Wednesday, 21 March 2018 11:48

Label To Know McCaffrey

McCaffrey cycle safety shoes MR PORTER

Annoyingly, when practicality rears its head, design is often compromised. But not this time. I first noticed the ‘McCaffrey’ brand, very recently, in Paris at the men’s trade shows. What looked like a selection of beautifully made shoes was quickly shown to offer an extra, simple and effective detail for cyclists. 

McCaffrey Robert cycle safety men's shoes MR PORTER

At the back of each shoe is a reflective tab you can simply flip up when on your bike. It would even work when worn as a pedestrian during the darker evenings. 

Left & Right - McCaffrey - Suede Derby Shoes - £370 from MRPORTER.COM

Founded by Robert McCaffrey, and available exclusively at MRPORTER.COM, the concept arose on Robert’s first day as a design lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. His formal shoes were unsuitable for even the short journey by bicycle so development began on enhancing traditional shoes to become suitable for city cycling.

Robert's background includes roles as Design Chief for Belgian fashion designer Dirk Bikkembergs and senior footwear consultant for LVMH and Adidas Y-3.

McCaffrey Robert cycle safety men's shoes MR PORTER blue slip on

McCaffrey footwear combines technical innovation with world-class craftsmanship - they are made in Portugal, near Porto, in the historic shoe making district, by a 3-generation, family run company - to provide performance and elegance for today’s smart city traveller. Said to be inspired by today’s zeitgeist movement of ‘active-travel’ which encourages walking and cycling, McCaffrey has developed and patented an exclusive range of features for pavement and pedal.

McCaffrey Robert cycle safety men's shoes MR PORTER

Left - McCaffrey - Leather-Panelled Suede Slip-On Sneakers - £275 from MRPORTER.COM

Right - McCaffrey - Leather Boots - £440 from MRPORTER.COM

Anti-slip soles and handy side zips increase their practicality and showcase Robert’s 20 years’ design experience in the fashion, luxury and sports industries.

It's not often safety looks this good. I don’t even own a bike and I want these. 

Published in Labels To Know
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 13:37

Label To Know Cotton Citizen

Cotton Citizen basic made in LA The Chic Geek menswear

Another California based and made basics brands? Sound familiar? Read about The Death of American Apparel here

This time it’s different. Driven by Founder and Creative Director, Adam Vanunu, Cotton Citizen is about experimenting with colour and mastering the art of garment dying. A curated palette of super saturated, eye-catching coluors are released every season, created exclusively with their exclusive dye house’s capabilities.

Inspired by destinations around the world, Cotton Citizen is designed and produced in Los Angeles. Each Cotton Citizen piece is as unique as the person who wears it. 

An off-shoot of his family’s American Dye House business, which he took over when he was 20, Cotton Citizen launched with a T-shirt line in 2012, sold exclusively at Fred Segal. 

Adam still develops all the dye colours and washes the mens and womenswear collections by hand. He picks the fabric and launders it before he cuts and sews it, just so all the shrinkage gets out. 

Cotton Citizen basic made in LA The Chic Geek menswear

When Cotton Citizen dye, they provide a colour fascinator to the washes so that the colour doesn't bleed or fade and it stays as rich as the first day you got the shirt. 

Everything is made in the U.S. from 100% cotton.

TheChicGeek says, "I really like the vivid oranges and greens with coloured flecks for SS18 and while it is relatively expensive you are paying for the individual attention to each garment."

Left & Right - Cotton Citizen - Sweatshirt - £170, Jogging Trousers - £170 Available at Harvey Nichols

Published in Labels To Know
Friday, 13 October 2017 13:50

Label To Know Eiger Classic

Eiger Classic Alpine Inspired British knitwear

You don’t run before you can walk in fashion, let alone ski! Founded in 2014, Eiger Classic is a small British and British-made brand inspired by one of the founders' grandmothers.

“The brand is inspired by my Granny and her photos from when she was British downhill champion. She was also a keen photographer and we have loads of old photographs of these amazing expeditions they used to go on. We were totally inspired and wanted to try and recreate the timeless alpine look and as a result ‘Eiger Classic’ was founded." 

