Displaying items by tag: Spring 2020

Wednesday, 05 August 2020 09:21

Label To Know Magnafied

Label to know menswear Magnafied sandals Birkenstock holidayWe all love a Birkenstock, that goes without saying, but they’re as ubiquitous as a Kardashian. So, if you want a comfy sandal that nobody is wearing - just yet... - let me introduce you to Magnafied.

Spied at Pitti Uomo in January, this year, these babies are Danish made with a contoured bio-cork footbeded sandal and are as bold as they are comfortable.

Some of the uppers are made from vintage or dead stock fabrics that they find in places like Los Angeles, East Germany, Denmark and Japan. They search, find, hand-pick and use these special fabrics to minimise pollution instead of making new fabrics and say this is a super sustainable way of doing things.

Every single pair is handmade and the unique fabrics can range from original Camouflage, Canvas Pendleton Woolen Mills, Cohen Mills Denim, Japanese dyed Indigo Cotton, CYC Canadian quality cotton knit, all made on legendary, skilled quality Mills from Europe, USA and Japan. 

Label to know menswear Magnafied sandals Birkenstock holiday

The Magnafied clogs are made-to-order. They start production immediately when you order to reduce unnecessary stock and eventually sale/waste.

Above & Right - Magnafied - Thor 2-buckle Slide Sandals Orange Camo W - 950,00 DKK (About £115)

Published in Labels To Know
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 13:09

Label To Know Reyn Spooner

Label to know menswear Reyn Spooner Hawaiian Shirt holidayHawaii is the spiritual home of the tropical floral shirt, so, say ‘Aloha’ to Reyn Spooner. 

Reynolds (Reyn) McCullough returned home to Catalina Island, California after serving in WWII. He was inspired to explore his natural connection to that easygoing Cali style, at first as a shop clerk at the local men’s shop, then as the owner of Reyn’s Men’s Wear, soon running six popular stores across the state.

Meanwhile, in 1956, Ruth Spooner had opened Spooner's of Waikiki and quickly built a reputation in Hawaii for manufacturing quality surf trunks working with just one sewing machine.

When Reyn opened his first shop in Honolulu, he didn’t sell Aloha shirts. The shirts being produced at the time just didn’t meet Reyn and Ruth’s standards for style and construction, and it wasn’t until after a local surfer showed Reyn an inside-out sewing method championed by locals, that the dream took shape.

Left - Deep Sea Jive Tailored Buttonfront - Black Onyx - £130

Label to know menswear Reyn Spooner Hawaiian Shirt holiday

In 1962, McCullough teamed up with Ruth Spooner to ensure consistent quality and decided to merge the two company names to create Reyn Spooner in Honolulu. He then set up four sewing machines in the basement of his Ala Moana store to create ‘Aloha Apparel’.

Developed by founder, Reyn McCullough, Spooner KlothTM is a unique woven cloth made of cotton and spun poly that’s amazingly durable, wrinkly-free and breathable.

Reyn Spooner is now owned by ‘Aloha Brands’, representing a group of investors, led by Charlie Baxter and Dave Abrams.

The brand is available at Liberty of London and The Hip Store.

Right - Kainapu Rayon Camp Shirt - Crocodile - £160

Published in Labels To Know

tried tested review King C Gillette shaving products groomingShaving Goliath, Gillette’s, new brand, King C. Gillette, "brings a century’s worth of expertise to life and promises to be a one-stop-shop for all men with facial hair.” 

Bearing the name of Gillette’s founder, King C. Gillette, the man who invented the double safety razor, it embraces nearly 120 years’ of heritage, innovation and grooming experience and, in a first for the brand, includes a range of specific beard care products.

The full range is made up of eight grooming and facial haircare products for men including a Double Edge Safety Razor and blade refills, Neck Razor, Shave and Edging Razor, Transparent Shave Gel, Beard Trimmer, Beard & Face Wash, Soft Beard Balm and Beard Oil.

