The two main Berlin men’s trade shows, relevant to the UK market, SEEK and Premium, had a switch up for the AW19 season. SEEK, the younger, more streetwear and sportswear focused show pushed its separate area for skate fashion, Bright, into the main show space. What this did was make the show feel more outerwear heavy and technical and showed a definite turning away from branded sportswear for AW19.
Premium on the other hand made the correct decision to reorder their show spaces: mixing the brands and giving the feeling of discovery rather than uniform looking halls. Premium is, just that, more premium, targeting an older demographic with the deeper pockets to buy more expensive clothes and finishes.
Left - Inside the main hall at Premium, Berlin
Here are the big AW19 trends coming out from Berlin and the labels worth making a note of:
Post Sportswear Preppy
The sportswear juggernaut was bound to slow at some point and we’re seeing the beginnings of it for AW19. The overall feeling was of less branding and colour and the idea that sportswear to segue-waying itself into new areas. Retro sportswear is going out the door and morphing into either more technical or preppy product. A perfect example of this is Champion doing branded rugby shirts. It’s still sportswear, but it’s moving back into the preppy area of menswear. This will be how preppy returns to fashion.
Left - Lacoste 80s college jacket
Right - Champion showing the segue way from sports into preppy with rugby shirts
The Recycled Renaissance of Denim
Always eco-conscious and sustainably minded, the German shows have always been home to brands trying to change the system and limit fashion’s impact. Denim, one of the world’s most destructive fabrics in terms of pesticides, water and dyeing, needs a way back into fashion.
Two Dutch brands, Butcher of Blue and Mud Jeans are pioneering reusing and recycling denim. Butcher of Blue reworks vintage and Mud Jeans asks for its old jeans to be returned to be completely taken back to the raw fibre and remade. They also offer a leasing service - €7.50 a month, €29 sign up - for those who don’t want to own. Around 40% of the new jeans are from old jean fibres.
HNST, a new German jeans brand, claims to include 56% of reused denim fibres in its new jeans with the rest being Tencel. People donate their old jeans and electrolytes are used to fix the indigo to the fabric and make the dye soluble. Expect more of this from the bigger denim brands.
Left - HNST denim recycling old jeans into new
Corduroy has been making inroads back into menswear over the last few winters. Biscuit and forest green are the main colours, here, as it spreads from coats and trousers into accessories and footwear. Related to the remerging preppy trend, corduroy offers a fresh collegiate take in warm team colours.
Clockwise from left - Superga, Kangol, Far Afield, Averse
For those men wanting colour and pattern, tartan is the fabric of the AW19 season. First seen on the catwalks of London, tartan is a masculine way of putting interest safely into a any man’s wardrobe. Portuguese brand, Averse, had classic Black Watch, and Schneiders offered something more appropriate for those Rupert The Bear wannabes.
From Left - Schneiders, Averse
Long-Line Arctic Parkas
This is a trend that needs another winter to build, but get in early. Expect many more of these for AW20. In a saturated coat market and the oversized trend blowing up - pardon the pun - the arctic parka is getting longer and more cocoon like.
The American, but Italian run and owned, Refridgwear, has done a collection with a German designer, (they wouldn’t name just yet), where the bottom foot of the jacket can be simply added and taken away. All for around €500. There were a few more brands, such as Woolrich, doing similar long-line styles at Pitti Uomo.
Left - Refridgwear collab with a yet unnamed German designer, the bottom section is detachable
A father a son team, Tom & Adam, from Riga in Latvia, feature wearing their own product on the website and in imagery. Made in Latvia, designed in Paris, this new underwear and swimwear brand is trying to get us off our cheap addiction and slipping into something with more quality.
Trunks - €35, Swimshorts - €150
A Design Collective
A new British casual shoe brand offering value in the luxury, minimal cup-sole market. Made from Italian leather in Portugal, the people behind A Design Collective currently do private label and are now launching with the Common Projects customer in mind with this £130 sports shoe. Launches July.
Barcelona based, Brava Fabrics, manages to tread that fine line between fun and immature. Their Spanish made fabrics feature yellow submarines, llamas - the new unicorn? - and the ever nostalgic cassette tapes. The fun side of hipster.
This type of padded outdoor slipper could be the new slider. New British brand, Coma Toes, certainly hopes that’s true with their collection of padded sports slip-ons. I’ve seen something similar from The North Face before, but there’s always room for a new, well-priced and casual footwear trend. Watch this space...
