Like a Phoenix Risen from the Ashes, John Targon Makes His Return

The fashion designer who previously held posts at Baja East and Marc Jacobs presents FALL RISK, a seasonless lifestyle brand for all genders—and it's a triumph.
Reading time 7 minutes
Portrait by Gregory Wikstrom

Portrait by Gregory Wikstrom

Lookbook by Remi Lamande

Video directed by Alana O’Herlihy

“You know what, it’s a famine of beauty!”

“My eyes are starving for beauty!”

It’s been 10 years since Andre Leon Talley uttered those infamous words in RJ Cutler’s The September Issue, a documentary that went behind the scenes of the creation of Vogue’s annual fashion bible. But despite the decade that separates now from then, Talley’s words have remained timeless. There’s no arguing about the current state of fashion, which some would say is in disarray thanks to unoriginal copying and pressures from advertising. As a result, many designers have been playing it safe, creating wearable fashion that may look good, but doesn’t really inspire.

Of course, there are still gems among the rubble—designers who are pushing us to go past our limits and embrace fashion that is both fun and meaningful. John Targon is one of them. After taking a break fresh off his brief post at Marc Jacobs and longer-term tenure at Baja East, Targon is making his return to the fashion zeitgeist with the launch of FALL RISK, a seasonless lifestyle brand for all genders.  It’s already been spotted on celebrities like Bella fucking Hadid, so you know this stuff is the real deal—a range full of wit, whimsy, and wearability that make up a stackable wardrobe of collectibles.



But Targon isn’t just back in the game—he’s singlehandedly changing it thanks to his efforts of creating a direct link between the FALL RISK brand its customers. Starting today, those interested in purchasing pieces from Volume 1 can do so via phone, dialing 212-982-RISK on weekdays from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST. Once the call is answered, a member of the staff, or Targon himself, will talk you through your order—customer service at its finest.

The brand also offers a Members Card program, which you can join along with Delilah Belle, Simon Huck, Danielle Bernstein, Duckie Thot, Claudia Oshry, Ben Soffer, Solange Franklin, Alana O’Herlihy and Noah Neiman. A sense of exclusivity wrapped up in analog? Yes. Embracing a future unafraid of its past? Sign us up!

But enough from me. I spoke to the man himself (via email) all about the exciting launch, connecting in the digital age, and who he hopes to see rocking FALL RISK next. Happy eavesdropping, chickens.

How do you feel right now? Describe to me in full detail!

Oh, thanks for asking. I have an incredible feeling of gratitude right now. The first feeling begins with seeing your vision come to life and I love seeing Fall Risk in full bloom, this is the starting point and a place to build from. The second feeling comes from wanting my team to feel proud, they have worked on consulting projects with me for over a year and it’s great for them to see all of their hard work come into reality. In short, gratitude.


Where did the name Fall Risk come from?

It pretty simply encapsulates a feeling of moving on from fear. It’s both one piece about the literal part of getting knocked down and risking it all no matter how hard it may seem and one part against the grain. Clothes should be worn by the wearer and I think a lot of people are afraid to venture out into a new style, but when you do it feels liberating.


What would you say forms the foundation of the brand?

The foundation is knitwear. Stackable, collectible knits that mix and match, the kind you want to wear and own forever. The next pillar are graphics, which make Fall Risk unique in spirit and when you mix knits and graphics you have a recipe for a happy life.

I’m positively obsessed with the fact that you make customers call a phone number to place an order. Tell me why this more analog approach was important for you to implement?

I am too! I miss the days of chatting with friends for hours on the phone. I’m not saying I want to spend hours with callers but if we can change one person’s way of thinking about clothing it’s worth it. The idea is that you get to know your customers and as much as it’s for them it’s also about getting a direct dial in to what is in demand and what works.


What are you most proud of? Was there a moment during the conception of Fall Risk that required a lot from you?

It isn’t the start of anything that feels daunting to me. The most exciting part to me is watching an idea take form, it’s digging deep when you hit roadblocks and don’t let up. I like to start my day in meditation and let a great power take it from there. The real requirement is the sustained passion through roadblocks.


When are you most in your element?

When I am surrounded by friends and laughter. I’ve learned the pain I have felt in my life is temporary, but the friendships are forever. Friends can make you laugh, and laughter sets my creativity abuzz. There is no worse situation than trying to be creative while down, haha.


What is one recurring lesson you’ve faced throughout your journey?

Not to give up. I think you learn through your adventures in life and business and the common denominator is kindness. I want to be kind and supportive of those around and you get that in return. I think it’s incredibly important to make your manufacturers just as happy on the journey. The people that work in the factories devote their lives and time to each piece and that’s important to me.

Bella Hadid was recently spotted wearing the Bougie jumpsuit—Who do you hope to see wearing Fall Risk?

I hope to see real people in the streets, that’s the number one most exciting thing to me. I want to get the pictures of people at a wedding, a concert, in their office, wherever they may be. When it comes to celebrities, I am most influenced by the world of music because music makes my mood and inspires how I want to dress. You dress for a mood and music sets the mood. Let’s say top five would be John Mayer, Frank Ocean, Beyoncé, Lana Del Ray, and Lee “Scratch” Perry.


What can we expect next?

If I told you, where would the fun be in staying in touch with the brand? Expect the unexpectable.

View the FALL RISK lookbook below, and call 212-982-RISK to order.


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