigueur footwear of off-duty starlets in the early aughts, Uggs were sported by Aussie surfers all the way back in the Seventies. The undeniable ease of those slip-on shearling kicks is epitomized in all of Thadeeus O'Neil's designs, throw-them-on-and-go styles for the urban nomad, whipped up in gorgeous, top-shelf fabrications. To wit, a jacket in a stunner of a palm jacquard (its provenance was an Italian mill), or washi paper knits with a cool, dry handfeel, ideal for summer nights. Japan was fruitful not only for the designer creatively, but commercially too -since the brand's inception, it's continued to be his biggest market. He noted that Tokyo and New York are possessed of remarkably similar climates, and it's easy to see laid-back guys (and girls) on any continent going in for propositions like his baseball shirts, slouchy trousers, and touches of soft tailoring. Thaddeus O'Neil may have embraced the imaginary as his précis, but the appeal of this lineup was firmly rooted in the real world.