Left - The Viscount Montgomery - £95 -  “Warm on the slopes, cool as f@ck in the bar”

“We produce a range of leather products, but our main focus is merino wool jumpers that are all produced in Britain,” says Chris Pratt.

Chris and fellow founder, Tom Evans, still juggle full time jobs, a farmer and creative director, respectively, while producing a range of knitwear and small leather goods.

“We got into menswear because we wanted to buy products like we are producing and couldn't find anyone doing them so it was a case of doing it ourselves.

“Our range will stay pretty much the same. We will just look to add a few styles each year, we have two new jumpers coming out in the next couple of weeks. We are not looking to produce products that go in and out of fashion, we are looking to produce products that reflect a classic alpine age and are made to last,” says Chris.

Chris’ Granny’s name was Joan Shearing, and then Joan Hanlin. She was a British Downhill ski champion and won on borrowed skis in her 40's. Super Gran!

www.eigerclassic.com

Below - The Arnold Lunn - £178

Eiger Classic Alpine Inspired British knitwear Ski Retro Vintage

Published in Labels To Know
Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:49

Label To Know The Cords & Co

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company

It was with serendipity, just as the first AW17 shows were coming through, that I walked past the The Cords & Co. stand at Pitti Uomo in January last. I won’t bore with the fashion clichés of corduroy being the cloth of kings or geography teachers, but what you do need to know is that it’s everywhere and the main trend story for AW17.

Left - The Cords & Co aiming to be “the world’s first corduroy brand”

Giving themselves the title of “the world’s first corduroy brand”, this new Swedish brand is hoping to be to corduroy what Levi’s is to denim and you wonder why nobody has tried this before. They probably have, but not within the last couple of decades in my memory.

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company red jacket

The Cords & Co is going big, planning to open 6 flagship stores in New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles and Stockholm, - doesn’t say where the sixth one is?! - as well as a global online shop and plus wholesale partners. 

Right - The Cords & Co - Cut Poppy Red - £180

“The Cords & Co is created by a passionate group of people united by a shared love of corduroy. By exploring new ways to work with corduroy in our Stockholm design Studio, highlighting its long but little known history, and working closely with a carefully curated group of collaborative partners and cultural tastemakers in each of our flagship city locations around the world, we’re excited to share our unique story of a fabric everyone has a connection to, yet no other brand has dedicated themselves entirely to it,” says Omar Varts, CEO.  

It’s about time corduroy got some love. A practical yet smart material, it’s an easy option especially in the simple styles The Cords & Co. are offering. The best look is matching you jacket to your trousers to give you a 70s casual jean-suit feel.

The brand's images are a bit disappointing for a launch, keeping it too simple and I just hope they give the stores more life and branding as corduroy is ripe for personality and Scooby Doo adventures.

www.thecords.co.uk

Below - The Cords & Co - Trousers - £125

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company

Published in Labels To Know
Friday, 04 August 2017 13:12

Label To Know Floraïku

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Last week, Harrods unveiled the expansion of its Salon de Parfums area on the top floor of the store. Seven new fragrance boutiques have been added including Penhaligon’s, Armani Privé, Burberry, Sospiro, Frédéric Malle, Bond No.9 and, brand new and world exclusive, Floraïku.

Left - The new Floraïku boutique at the extended Salon de Perfumes in Harrods

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

The Japanese-inspired, Floraïku, has been created by John and Clara Molloy, the couple behind ‘Memo Paris’, available at Harvey Nichols. 

Directly inspired by Japan, the collection of eleven fragrances are based on Japanese poems - haiku - engraved on each bottle. Three ‘ceremonies’ make up Floraiku: Secret Teas and Spices, Enigmatic Flowers and Forbidden Incense, each
of them composed with three different perfumes. 

The colour of the bottles, navy blue, white and black ensures recognition. A final ceremony is added to the previous three: Shadowing. Composed of two perfumes, with a red bottle, it allows, if they are affixed near a fragrance of one of the other three collections, to make it deeper or lighter. 

