Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 UTILITY SANDALS HUNTER menswearThe Berlin trade shows are a decent barometer of Northern Europe’s fashion direction. While not known for being particularly experimental or distinctive markets, it’s a good point to see what is selling in more mainstream menswear, post Pitti Uomo, from larger and smaller brands alike. Here are the menswear trends, brands and collabs. to take note of for SS20 from Berlin:

TRENDS

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 UTILITY SANDALS HITEC menswearThe Branded Utility Sandal

Lead by Teva, with touches of the Japanese, Suicoke, the activity, utility or trekking sandal - take your pick - is replacing the slide as the cool summer men’s footwear of choice. This geeky style was championed by many brands including Hunter, Slydes and Hi-Tec; all showing their own versions of these sandals which require some serious foot game in the pedicure/foot maintenance department. 

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 UTILITY SANDALS SLYDES menswear

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 DATE TRAINERS SNEAKERS menswear

Far Left - Hunter

Left - Slydes

Right - Hi-Tec

 

Transparent Trainers

This was a trend first seen at Pitti Uomo. Transparent ripstop nylon used in the main body of the shoe allowing see-through and visible sections throughout. Not sure whether you’re supposed to wear with or without socks?

Right - D.A.T.E.

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 DEEP NAKED DENIM menswearBerlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 KEEP BAGS menswearUkrainian Brands

The Ukrainian capital, Kiev, is fast becoming a hot spot of creativity. Brands such as ‘Deep Naked Denim’ with their hoodies with additional arms to tie around the waist and revealing jeans and ‘Keep’, an accessorise brand using paper-like materials which you can self graffiti and customise are drawing attention to this part of Eastern Europe.

Left - Deep Naked Denim

Right - Keep

 

 

 

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 PELLE PELLE menswear
Baggy Trousers (Jeans)

We’ve been waiting with baited breath for a new style of jean that will resonate with the mass men’s audience. Enter the baggy 90s jean last seen on Marky Mark.

Lead by Pelle Pelle, an american brand founded in 1978 and now being designed and handled in Denmark, who prides themselves with having been the first urban brand to intentionally design and release the baggy denim pant worn by the stars of 90s hip-hop.

Unfeigned, a Spanish menswear brand, featured higher waisted denim with deep side pockets following this looser aesthetic.

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 UNFEIGNED JEANS menswearLeft - Pelle Pelle 

Right - Unfeigned

 

 

 

NEW BRANDS

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 APRVD menswearAPRVD

You’ve got to give this Korean brand credit - pardon the pun! - APRVD says it “secures a wearable aesthetic that combines the utilitarian energy of street style with an artistic spirit upholding the highly qualified production experiences over the decades.” No, me neither, but its play on credit card design is priceless! Soz.

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 DESTIN SHIRTS MADE IN ITALY menswearDESTIN

Following on from the Paris Trade Shows - see more here the linen shirt continues to segue itself back into fashion. These colourful shirts, some with matching scarves, are made in Italy by Destin and retail for around €90.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 PERKS SHOES FOOTWEAR menswearPERKS

A private label manufacturer and a Portuguese take on a helvetica shoe brand, Perks’ parent company Evereste is 75 years old. This family business is branching out with this, their own label, showcasing their quality sports shoes and smarter leather shoes all proudly made in Portugal.

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 ISNURH menswear

ISNURH

A young Danish menswear label, ISNURH is a Copenhagen-based menswear brand with a detail-driven approach. The founders, Kasper and Oliver, have created not only a ready-to-wear label collections, but also collaborations with different artists, and bespoke garments made in a tunnel located in Silkegade, Copenhagen.

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 JET SET SKI menswear

 

 

 

 

 

JET SET

This Swiss skiwear brand returns with its luxe and loud take on 80s style. Originally founded in St. Moritz in 1969, and now under the creative direction of Michael Michalsky, JET SET’s new logo is comprised of letters in a dynamic contemporary font set against an angular orange-and-black placard and references the label’s Swiss-German heritage in a bold and confident colourway. 