Left - King C. Gillette - Beard & Face Wash - £10, Transparent Shave Gel - £7, Soft Beard Balm £10

TheChicGeek says, “When consumers think of the Gillette brand, it really should be as the Levi’s of grooming. The originally inventor of the double-edged safety razor, King Camp Gillette, is one of America’s biggest business success stories - Gillette sold $6.22 billion of men’s razors and blades and $1.28 billion of women’s razors and blades worldwide in 2018, according to Euromonitor data - and, along with Levis Strauss, provided products to the American working man.

tried tested review King C Gillette shaving products grooming

Therefore, it’s surprising that few men would be able to tell you much about the man or whether the brand was even named after an individua

So, Gillette is going back to its 1901 roots “Est. Boston 1901” with this new “King C. Gillette” range of razors and grooming products.

Interestingly, this range is more focussed on facial hair than pure shaving.

Some of it is a simple rebrand. Gillette is part of the giant consumer group, Procter & Gamble, who also own Braun, and the provider of the beard trimmer here. The other razors - Neck Razor, Shave and Edging Razor - feature Gillette’s Fusion heads and don’t really offer anything new other than I’ve never seen a monikered ‘Neck Razor’ before?!

The hero product here is the return of the safety razor. While Gillette invented this in 1901 they actually stopped making these 1989 and it offers a really economical way to wet shave. If you want to know more about safety razors and how they work, I wrote this for The Independent last year - here

As for the grooming products, the Beard & Face Wash is a whopping 350ml, so you could do your whole body with this. It has a refreshing menthol sensation, but no individual distinctive smell. It’s light and easy to wash out. The Transparent Shave Gel is probably an already existing Gillette product repackaged and as such you could just buy that and save money. The Soft Beard Balm doesn’t look or feel premium. It looks like a product you’ll find at a cheaper price but it’s more than adequate when on.

tried tested review King C Gillette shaving products groomingI would have tried to make King the expert in shaving and taken the premium route a bit higher by highlighting more of the ingredients etc. It still feels anonymous, like the other Gillette products. I would have linked it in with Gillette Labs, Gillette’s pioneering heated razor, read more here, and played on the fact that Gillette has always invented and pioneered things.

The ‘Beard Kits’ idea is good on their website, where you buy a collection of products and razors or trimmers according to your style or needs, as the range is broad taking in Victorian shaving through to hipster beard maintenance.

Clearly, the King isn’t dead. How about a spin-off rainbow coloured Pride range called ‘Camp’?!”

Takeaway - The King C. Gillette is premium compared to Gillette’s regular prices and I like the concept and branding of bringing the founder back. Maybe they should have put more of him on the packaging to hammer this home? 

Disclosure - A sample for review was provided by Gillette

Published in Grooming

menswear product of the week keen sneaker sandal UneekWe all like the wind in hair, but how about between our toes? Keen is famous for its woven cord sandals which are perfect for summer sports or taking an energetic dip in the sea. Their new 'Uneek' range pushes the classic style into the chunky trainer hybrid territory.

Left & Below - Keen - Men’s Uneek SNK - £99.99

The Uneek's upper is constructed entirely from recycled PET plastic bottles. By using this material in its new line of sandal webbings as well as Uneek sneaker uppers and laces, Keen will keep over 1 million bottles out of waste.

The insoles are infused with probiotic technology that naturally breaks down odour in sweat without heavy menswear product of the week keen sneaker sandal Uneekmetals or hazardous chemicals.

They come up small, so go for a size up.

Disclosure - TheChicGeek was sent a pair for review

 

Published in Fashion
Friday, 03 April 2020 10:48

Best Men's Tie Dye Fashion

tie dye menswear socks sports Amiri MatchesfashionTie-dye is a trend that's always bubbling under, quite literally. At every price point, there's a bleed of colour for every fashion wanker. It's guaranteed to make you smile, and we could do with anything that does that right now. Darker tie-dye is more evening and formal, while full blown rainbow is more holiday and festival. Why don't you buy a kit online and have a go on some old white T-shirts? It's the perfect lockdown fashion activity. 