Right - My favourite - Between Two Trees

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Unveiled in a box inspired by a Japanese bento box, each fragrance of 50ml is presented with its travel spray, which also serves as a stopper. A refill of 10ml for the vaporiser completes this box. All perfumes and travel refills are refillable. 

Left - Sit down for tea & a biscuit & sample the fragrances

TheChicGeek says, “This is a new take on fragrance and at first I thought it was Japanese. Japanese fragrances are usually very light. Because this is French, they are of a more European strength.

They are beautiful, so too is the packaging and the boutique. Looking like a tea house, you sit at the counter and are served tea and a biscuit - always a winner - while a wooden stand allows you to work through the collection. My favourite was one of the ‘shadows’ - ‘Between Two Trees’.

This is expensive, around £250, but without the usual bling you find at this level and smells very natural. I find it interesting how confident John and Clara Molloy must be to appropriate Japanese culture like this. It’s a difficult thing to get right when its not your own culture. I really like it, but I would love to know what the Japanese think”.

Below - The testers are arranged on this board to experience the different categories & 'shadows'

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance Bento Box Packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - The fragrances come in a bento style box with the travel spray stopper & cartridge

 

Published in Labels To Know
Monday, 17 July 2017 13:48

Label To Know BIEL-LO

Menswear Label to Know Biel-Lo Spanish

The modern way of shopping for something of quality often involves a little bit, but not too much - you can always ask TheChicGeek, of legwork to find the source. What I mean by this is, the majority of brands don’t make their own products. They use the ‘Private Label’ system of getting quality manufacturers to produce their goods. Often these manufacturers have their own in-house labels, producing products of the same quality without the designer mark up. While not cheap, you’re getting much better value for money.

One brand which fits this bill is the Spanish BIEL-LO. Carrying on a 25-year old tradition of expert craftsmanship, BIEL-LO produces fine quality knitted garments and accessories in the mountains of La Llacuna, Barcelona.

Menswear Label to Know Biel-Lo Spanish

BIEL-LO constructs timeless pieces using small-scale production to provide you with their personal hallmark: each and every item has been made to delight and be cherished. The hand-finished garments are designed to ensure functionality and warmth, year after year. 

Left & Right - BIEL-LO AW17

Currently stocked at Dover Street Market Tokyo and NYC, Tomorrowland, American Rag Cie, Merci, My Boon, the new AW17 collection is a collection of the must have earth colours and textured finishes like corduroy.

To be honest, these pictures don't do the clothes justice and it would be nice to see them in a UK stockist where you can see the quality for yourself. It’s also got that slightly eccentric edge and point of difference that you find around the Barcelona area.

Below - The BIEL-LO factory

Menswear Label to Know Biel-Lo Spanish

Published in Labels To Know
Friday, 02 June 2017 14:04

Label To Know - Rowing Blazers

The sport of rowing is dominated by the stereotypes of posh athletic giants called ‘Constantine’ or ‘Toby’. Their arrogance only surpassed by their prowess with a couple of oars and the Lycra in their rowing suits. But, off-duty they stick to tradition and continue to wear their team colours. The blazer was invented to be part of the rowing fraternity's uniform and as part of British culture, and our continual love affair with uniforms, it often takes an outsider to see and appreciate what we have and repackage and present something that has always existed. 

Just when we thought ‘preppy’ was dead and wasn’t coming back for a while, we see green shoots appearing, and a new label like ‘Rowing Blazers’, reinventing and adding more fun to this seasonal British style.

Founded by Jack Carlson, a three-time member of the United States national rowing team, Rowing Blazers’ aim is to reintroduce one of the originals in men’s sportswear. The days when ‘sportswear’ still meant you wore a tie. He won a bronze medal for the U.S.A. at the 2015 World Championships and has also won the Head of the Charles Regatta, Henley Royal Regatta, and Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Jack earned his doctorate in archaeology at the University of Oxford and is the author of the book Rowing Blazers (Thames & Hudson, 2014).

