15 years ago Scott Sternberg launched Band of Outsiders, a brand that will be remembered as pivotal in the trajectory of contemporary fashion – particularly in the annals of menswear – as it signposted what men wanted from fashion at the time.
However, Sternberg’s background is noticeably less fashion-orientated than his designer contemporaries. Sternberg studied economics at college, and cut his teeth in the film and media industries, transplanting himself from Dayton, Ohio to Los Angeles in the ’90s, where he was an assistant at talent agency Creative Arts Agency. These steps make a lot of sense in retrospect when you consider the cinematic qualities that defined the Band of Outsiders aesthetic, and the grasp it had on the media and marketing at the height of its popularity.
Sternberg’s new brand EntireWorld – a very different label both in terms of business and aesthetics – may well come to reflect the zeitgeist in a similar way.
16 months into EntireWorld, Sternberg tells Highsnobiety about the differences between launching a brand then and now. He’s wearing a blue/white striped tee from his new collection and eating a handful of nuts for breakfast. The T-shirt fits him perfectly, affirming the idea that simplicity and reducing things to the bare essentials is key.
EntireWorld was first introduced to the market with a self-recorded video from Sternberg in 2018. His monologue set the mood for the kind of brand it was going to be: personable, humble, and inclusive. If you visit the official website, tiny opaque text bubbles fade in to let you know that someone in Mumbai is also browsing crewneck sweaters right now. You might also notice a weather update from Hong Kong or Belgrade.
The atmosphere on the site contrasts the models of exclusivity and aspiration fashion brands are typically built on. Instead of presenting you, a potential customer, with how you could feel via some glamorous or aspirational editorial, it makes you feel like you’re already part of something, that is to say, a part of everything.
EntireWorld – easily understood as a collection of basic, durable essentials – is presumably about dressing to be the best version of yourself, not the version you think you could, or need, to be. The fact that Band of Outsiders and EntireWorld come from the same person says a lot about how the fashion industry has been upturned over the last 10 years, and a bit about how Sternberg’s mind works, too.
“I don’t mind the comparisons at all,” says Sternberg. “Band was me, EntireWorld’s me. It’s just me, a little older, a little wiser maybe. The name was amongst a thousand names that I brainstormed and then as I started getting into it, I’m like, ‘Wow, this is actually subconsciously a complete foil to Band of Outsiders.’”
In retrospect, the buzz and success of BoO (under Sternberg’s direction) represented what consumers, and indeed the culture at large, was hungry for in the mid to late ’00s: an earnestly American milieu of preppy skinny oxford ties, retro celebrity campaigns, and access to a personal style that was cinematic, and afforded the wearer a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.
It was whimsical, twee, and style catnip for celebrities wanting to ride the fashion wagon. Using a polaroid camera, Sternberg personally photographed the likes of Frank Ocean, Donald Glover, Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, and Amy Adams at various iconic Los Angeles locations. It couldn’t be more different from the “marketing” of EntireWorld, which pulls user-uploaded selfies and posts them directly to the official Instagram.