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 LION BRAND SPORTSWEAR menswearLION BRAND SPORTSWEAR

Move over preppy Polo Bear, the abbreviated LBSW, founded in the USA in 1954 by Antonio Rosenbaum, is inspired by ‘Ivy League’ sporting competitions. The original LionBrandSportsWear supplied not only casual wear but also sports equipment for these Ivy League athletes.

After more than 65 years, and now owned by Bastiaan Roessen and based in the Netherlands, LBSW is being relaunched by introducing “'The 1954 Polo Shirt’. This authentic slim fitted polo shirt from 1954 is made from 100% piqué cotton and signed with their embroidered Lion logo.

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 LEE X TIMBERLAND menswear

 

 

 

COLLABORATIONS 

LEE 101 X TIMBERLAND

While both originally part of the giant VF Corporation group of brands, though Lee has been spun out with its other denim cousin, Wrangler, into the Kontoor Brands group, it doesn’t mean they still can’t work together. Timberland’s outdoor, active and environmental credentials has been mixed with Lee’s denim heritage. The result is something fit for the American Frontier both visually and practically.

Berlin Seek trade shows trends SS20 YMC X FARAH COLLABORATION menswearYMC X FARAH

YMC has worked their usually quirky aesthetic into Farah’s reliable menswear to celebrate the latter's centenary. Lots of colour and things like appliqué stars play with Farah’s American roots. Founded in 1920 in El Paso, Texas, they originally produced chambray work shirts for the cost of 35 cents. Inflation allowing, these fun pieces will still be at Farah’s successfully affordable price points.

See Paris Menswear Trade Shows SS20 - Here

Published in Fashion

Best made in Italy brands at Pitti Uomo Florence SS20With Italy tip-toeing in and out of recession, Pitti Uomo felt a little skittish on confidence. It had an atmosphere of brands holding on by their finger nails, with many hoping for a strong SS20 season to help pull them through.

Sadly, it’s the quality makers who seem most susceptible to failure. Their high costs, lower margins and small quantities make it a difficult balancing act to continue to stay strong and produce quality product in Italy. These are the brands who are barely known yet sing through the quality on the hanger and all at a fair price. Today, you rarely get this kind of care and attention with a designer name. Here are five made-in-Italy menswear makers we should all be supporting:

Left - Pitti Uomo 96 soaking up the sunshine

Best made in Italy brands at Pitti Uomo Florence SS20 PRESIDENT'SPresident’s

Founded in 1957 by current creative director Guido Biondi’s grandfather as ‘7 Bell S.p.A’, a Tuscan atelier, it was the very first producer of Italian denim. Today, they make colourful and contemporary menswear instilled with the best made-in-Italy production.

Right - President's - For the SS20 season, there were bold minimal orange jackets, tie-dyed shirting and hand sketched T-shirts

Best made in Italy brands at Pitti Uomo Florence SS20 BARENABarena

Based in Venice, Barena, the Italian for ‘mudflat’, has been steadily making inroads into the UK with its stylish and original menswear. Inspired by the Venetian lagoon, Barena says it mimics the qualities of traditional workwear with a modern aesthetic. Loose shapes, quiet precise tailoring, exquisite fabrics, attention to detail and confident versatility are the pillars of their design philosophy.

The menswear designer is Massimo Pigozzo who has been with the Barena family for over twenty years. Trained as a tailor, for Pigozzo it is important to create designs that are simple, understated and easy to wear. Deep fabric research, pattern work and soft tailoring are key to his approach and he says it is not about reproductions or constant alterations. 

Left - Barena - For the SS20 season, it was all about contrast with playful tailoring and short sleeved shirts with contrasting collars

Best made in Italy brands at Pitti Uomo Florence SS20 DOPPIAADoppiaa

Meaning double A in Italian and named after two friends, Alain and Albert, Doppiaa is designed for the whole family, for all ages and all occasions. Based in Milan, Doppiaa has two essential cornerstones: 100% Italian manufacturing, and the painstakingly executed pinpointing and selecting of the highest quality fabrics.