For those who aren't sure - just yet! - go for a pair of tie-dye sports socks and rock with a pair of summer shorts and trainers.

See MORE - Tie Dye - Special TheChicGeek Meets Stain Shade - Read more HERE

BUY TheChicGeek's new book - FASHIONWANKERS - HERE 

Left - Amiri - Tie-Dye Print Silk Shirt - £1000 from Matchesfashion.com

tie dye menswear socks sports Urban OutfittersLeft - Urban Outfitters - Typography Blue and Purple Tie-Dye Socks 1-Pack - £6

 tie dye menswear socks sports Levi'sLeft - Levi's - Tie Dye Trucker Jacket - £88 from Topman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tie dye menswear socks sports mnmlLeft- mnml - Spiral Wash Tee - £21

tie dye menswear socks sports By WalidLeft - By Walid - Marek Tie-Dye Raw Silk Trousers - £560, Ally Tie Dye-Effect Silk Shirt - £555 from Matchesfashion.com

tie dye menswear socks sports Issey MiyakeLeft - Issey Miyake - Tie-Dyed Cotton T-Shirt - £350 from FarFetch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tie dye menswear socks sports Tie dye kit amazonLeft - FabLab FL004 Toy £9.99 from Amazon

tie dye menswear socks sports StussyLeft - Stussy - Tie Dye Socks - £18

tie dye menswear socks sports CrocsLeft - Crocs - £27.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tie dye menswear socks sports Maison ScotchLeft - Maison Scotch - £104.95

tie dye menswear socks sports UmbroLeft - Umbro - Calidoscope Sweat - £55

Below - iets frans - Yellow Tie-Dye Sweatshirt - £46 Urban Outfitters

tie dye menswear best iets frans Urban Outiftters align=

Published in Fashion
Thursday, 02 April 2020 14:17

Tie Dye Special TheChicGeek Meets Stain Shade

tie dye menswear stain shade James BrackenburyLondon, Tolworth, Gypsy Hill; not exactly a roll call of the world’s fashion capitals, but a glimpse into a brand’s proud roots. ‘Stain Shade’ is leading the charge of tie-dye returning to our wardrobes. Also know as, James Brackenbury, 31, Stain Shade was mobbed at the recent CIFF AW20 fashion trade show in Copenhagen with people who couldn’t get enough of his hand tie-dyed T-shirts and hoodies. I thought I’d find out more from the UK's new king of tie-dye. Will the real Stain Shade please stand up?:

:eft - James from Stain Shade at CIFF, Copenhagen, 2020

CG: Where are you based? From originally? 

SS: I live with my wife in Gipsy Hill, but I grew up in Surbiton/Tolworth in South West London. This is where my mum still lives and her house is the base of the Stain Shade operations.

tie dye menswear stain shade James BrackenburyCG: What is your background? 

SS:I studied contemporary art in Leeds then moved to London and worked for Vivienne Westwood on the wholesale side of things. I continued to work in the fashion wholesale world after that, and continue to do so, along side running Stain Shade. 

CG: Are you doing this full time? 

SS: Yes, amongst other things, some consultancy etc. 

CG: Tell me more about Stain Shade. Where is the name from? When did it all start? 

SS: I was always interested in hand dyeing, tie dyeing and was always on the lookout for good vintage tie dye stuff. One day I ordered a kid’s tie dye kit off amazon and did a few bits, some tees and a pair of jeans if I remember correctly. I posted a picture of the tee on my personal Instagram and a few people were asking me where it was from. 

tie dye menswear stain shade James BrackenburyThis lead to discussions with the guys at LN-CC and the subsequent launch of Stain Shade. We did a few tees and some hoodies for them. I didn't have a name for it and basically tried to think of synonyms for 'dye' or 'dyeing' and Stain Shade was the result. I drew the logo and then got some woven neck labels ordered, set up an Instagram etc and we were good to go. 

Left - James' mum's house in Tolwroth is the production centre

CG: Where does Tolworth come into all this? 