Left - Jack Carlson, founder of the American rowing blazer specialists, Rowing Blazers

Impressed the brand’s website and his passion for reintroducing this loud heritage style, I sent him a few ChicGeek questions to find out more:

CG: Why the fixation on rowing blazers?

JC: I spent a long time in the sport of rowing: nearly two decades, including three years on the US national team, so I've been immersed in this world for a while.  But I've also been very interested in heraldry and in the visual and sartorial trappings of status and hierarchy for a long time as well.  And I think the blazers that are traditional in the sport of rowing bring together all of those interests: menswear, heraldry, and the sport of rowing.

CG: When did you start? And what was the Eureka moment?

JC: I first competed at Henley Royal Regatta in 2004.  My crew was knocked out in the first round, which was pretty disappointing.  But it meant I had a great deal of time to spend in the spectator enclosures for the rest of the week, where I began chatting with other current and former rowers about their jackets and the stories and traditions behind them. I thought: someone should study these things, write a book about them. Six or seven years later, I realised I should be the guy to do it.  The book came out in 2014, and the company - making blazers by hand, and incorporating a lot of details, traditions and construction techniques I came across while creating the book - launched this year.

CG: How have you found the reception to them?

JC: People from all sorts of different backgrounds love what we're doing.  Menswear nerds love the research that has gone into everything we do and the quality of the construction and materials.  The rowing community respect the authenticity and pedigree of what we're doing.  The Japanese - we have a significant following in Asia - love the fact that our pieces are handmade in America.  We've even had a positive response from many streetwear fanatics, who like the irreverent spirit, the cryptic Latin graffiti, and the graphics on our caps and badges.

Right - Rowing Blazers - Croquet Stripe Blazer - $995

CG: What would you say to those people who say that preppy is dead or is out of fashion? 

JC: Preppy is dead. Long live preppy.  I hate much of what that word has come to signify, and I think much of what it's come to signify is pretty dead for now.  I think the consumer - at least the higher end menswear consumer - wants something with authenticity, with a story, a sense of meaning behind it.  This consumer wants to know where, how, why, and from a product was made.  Our pieces have tremendous depth to them; from the 3-roll-2 silhouette of our blazers, to the small embroidered faucet motif on our ties, there's a story and a reason behind every decision; and our pieces are all handmade in the US.  So our collection is very different from much of what is usually considered to be "preppy" nowadays; but blue Oxford cloth button downs; flannel blazers - in navy or more outrageous colours; and webbing belts will never go out of style.

CG: Do you mostly concentrate on rowing teams and clubs or are you targeting a fashion consumer?

JC: We are a menswear brand first and foremost, but we are also proud to make blazers for a wide range of rowing teams and clubs, including Britain's most prestigious rowing club, Leander Club in Henley-on-Thames.  We've also created blazers for rowing clubs in China  - which is pretty cool considering we make everything in Manhattan; Oxford Brookes; the University of Texas - for whom we made blazer-cowboy jacket hybrids; and many other clubs, schools and universities.

CG: I’ve always loved the British Army blazer that I saw at Henley, would you make one of those?

JC: We might do something in camo, but we are always very careful to be respectful of existing club blazers, and would never "knock off' any institution's blazer.

CG: What’s your favourite style & why?

JC: My favourite piece in our collection is the 8x3 double breasted blazer, which is inspired by a blazer Prince Charles always wears.  One never sees an 8x3 double breasted blazer on the market, so we had to make one.  With five cuff buttons, an oversized front button from a vintage die, and a perfect fit, it came out brilliantly.

Left - Rowing Blazers - 8X3 Double Breasted Blazer ‘Prince Charlie’ $1095

CG: Do you ship to the UK? Isn't this a bit like taking coals to Newcastle?!

JC: We ship worldwide. Although the UK is the land of the blazer, no one is doing what we are doing: it's our commitment to quality and traditional techniques that's enabled us to become the official blazer supplier to Leander Club, Oxford Brookes University Boat Club and many other British institutions while making everything in New York.  We are chatting with several British menswear retailers about going into their stores as well, and they understand that we are a high end brand with a unique product; they wouldn't be looking at us if they viewed us as a school uniform supplier!

