Monday, 05 September 2016 15:21

Label To Know Instrmnt

label to know men's watch Instrmnt‘Minimal’ men’s watches have continued their rise in popularity over the last few years with many brands offering different styles at price points to suit nearly all budgets. Simplicity and design are the key to the male modernists who fill their Instagram accounts with Brutalist concrete and tiled floors.

It’s difficult to find a perfectly balanced minimal watch, some are either too simple or not elegant enough. I think two young Glaswegian guys, Pete Sunderland and Ross Baynham, who met while studying at Glasgow Caledonian University, have found the perfect solution.

Their company, Instrmnt, make the best minimal watches I’ve seen. They have just the right amount of design, detail and movement. They also have the feel of a good quality watch, that gets better the more you use it, at a price that, while not cheap, is definitely something we can all afford. 

You get to assemble the watch yourself - perfect for all those watch geeks - see below. The calf leather straps are crafted in the valleys of the Bavarian Forest, Germany and Instrmnt has their own store located on Glasgow’s Parnie street in the city's Trongate area selling other niche labels alongside their watches.

Left & Below - Instrmnt - 01-C - £180

watch to buy minimal instrmnt

Instrument has their own store located on Glasgow’s Parnie street in the city's Trongate areaLeft - Instrmnt has their own store located on Glasgow’s Parnie street in the city's Trongate area

 

Friday, 01 July 2016 16:37

Label To Know Brother & Gent

brother gent men's accessorisesAnyone that gets fired up by that entrepreneurial spirit and decides to launch into the tricky world of menswear deserves a fair hearing. Daniel Gardner, 25, from Kent, has launched Brother & Gent. Moving from media publishing to brand owner, Dan wanted to combine the act of brotherly love with the manners of a gentleman. And, this new men’s accessories brand certainly has lofty aspirations.

Left - Where is all began, Dan's loft

“When I was younger I often wondered how many of these well established and respected menswear brands such as Hackett, Ted Baker, Paul Smith or Charles Tyrwhitt actually started out!? They must have started somewhere, right?.. And I’m sure all would agree there’s no way of creating such a renowned brand name, such a reputation simply overnight... “ says Dan.

tie accessorises menswear brother gentBrother & Gent sells men’s accessorises, think ties, bow ties, braces, pins and tie-clips, and while the dandy look is disappearing in menswear, men always like nice things, especially when it comes to gifting. Some of the accessorises are made in England, others in Italy and even some Dan is making himself in his loft. The prices are keen, and, from what I can see, offer great value. Ambition and passion are the two things needed most when starting a business. Watch out Paul Smith!

Right - From Dan’s home county - ’Garden of England' Tie - £36

www.brotherandgent.com

 

Monday, 23 May 2016 14:05

Label To Know Modern English

modern english shoes made in UK orange trainersI don’t usually feature Kickstarter campaigns. I like to wait until something is concrete and there’s something to see. Otherwise, the website can become a graveyard of sartorial dreams that never quite materialised.

Left - MDN English trainers in ChicGeek 'ginger'

I met Jamie Harris from shoe brand, Modern English, at LCM, last summer, and the recent Jacket Required men’s trade show in February. He had finished product and from what I could see it looked really good.

english white sandals modern englishHere's the Modern English story. Until the 70s, there were hundreds of shoe factories in England – capable of turning out almost 180 million shoes per year and the majority of shoes bought in the UK were made locally. Today, only a handful of shoemakers remain and imports account for 98% of UK shoe sales.

Founder and Creative Director, Jamie Harris, believed England's craft footwear industry could only survive if its products were relevant to today's consumers and, in 2013, Modern English was established with the intention of ‘evolving', rather than ‘preserving’ this 600 year old Northampton-based industry. 

The name, Modern English, is their manifesto; everything they make will be made in England, and will be modern in its thinking. He likes to point out that “Modern English is NOT another 'Heritage Brand’".

Right - MDN English sandals in this clean, polished white

Keeping it simple, there are just 2 styles of shoes - trainers & sandals - in 6 bold colours, all made in Northampton, the home of English-made shoes.