Right - Doppiaa - For the SS20 season, it was brightly coloured towelling tops, pyjama style piped printed shirts and strikingly striped trousers

Best made in Italy brands at Pitti Uomo Florence SS20 SUNHOUSESunhouse

This is everything the more famous Missoni should be; colourful, stylish and contemporary. Designed by Simonetta Bocelli and Franco Santarini and based in Florence, Sunhouse is a specialist in Italian made knitwear in a rainbow of colours in classic menswear shapes.

Sunhouse is one of the few companies in the world to use traditional 720-yarn looms to 'reinvent' the culture of knitwear. The production is carried out in their workshops in Montecosaro, in the Marche Region. Each individual jacket is cut and sewn by hand.

Left - Sunhouse - For the SS20 season, it was about bold colour stories in signature zig-zagged blazers and delicate polo shirts

Best made in Italy brands at Pitti Uomo Florence SS20 BOBBOB

BOB is an Italian sportswear brand created by two young Italian guys, Alessio Bonaiuti and Tommaso Bellini. They started their adventure 11 years ago in Prato, with the idea developing from going around vintage warehouses where huge quantities of second hand clothes were divided by colours and then recycled. Going through these warehouses was like being absorbed in a spectacular coloured market that resembled a field of flowers they thought and it was this image was the starting idea to develop a new concept of eclectic and colourful menswear.

Right - BOB - For the SS20 season, it was all about bold, pattern blazers and colourful separates 

These are simply beautiful clothes made with care from great ingredients. While you are paying a premium, you are, in fact, getting great value when you consider the expertise and pedigree of these makers. These are the kind of clothes that are a joy to wear and will last you a very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Fashion

Barena Venice print linen shorts top menswear productsThese were some of my favourite pieces from the SS19 trade shows. First seen at Pitti in Florence and then later in Copenhagen on the Barena, the Venice-based fashion brand, stand, they hadn’t disappeared out of my head and I was itching for them to drop. 

Featuring a stunning print of Venice, one of the most beautiful and individual cities in the world, they are stylish, oversized linen garments which you could wear separately or all together for that complete Peggy Guggenheim look.

Left & Below - Barena - BERMUDA (Shorts) AGRO SCHIAVON UNICO - €195, CAMICIA (Shirt) SOLANA MARTINO UNICO - €235

Barena Venice print linen shorts top menswear products

Barena Venice print linen shorts top menswear products

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Barcelona top menswear brands Mans Concept

Barcelona top menswear brands Mans ConceptMy first visit to this beautiful city’s fashion week; its new remit of hosting international talent, and nearly half of the shows dedicated to menswear, makes this a place to watch for nascent menswear brands. Here are TheChicGeek’s highlights:

Mans Concept & Menswear

One of Barcelona’s emerging menswear stars, Mans Concept & Menswear - it's a mouthful - is designer, Jaime Álvarez’s brand. Born in Seville, he studied fashion at IED Madrid and graduated in 2017. This was a journey to India featuring florals, exaggerated lapels and knitted tank tops. An Indian colour palette of fuschia, marigold yellow and green gave this a summery feel with the highlights being delicate leaf cutouts in soft tailoring.

Both Left - Mans Concept & Menswear took a trip to India

Barcelona top menswear brands Umit Benan

Umit Benan

Invited Turkish designer, Benan, looked to religion as a leveller of people: once their shoes are taken off in the mosque everybody is equal. He launched his eponymous line in 2009 and won the 1st edition of Who’s on Next/Uomo contest the year after at Pitti Uomo. This collection featured long trench coats to the floor, even coming in reflective gold, thuggish looking bleached corduroy and knitted under-looking clothes. Tailoring was prominent with evening wear and overcoats and quilted jackets and trousers injected the AW19 protective element.

Right - Umit Benan

Barcelona top menswear brands Jnorig

Jnorig

Javier Girón studied at the Instituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Barcelona and upon graduating he moved to Los Angeles to work alongside Jeremy Scott, Creative Director at Moschino. He returned to Barcelona in 2016, to establish his high-end menswear brand. This was a slick sportswear collection featuring collegiate lettering in a monochrome palette. It’s hard to get this kind of aesthetic to look high-end, but here it looked considered, stylish and well fabricated. 