CG: What would you say to those people who say rowing is elitist?

JC: Rowing has its roots in Oxbridge, but also the far more blue collar world of professional sculling.  It developed not only through public schools and the Putney clubs, but also through many working man's clubs around England.  Today many still associate the sport with Oxbridge because of the prominence of the Oxford-Cambridge race, but the truth is the sport is becoming more accessible and more universal all the time.  British Rowing has done a great job bringing the sport into many new communities in the UK.  I'm part of an organisation in the US, here in New York, called Row New York, which is a highly competitive rowing program for kids from the city's underserved communities.  They've just qualified a boat for the national championships for the first time, which is fantastic to see.

CG: What’s the future for Rowing Blazers?

JC: We’ll be expanding into a few other categories and also expanding our retail footprint; we have a lot of pop-ups planned, including at Henley and Goodwood Revival; and we'll be going into a number of stores in Japan, Taiwan and China in the next few months.  We have some cool collaborations planned with Merz b. Schwanen, a very cool and historic German knitwear manufacturer, and a few other exciting brands.  We are really just getting started.

CG: You don’t just sell blazers? What else do you sell? 

JC: We also make shirts in a few different styles.  They are pretty unique because they are hand-distressed - here in the US! - and come with or without busted seams.  They've been a hit with the more street-oriented customer actually. We also do hats, belts, ties -- many featuring satin-stitch embroidery, or hand-embroidered wire bullion motifs - and a wide range of rare, funky and quirky vintage product.

Published in Labels To Know
Monday, 22 May 2017 10:29

Label To Know PRLE

At the last Paris men’s fashion week, in January, I visited the MAN tradeshow and discovered the Swedish menswear label PRLE.  Pronounced par-lay, it’s part of that new experimental and romantic trend in menswear. I thought I’d ask Andreas Danielsson, the mind behind PRLE, a few more questions:

Left & Below - PRLE AW17 - Credits: Photo: Amanda Nilsson, Styling: Alice Lönnblad

CG :What do you do at PRLE?

AD: I’ve been running the brand myself since I started it in 2013. Basically I do everything myself: sourcing materials, pattern construction, design, sales, etc.

CG: Where are you from originally?

AD: I’m born and raised in Malmö, Sweden.

CG: Tell me more about PRLE? What does the name mean?

AD: It doesn’t have a special meaning, but it has been changed a lot.

It started out as PALE, which was picked up from a song I listened to at that time.

Then I changed to PARLE, which I had tattooed just to convince myself that was it, but then I had it tweaked again and removed the "a", so now its PRLE (still pronounced PARLE though).

CG: What is the influence of the AW17 collection?

AD: This season I wanted to aesthetically communicate the brands identity of the "modern hippie”. I always find great inspiration in eccentric people or characters and for the AW17 collection I eyed towards the 1970's hippies and the character "Billy" from the movie ‘Easy Rider’.

It’s their fearlessness that inspires me, and how they challenge what is expected in order to create something new, and something that is their own.

For this collection, I wanted to portray my "modern hippie" in an updated and more sophisticated and decadent way. 

CG: Do you think men are being more daring in what they wear today?

AD: I hope so! This is one of the main objectives for PRLE, to provide diversity on the menswear market, and to keep challenging the boundaries for what ”menswear” is and can be. 

CG: Where is it available to buy from?

AD: AW17 will be available in June/July at International gallery BEAMS (online and in-store) and also on the PRLE webshop (www.prle.eu)

CG: Will you be in Paris again?

AD: Yes, I’ll be exhibiting at Capsule in Paris in June 24-26.

 

Published in Labels To Know
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 10:33

Label To Know BeauFort London

Beaufort London Leo Crabtree The Chic GeekIt was at the launch of the new men’s grooming destination, Beast, - more info here - in Covent Garden that I was introduced to Leo Crabtree, the man behind the Beaufort London fragrance brand. There were a few samples of his fragrances in the selection of products to try and I was impressed by the originality of the scents. Historically based, they are a dramatic concoction of rich and smokey scents inspired by Britain’s maritime history. I wanted to know more, so, TheChicGeek asked Leo a few questions:

CG: What’s your background and why and when did you start Beaufort London?