SS: Like I mentioned before, this where everything gets dyed, in my mum’s back garden in Tolworth. It's where I grew up, and, fortunately, my mum has a space there which I can use, she's involved as well and helps me on all the dyeing side of things. 


CG: Where are the base clothing items from?
 

SS: It varies, depends on what the store/brand/client wants really. I can do organic ethically sourced blanks or can do more price sensitive mass produced options. 

CG: Where can you buy it? What type of pieces do you produce? 

SS: We have worked with retailers like Selfridges, Browns, LN-CC, Liberty, Bloomingdales, Lantiki etc. There are plans to work with all of these guys again some sooner than others. Some retailers do still have Stain Shade in stock but you can always contact us directly for custom items. 

tie dye menswear stain shade James BrackenburyCG: How can you tell the difference between good and bad tie-dye? 

SS: I think it's down to personal taste. One thing you do see a lot of though is printed tie dye, where the manufacturer was just printed the pattern all over the item and not dyed it. You can normally tell if this is the case if the reverse of the garment is still the original colour. 

Right - Stain Shade in Selfridges


tie dye menswear stain shade James BrackenburyCG: Why do you think tie-dye has/is becoming such a big trend atm?
 

SS: I think its always bubbling in the background and I think that good tie dye/hand dyeing will always have a place in popular fashion. It just so happens that it's having a moment these past few seasons and I think there will be at least another summer where it's at the forefront. 

Left - The Stain Shade production line

tie dye menswear stain shade James Brackenbury
CG: What are your future plans?
 

SS: I am looking at different ways of working that don't necessarily exist in the conventional fashion wholesale environment. I am trying to do more collaborations and special project work on shorter lead times rather than the traditional order it and receive it 6 months later system. As a set up, we are designed to be very reactive and can get stuff done quickly so we can be more responsive to customer or retailer needs. 


CG: What would you say to those who think tie-dye is just for hippies or ravers? 

SS: I’d say if there isn't a part of you that is a bit 'hippie' or 'raver' then something is wrong. 

Right - Stain Shade - Hoodie - Green/Acid - £130

See TheChicGeek's picks of SS20 menswear tie-dye - HERE

BUY TheChicGeek's new book - FASHIONWANKERS - HERE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Fashion
Monday, 30 March 2020 17:04

Label To Know Kleman

Label to know Kleman shoes made in FranceFrench policeman’s shoes may not get your sartorial juices flowing, but Kleman should. Where else can you get French made footwear for less than £150? Owned by the larger Cléon group, Kleman was founded in 1988 and was initially dedicated to firefighters, policemen, Air France cabin crew and military seeking comfort, robustness and quality. 

Still exclusively made in their factory in Anjou in Western France, they are now targeting the more fashion lead consumer having seem them promoting their wares at the recent men's trade shows in Florence and Paris. 

Their classic ‘Padror’ style was first introduced in the 1990s for SNCF employees. Crafted in France with full-grain European leather, these are based on a unisex Tyrolean style. Even the laces are woven only 10 km from the factory.

Label to know Kleman shoes made in FranceLeft - Kleman - Padror - €140

Right - Kleman - Frodan - €140

 

Label to know Kleman shoes made in France

Label to know Kleman shoes made in France

Label to know Kleman shoes made in France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - Kleman - Pastani - €140

BUY TheChicGeek's new book - FASHIONWANKERS - HERE

Published in Labels To Know
Thursday, 26 March 2020 22:56

Label To Know CINI Venezia

Label to know cini venezia sandro zaraDid you know Barena has a grown-up brother called CINI Venezia? Neither did I until I stumbled across the CINI stand at the January 2020 Pitti Uomo, and because CINI has Venezia - Venice - in its logo, I said the only other Venetian menswear label I knew was Barena, I’m a big fan, and they told me this was part of the same company and was their more premium offering. (Barena has built up a loyal following for its quality, well priced and thoughtfully stylish Italian menswear amongst a certain group of discerning men.) 

Left - Cini Venezia - Coat Burchione Piave Black - €730

The original mill, Lanificio CINI, was founded in the 1830 by Augusto and Giacomo Cini as a humble workshop producing cloth and coarse blankets. 