Left - Jnorig AW19

Barcelona top menswear brands Pablo Erroz

Pablo Erroz

Pablo Erroz founded his ready-to-wear fashion brand for men and women in 2010. Entirely made in Spain, this was a collection with a touch of the Gallaghers with the 90s round coloured lensed glasses. Stripes and the Spanish leather work was there in a light, wearable collection with nautical ropes, florals and sequins.

Right - Liam or Noel?! All made in Spain, Pablo Erroz

 

Barcelona top menswear brands Rubén Galarreta

Rubén Galarreta

Spain’s own youthful and unashamed take on Versace hyped fashion, the Rubén Galarreta brand launched in 2014. Featuring the perfect balance between haute couture and sportswear, the vibrant prints, transparent fabrics, hand-embroidered pieces and unique accessories aren’t for those who want to blend into the crowd. Elasticated side cut outs on trousers, the Chinese Lucky Cat waving motif and transparent underwear makes for a sexualised and provocative male for AW19. This is underwear as outerwear.

Left - Strapped in for AW19 - Rubén Galarreta

Disclosure - TheChicGeek travelled to Barcelona thanks to 080 Barcelona Fashion Week

Published in Fashion

Y Project Pitti Uomo Glenn Martens AW19 menswearIt was most likely those wrinkly Ugg boots, looking like an oversized Shar-Pei, that garnered Y/Project its recent and biggest amount of attention. The Paris based label, headed by Belgian designer, Glenn Martens, has been lumped in with that Off-White/Balenciaga cool wave of recent years. Martens, 35, has been at Y/Project for the past 5 years, taking over from founder, Yohan Serfaty, when he died in 2013. His first assistant, Martens, was an Interior Architecture graduate and an alumni from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. 

Left - Y/Project's signature waders

This season’s guest designer at Florence’s Pitti Uomo, this was the label’s AW19 show of men’s and womenswear, bringing forward their usual date from Paris.

Forget the museum, it was a night at Florence’s famous Santa Maria Novella monastery, next to the central station and known for its smellies. Guests were given torches as they entered the huge, darkened church and we followed the hundreds of mini flashlights into the cloistered quadrant where the catwalk ran around the four sides with the models ending up like chess pieces in the middle. 

Divine despite the cold, the columns and erect cypresses were silhouetted onto the shaded honey walls as the models took a turn on what has to be one of the longest catwalks ever. One model was hobbling in her lemon yellow stilettos before she’d reached the fourth side and on into the soil centre.

Y Project Pitti Uomo Glenn Martens AW19 menswearWhat we saw was a delight of design. Yes, a designer actually trying to design something and, the majority of times, pulling it off. There’s such a difference between a designer, here, and an editor, the majority of brands, who just reconfigure and fine tune things. The word here was reconstruction. Your eye followed seams and there was an itching want to open it all up and look inside: seeing where things were going to and how they worked. This is the kind of stuff that interests us fashion geeks and isn’t something Zara can easily replicate, and, as such, makes you crave the original.

Right - Y/Project AW19 - First men's bag and shoe collection

This was the debut of the brand’s men’s footwear and bag line, both hand-crafted in Italy.

The signature waders were there, but in rigid, shiny plastic, almost like creased trousers with the shoes attached. There was plenty for the tailoring revivalists. A new tuxedo jacket appeared where the satin label was pulled out to create a 3D effect with the button. This is difficult stuff to get looking right. Fringed scarves resembling Turkish carpets added to accessorises, plus pinstripes and this season’s pattern du jour, tartan.

This was contemporary cool, bit not aching or gimmicky. You could see different age groups in these clothes and wearers enjoying the newness and the details. It felt like the direction we’re headed in. From the deconstructed and harsh reality of recent years, back to a glamour of construction and playing with new ideas while still keeping it real.