LC: My background is mainly in music and I studied history at university. BeauFort London came about as a vehicle to market some homemade grooming products I was making around 4 years back.  I found myself getting bored of the stuff that was available at that time and I thought I could do a better job. This project then developed into something a bit different, particularly when I started to learn about making fragrance. This area really interested me and I’ve kind of followed this path for the last 3 years.

CG: Where does the name come from? 1805 is a special year for you, why is that?

LC: The brand’s name comes from the Beaufort Scale which was thought up in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort - a way that sailors could gauge and report the wind strength. It’s still in use today.

This idea of invisible strength resonates and seemed appropriate for a brand that initially was only selling very firm moustache wax. The metaphor works nicely for fragrance too.

Aside from this detail, 1805 was also a pivotal year for British fortunes at sea… following the win at the battle of Trafalgar (October 21st 1805) British sea power was established and continued unchallenged for a century or so… I think these naval events still echo in the way we Brits perceive ourselves. And there’s something about the early 19th century that fascinates us - it seems to pop up a lot in popular culture at the moment.

CG: How many fragrances are in the range?

LC: The ‘Come Hell or High Water’ Collection consists of 5 Eau De Parfum each representing a different aspect of our relationship with the sea:  Tonnerre (Trafalgar/warfare), Coeur De Noir (adventure stories / tattoos), Vi Et Armis (The opium / sea trade), Lignum Vitae (ships clocks / time) and Fathom V (The Tempest - weather). We are launching a 6th later this year too and we recently released a leather discovery set of the whole collection - refillable 7.5ml vials of each which is really popular.

CG: What is the idea behind the packaging?

LC: Well the caps were at one point going to be made out of pieces of old ships, but this didn’t work all that well. So, now, they are made from ash, which is a bit more stable and safer to reproduce.

The boxes ended up becoming almost like books or possibly sarcophagi - this is a pretty important thread in all this. The past, history, books, it’s all in here. I like to include snippets of things I’ve read, pictures inspired by the events that inform the fragrances. Each box is embossed with a little latin phrase which I found on a medal that was given to those who fought at the battle of Trafalgar. All these little things build a coherent picture of the brand I think. 

CG: I like Tonnerre, which is inspired by the battle of Trafalgar, how do you get that smokey effect?

LC: Lots and lots of birch tar. This is an intensely smokey material made by boiling birch sap.  This has been used a lot in the past to create a ‘leather’ effect (Famously in Chanel’s 'Cuir De Russie’ - historically Russian soldiers used Birch tar to waterproof their boots). In the case of Tonnerre the perfumer uses it in far far higher concentration than anyone has before to produce a gunpowder effect. I love the intensity of it… and the smell of tar immediately reminds me of boats.

Tonnerre Trafalgar fragrance 1805 Beaufort London The Chic Geek GroomingCG: Any highlights from the others? What is the most popular and why do you think that is?

LC: We actually use birch tar in a lot of our fragrances. That smokey tar effect is almost our signature so if you’re looking for fresh you’re in the wrong place…

Vi Et Armis is really popular, I think because it’s so ‘in your face’ and unusual - dark as all hell. And Fathom V is an intensely strange aquatic fragrance which seems to be doing well too. We use a lot of strong materials, a lot of wood, tobacco, spice and booze. I think people like our brand because we offer something very different to traditional fragrances.

CG: You also sell other products like candles and moustache wax, how did these come about?

LC: The candles were due to popular demand, we had a lot of people who loved the scents asking if we could make them, so we tried it, and it seemed to work. Again, it hasn’t really been about planning these products, they just seem to make sense, and so we do them. I like experimenting with ideas.

CG: Has it been easy to produce in the UK?

LC: The perfume industry is rooted in mainland Europe for sure, but there’s a rich history of British perfumery and some really interesting newer British brands.