Label to know cini venezia sandro zaraThis is still the foundation of the collection of Italian-made outerwear. Barena founder Sandro Zara - he also owns the Venetian cloak maker Il Tabarro - bought the Lanificio CINI woollen mill, which was formerly based in Vittorio Veneto, after using it as a supplier for many years. It came complete with an incredible archive which the CINI family maintained. From fabric swatches, to astute weaving dimensions, patterns and cloth experiments, everything was kept meticulously in its original state.

CINI Venezia, the brand, first appeared in 2012 and references historical Italian menswear styles in a darker and more conservative palette than Barena's. Prices reflect the quality of the cloth.

Right - Cini Venezia - Coat Duemezzo Piave Navy - €1150

BUY TheChicGeek's new book - FASHIONWANKERS - HERE 

Published in Labels To Know
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:50

ChicGeek Comment COVID 19 The Bounceback?

fashion covid 19 tom ford said china bounced backThere will be life after COVID 19, but it’s guesswork to how much and how quickly it resumes to pre-virus levels. American designer, Tom Ford, told WWD today, “In China, for example, with our cosmetics, we’ve completely recovered. We’re back to 100 percent. And our ready-to-wear and accessories, which was down about 95 percent, it’s now back up to 50 percent.” 

That is in just over a month. The Chinese saw a spike in infections on 12th February.

Tom Ford has just 4 own brand stores in China. His beauty brand, in partnership with Estée Lauder, will be available more widely. Tom Ford Beauty was projected to turn over $1 billion in global sales by 2020.

Admittedly, the person who can afford Tom Ford might be slightly more immune to a downturn than others, but it’s more the attitude and feel good factored needed to buy an expensive handbag that is interesting here. It’s a strong bounce back and one many other luxury brands will be looking and hoping for. 

Tom Ford, while a big name, is relatively mid-sized in terms of luxury with very select (limited) distribution. The brand generates an estimated $500 million in yearly revenues for its men's and women's ready-to-wear and accessorises. But, he will be sat alongside, in retail terms, the best of the world’s brands and designers, so it shows the Chinese shopper is back out.

Italy, the worst-affected country in Europe, is starting to see the number of new cases of Coronavirus cases start to fall. The peak in the country was four days ago, on March 21, when 6,557 new cases of the virus were reported. Two days later the number was down to 4,789 and, although yesterday the number increased again to 5,249, that is still 20% below the peak.

A week after South Korea hit its peak, which was much lower than major European countries at just 851 cases on March 3, the number of new recorded cases had dropped by 87%.

In Germany, the peak number of new cases was on March 21 at 4,528 cases. Yesterday, 24th March, the number of new cases was down to 3,935, a drop of 17%.

While we have to take Chinese virus numbers with a pinch of salt, it might not be as bad as we think for the fashion business after all. A strong domestic consumer bounceback will be the catalyst the fashion industry needs.

BUY TheChicGeek's new book - FASHIONWANKERS - HERE 

Published in Fashion

menswear product of the week casablanca printed jeanWhy should the shirt have all the fun? This is the question the jean is asking this season. A new label on the radar is Casablanca. Designed in Paris and made in Casablanca, it’s a bright and creative contemporary brand bestowed with the rich dual heritage of Casablanca’s French-Moroccan founder, Charaf Tajer. (He was previously associated co-founder of Parisian label Pigalle and is also a collaborator of Mr Virgil Abloh).

His tongue-in-cheek and playful aesthetic, and not so silly prices, makes this a brand to have fun with. This print has something of the sunshine Hockney/Luke Edward Hall vibes about and I love it. Wear these with everything!

Left & Below - Casablanca - Chambre Slim-Fit Printed Denim Jeans - £365 from MRPORTER

Not to be confused with the shoe brand, Casablanca 1942 - Read more here

BUY TheChicGeek's new book - FASHIONWANKERS - HERE 

menswear product of the week casablanca printed jean

Published in Fashion
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