This feels like the last of this type of designer we’ll see at Pitti Uomo, as I predict a return to more tailoring and Italian industry brands, but, Martens, lead us into temptation and away from the sportswear grunge to a higher sophistication. Could Martens become the Y/Prophet?

Published in Fashion

Yellow quilted men's coat jacket TopmanYou probably saw my obsession with Space Odyssey 2001 after the Undercover AW18 show at Pitti Uomo in January. See more here Well, I haven’t been able to get Z Zegna’s interpretation of those Kubrick space suits out of my head and this bright yellow one from Topman just jogged my memory.

Yellow quilted men's coat jacket Z Zegna Space Odyssey

So, this winter make like a bold Michelin Man in vibrant primary colours. Yellow is the colour of choice and the matching hat, trousers, gloves, boots, are all purely optional!

Left - Topman - Yellow Puffer Jacket - £70

Right - Z Zegna - £1090

Published in Fashion
Friday, 03 August 2018 13:58

Label To Know The Silted Company

The Silted Company menswear brands to know SS19 surfingI first saw The Silted Company over a year ago at the SS18 SEEK trade show in Berlin. I was taken with the striped 'Cali' shirt for SS18 - pictured - and the liked the idea of a relaxed, surfer brand yet with the slick manufacturing of Italy. Time flew by and I didn’t get a chance to feature them. When I saw them again at this year’s Pitti Uomo in Florence it reminded me what a good, young brand this is. Especially for summer.

Left - SS18 Cali Shirt

The Silted Company menswear brands to know SS19 surfing

The brand is strongly inspired and influenced by the culture of surfing. Their collective is made up of surfers, designers, musicians, photographers and innovative directors, "embracing the curious side of the way of thinking and positive changes in the world”. 

Right - SS18 Alar Jacket - €195

"Perceiving Endless" is their motto, it contains the past, present and future. 
Born in Emilia Romagna in Northeast Italy, The Silted Company did not immediately taste the world of surfing, but it was their admiration towards the sport and the culture that brought them  to "feel the sea inside”. This label feels young, contemporary and sporty while retaining the quality, which I love, from made in Italy.

 

The Silted Company menswear brands to know SS19 surfingLeft - Preview of SS19

Published in Labels To Know
Monday, 09 July 2018 13:47

Hot List Rivieras Napoles Pablo

Best summer shoes Rivieras

The French give good summer shoe and one of my favourite brands is Rivieras. Specialising in espadrille-type slip-ons, they have a standout modernity, quality and playfulness with their colours and finishes.

Seeing the full stand at the recent Pitti Uomo show was a reminder how nice these shoes are. It’s only when it finally gets hot that you can picture yourself wearing these shoes. I particularly like this ‘Napoles Pablo’ style with its delicate woven mesh and tricolour effect. The quality Spanish construction includes Terrycloth lining and sheepskin inner sole. Wear with chinos and a camp collar shirt.

Best summer shoes RivierasLeft & Below - Rivieras - Napoles Pablo - €110

 

Published in Fashion
Wednesday, 20 June 2018 14:23

Label To Know The Silk Shirt Company

White Shirt Silk The Silk Shirt Company

One of the things I love about Pitti Uomo, the menswear trade show held in Florence twice a year, is the exceptional quality from brands you’ve never heard of. I almost wish I had a shop to sell all these brands, but, disappointingly, you need a very tasteful and trusting customer to make it work, because many consumers are hooked on known brands.

It’s comforting to know that high-quality still exists and is to be found in small and, often, new companies.

Left - The Silk Shirt Company - White Luxury Silk Shirt - £800

White Shirt Silk The Silk Shirt Company Sam Rothstein Robert De Niro Casino

One such company is The Silk Shirt Company. Doing exactly what it says on the label, it was incorporated in January 2016 in London ‘with the intention to produce the finest luxury silk shirts and to establish itself as a top tier luxury clothing brand’.

Left - Feel like a casino owner - Sam Rothstein, Robert De Niro’s character in Casino

You’ll probably already know about my obsession with silk shirts ATM - Read Trend The Return of 'The Sexy Shirt’ and these really do look the business.