It was always a key aspect of this project that we would only work with British companies, and that has made things tricky (and almost certainly more expensive) at times. But it can be done, and I’m proud of it. 

Our perfumers are based just outside of London, our boxes are made by hand in Sheffield, our bottles are filled and packed in the Cotswolds, the candles are made in Derbyshire and the moustache wax cases were made in Coventry.

CG: What do you think about the current perfume industry? Is it welcoming to niche producers? Is there too much product?

LC: When I first launched the range we went to Paris fashion week to have a look around. I was talking to a guy who works for a very long established French perfume house and he said to me quite unequivocally, “now this is war”, which seemed pretty ridiculous at the time. However, as time has passed, I think he’s right. There’s so many brands all trying to get a piece of the pie and the pie isn’t all that big in the first place. New launches happen all the time and it seems like (as with everything else) attention spans are short and the temptation is to churn out ’newness’ (a word I particularly hate) to grab attention fleetingly. 

In the next few years, we may see some of these brands falling away as saturation point is reached. In my mind, starting a brand is the easy bit. Establishing longevity and maintaining engagement with your customer over a significant period of time is much harder… Time will tell.

CG: Is there any advice you would give to men about choosing fragrance or how they apply or use it?

LC: As with anything, the most rewarding experiences are those you invest some time in… do some research, get some samples of things that intrigue you. Spend a bit of time getting to know the fragrance in different environments as the best fragrances can develop massively throughout a day. Don’t rush… I’ve always said that YOU should wear the fragrance, don’t let IT wear you which is particularly important with these strong, heavy fragrances. There just too much for some people… they should blend with your character somehow rather than take over.

CG: What’s next for Beaufort London?

LC: Put it this way, we have been researching Georgian vices… I can’t say much more than that but it’s going to be an interesting couple of years!

www.beaufortlondon.com

Niche men's fragrance Beaufort London The Chic Geek

Published in Grooming
Friday, 15 May 2015 14:11

Label To Know - Le Slip Francais

the chic geek label to know le slip francaisMove over Mary Portas! Le Slip Francais is all about home manufacturing: French manufacturing. Founder, Guillaume Gibault, made a bet, in early 2011, with a friend, in a Parisian Café, where he wagered that with an inspiring story and traditional French craftsmanship anything and everything was possible.

Left - Oo La La - Le Slip Francais' Logo

The briefs he imagined, on that fine evening, first saw the light of day a few months later in a small workshop on the banks of the river Drome in the Dordogne which had been producing underwear for the last 60 years. In September 2011, the first consignment of 600 pairs was delivered to Paris in the trunk of a rental car and Le Slip Francais was launched.

mens underwear le slip français made in franceNever had the 2,000 villagers of the sleepy commune of Saint-Antoine-Cumond dreamed that their home would soon become the French underwear capital.

Right - Le Slip Francais' colour palette for its underwear and swimwear in based on the three colours of the French flag - Red, White & Blue - Trunks - £25

Three years later with the expansion that followed, partnerships with established brands, two pop-up stores, one store in Paris, Le Slip français celebrated the sale of its 60,000th garment – one of over 120 different lines, created in one of 15 workshops across France.

aigle le slip française menswearBut, Le Slip Français is much more than a brand of underwear. This dynamic brand fuses French manufacturing tradition and expertise with a modern twist and a sense of humour. The internet has offered them a new way to fund, create, communicate and interact with their brand community worldwide. In achieving this vision they're breathing new life into what had been a declining industry, by creating a brand that is relevant for a new generation of discerning consumers who value quality garments with a genuine story and honest authentic provenance.

Left - For Spring-Summer 2015, another French brand, Aigle, has collaborated with Le Slip Français. Drawing inspiration from classic French style 'Breton stripes' the capsule collection has six statement pieces including swim shorts, trunks, espadrilles, T-shirt, a tote bag and iconic Aigle wellington boots. The colour palette of the collection is based on the French tricolour and the whole collection is made in France.

www.leslipfrancais.fr

Published in Labels To Know
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