He first produced a small run (100), because he wasn't sure how they’d be received, and they immediately sold out. He's now doing an exclusive collaboration with Natural Shoe Store which will be a limited-edition of 65 pairs and available at their stores in mid-July.

Now, he’s decided he wants to go straight to consumers and decided to start selling by Kickstarter. He’s got the factory, made the all the mistakes and, now, you can grab a pair at the remarkable price of £125. He can keep costs low because the construction of the shoe has been simplified which, I think, also adds to its physical appeal.

A pair of contemporary and stylish made in England shoes for £125? It’s definitely worth a punt.

More info

Watch the video below

Friday, 06 May 2016 14:58

Label To Know Carréducker London

carreducker london slip on slipper winkerIf you’re lucky enough to be able to afford bespoke shoes you may have heard of Carréducker before. Founded by James Ducker and Deborah Carré in 2004, Carréducker’s shoes are lovingly handmade in their small workshop near Holborn. These babies cost upwards of £3000 a pair and are usually found in the sartorial home of Gieves & Hawkes at No.1 Savile Row.

Left & Below - Carréducker London - Winkers - £199 in UK sizes 3 – 12 

mens slipper carreducker made in UKSo, for us on a slightly more regular budget, Carréducker, has now launched a new accessible range called Carréducker London. 

A Kickstarter success story, they’ve started with a formal slip-on slipper and plan on expanding the brand into many classic men’s styles with further Kickstarter funding.

Using existing pockets of British artisanal manufacturing to make each style, the aim is to build a steady flow of orders, breaking the peaks and troughs, and supporting the skilled local workforce throughout the year. They will make short runs of several different styles and colours, offering customers from around the world the very best of British footwear design and manufacture through their online ‘Shoe Shop’.

mens desert boot suede barkan carreducker londonThe first, Winker, style is made using Designers Guild upholstery fabric. Made in Sheffield in 9 colourways with different fabric finishes, they are leather-lined with a padded sock for comfort and with a leather heel and sole.

TheChicGeek says, "Perfect for adding a dose of laissez-faire attitude to any outfit, the Winker is ideal for Summer and I love the use of the Designers Guild fabrics. I'll be wearing mine with a checked jacket and slim evening trousers."

www.carreducker.com 

Left - Coming soon - The ‘Barkan' Desert Boots

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 11:36

Label To Know - Clements & Church

clements church tailoring the chic geekLife outside of London?! Yes! Tailors, Clements & Church, are proof that by doing what you do well and slowly growing your retail network in wealthy pockets around the UK, you can build a healthy menswear business with a point of difference.

Left - All images Clements & Church SS16

Starting life a decade ago when Clements & Church’s Managing Director, Mark Nash, bought a tailor’s in the heart of Birmingham, they now have a further four shops in Oxford, Solihull, Leamington Spa, Beaconsfield and, now, online.

They’re not cheap, but then quality tailoring never is. 

yellow mac clements churchThe Clements & Church’s localised tailors have a feel for their customers and, literally, tailor their offering to suit the area they are in. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t experiment. Using quality Italian and British fabrics, they design new styles of tailoring and accessories every season in bold fabrics and colours while still grounded with good taste. Many items are made in Britain and are an update of traditional designs and processes.

Mark Nash, says, “We have always wanted to combine the very best quality, with individuality and something different. If a customer was after something a bit different, when we first started, other than a navy or grey suit, they wouldn’t have been able to find it. We have filled that gap. 

“Clements and Church is unique. We are an extension of our customers’ lifestyle and have fantastic relationships and a very high level of retention. We offer a product that has a sophisticated and distinctive look and we pride ourselves on our knowledge and service,” he adds. 

Highly trained tailors are available to service customers for Bespoke and Custom Made suiting in each of their shops.

TheChicGeek says, "This is some of the best tailoring I've seen lately from a label unknown to me, until recently. It's great to see this kind of quality coming from outside of London. It is expensive, but, you are getting value for money when looking at the fabrics and manufacturing used. You're also pretty safe in the knowledge that nobody else will be wearing it, plus you'll standout for the right reasons. Slow and steady always wins the race!"

www.clementsandchurch.co.uk

clements church tuxedo the chic geekcheck suit clements church

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