Paisley Shirt Silk The Silk Shirt Company

Established by Ajay Valecha, of Indian decent and born and raised in Accra, Ghana, who moved to London in April 2014. The Silk Shirt Company’s shirts are made in Italy with the finest silk from Como. 

There range is currently mostly block colours with a few patterned varieties. They had some beautiful baby blue and pink shorted sleeved shirts for the new SS19 season which are giving me pure Sam Rothstein, Robert De Niro’s character in Casino. They are expensive, but they look it. 

Right - The Silk Shirt Company - Luxury Silk Shirt - £800

www.thesilkshirt.com

Published in Labels To Know

MCM Pitti Uomo SS19

MCM
The German/Korean accessorises juggernaut, MCM, rolled into Florence to showcase its first, full ready-to-wear fashion collection. Driven by the Asian consumer and the power this brings, MCM is finally making in-roads into the European and global luxury goods market.
Two dancers, surrounded by falling precipitation, welcomed us into the darkened show space. Their breakdancing quickly made way for a collection that was strong on festival fashion. Designed by an in-house team, the ’Luft Collection’, meaning air in German, was multifunctional sportswear for the genderless generation.
 
Left - Will MCM's new ready-to-wear collection be cool enough for Glastonbury when it returns next year?
 
Think Glastonbury for the moneyed, rock ’n’ roll offspring elite who aren’t afraid to be noticed for having money. Lots of straps, pockets and hoods in bright, holographic and reflective fabrics. Your Deliveroo 3M was here, plus ribbon belts and elasticated and Velcro fastenings at the waist and wrists allowing the wearer to quickly adapt to their festival needs.
This is the type of collection British brand, Hunter, has tried to do before, when they dabbled with the catwalk, but the difference is MCM already has this young, hungry consumer. 
I’m not really a fan of MCM’s Benidorm-tan signature colour, but this took a back seat here. This was young and I’m guessing more accessibly priced. 
I can see the holdalls with a large rubber MCM on the bottom proving popular plus the runner-sandal with a breathable a waterproof integrated sock.
This type of collection will grow the brand into the more practical side of summer fashion and make product choice available for those consumers who don’t want anything heavily studded or branded, or both!
 

Roberto Cavalli Menswear SS19

ROBERTO CAVALLI
Pitti Uomo welcomed the continued relaunch of Roberto Cavalli’s menswear and the company really needs this to fly. Now under the creative direction of Paul Surridge, the British designer formerly at Jil Sander and Z Zegna, Cavalli, as a brand, has gone through something of a rocky patch. After moving the HQ from Florence to Milan, under the short lived leadership of Peter Dundas, they let nearly a third of their workforce go. It’s now back to Florence and this was Surridge’s second full collection of menswear. 
 
Right - Blurred digital prints and bad denim at Roberto Cavalli for SS19
 
Up in the hills, outside of Florence, in the refined surrounds of the Florence Charterhouse, this monastic setting saw a collection that ran from white to black with the brand’s famous animalistic signatures in-between.
This was a new, slicker and sporty Cavalli with the animals skins subtly layered rather than trowelled on, like in previous years. Gone was the boho, overly beaded Cavalli and in its place was something for a new customer that continues to buy into ‘designer’ fashion, but wants ease and wearability.
Reptiles, fish, (alien?) skins were jacquarded into fabrics. Leopard print was digital yet blurred and knitwear was finished with broken threads hanging down.
There was a nod to the current bad denim fashion and add the snakeskin boots, which Cavalli should really own, it referenced the Martine Roses and Balenciagas of this world.
One of the standout pieces was a tapestry intarsia coat covered in the Cavalli logo and good luck talisman. A digital watch print added humour and the python soled trainers looked almost aquatic as they breathed past.
As we went into the black and final evening section, bugle beads were applied in constrained vertical lines. It was all very controlled and refined.
I like this new Cavalli, it feels fresher and more contemporary. But, is this is what their current and loyal customer wants? If not, they need to find a new one and fast. Maybe those good luck talisman have a deeper meaning.
Published in Fashion
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