Offering great value and made in London outerwear, Wax London is a husband and wife design team. They aim to bring the manufacturing of traditional British outerwear back to the UK. These are complimented with staple essentials of jerseys, knits and shirts crafted in Portugal and Italy.
Salzburg based, Schneiders, is a quality outerwear producer with traditional alpine shaped and loden type fabrics. In the upper price points, the product is made in Romania, but from premium fabric and fur finishes. For the modern Cecil Beatons.
Thei-Sprint began in 1935 with Heinz Theisen, a man who dedicated his life to professional cycling. Born in the textile district of Moenchengladbach, after World War II he began making his own equipment, jerseys and gear.
In 1965 he returned to his roots and began designing cycling equipment again. With his own knitting machines, he made jerseys and beanies for local teams together with his wife in their basement. The “Thei-Sprint“ brand was born.
By 1985 Theisen had joined the renowned Telekom and Coast cycling teams as a mechanic. His final triumph came in the 1988 Seoul Olympics where Theisen won gold as a chief mechanic with the West German track cycling team. He is famous for his red beanie which they continue to make proudly in Germany.
Mats Klingberg – Founder of Trunk Clothiers
“Perfect for Spring rainy days. Cut from weatherproofed Loro Piana Storm System linen for an incredible look combining the visual texture of linen with the crisp feel of coated fabric.”
“A great casual smart jacket for this Spring/Summer. This offering from the Italians, Lardini, combines linen with Summer weight wool for a luxurious-feeling Summer garment.”
“Made in Italy from 100% cotton, this nicely structured warm weather knit bridges summer’s fabric textures from crisp to soft washed pieces.”
“You can pair this Common Projects Achilles with any Chinos or Jeans. Great colour for warmer weather.”
Guys, listen up. As you’re probably wearing trainers or sneakers, right now, you’ll probably want to know the direction your next pair is coming from. Think of the worst pair you can imagine, double it and then sprinkle on another cup of ugly and you’re there.
Left - Vetements X Reebok Instapump Fury Canvas Trainers - £610 from matchesfashion.com
Gone are those minimal, sleek cup-soles, that have, let’s be honest, had a good run for their money, to be replaced by the fugliest fuckers to hit the pavement.
Right - Raf Simons X Adidas Ozweego III Low-Top Trainers - £285
This is all part of our addiction to bad 90s style and everything of dubious taste. You better start planning the rest of the outfit!
Below Right - Eytys - Angel Low-Top Chunky-Sole Leather Trainers - £265
Below - Nike Air More Uptempo Triple Black - £140
Christopher Fisher, Head Buyer, oki-ni
"Oversized floral prints on short-sleeve lightweight shirts are a staple forsummer – relaxed beachwear from the catwalks was heavily influenced by the 90s, with references including Baz Luhrmann’s iconic Romeo and Juliet. Junya Watanabe is one of the new brands joining oki-ni this season and his pieces carry much kudos for their wearer!"
Left - Junya Watanabe - Black Flower-Print Short-Sleeved Shirt - £320
"Every guy should own a pair of crisp white low-top sneakers – the term versatile is an understatement. Common Projects has been the go-to luxury brand for many a season now. The ‘Achilles’ Low has a clean, minimal silhouette and is crafted in Italy from the finest leather".
Left - Common Projects - White Premium Achilles Low Sneakers - £248
"Wide-legged, loose fit trousers are not going anywhere soon. This pair from Maison Margiela are a prefect starter pair – not too oversized, they have a neat turn-up that will rest nicely on a pair of sneakers".
Left - Maison Margiela - Natural Wide-Leg Cotton Trousers - £410
"Let’s face it – it’s still freezing outside. Layering is the key to getting through this cold snap. This panelled sweatshirt from kolor is perfect for now, but will also take you nicely into spring when paired with some wide-leg navy shorts (see Marni)".
Left - Kolor - Grey Panelled Sweatshirt - £389
"I am a keen runner, so I was really excited to bring Satisfy to oki-ni, this season. Satisfy is a brand for both serious and not-so-serious runners –their products are designed, prototyped and tested in their studio in Paris. The technical fabrications used are insane and not one detail is overlooked (The product looks super-slick too)".
Below - Satsify - Black Packable Windbreaker - £305
David Morris, Buyer, MRPORTER
"Common Projects white leather sneakers have gained cult status thanks to their minimalist design and superior construction. I like to pair them with rolled-up selvedge denim jeans and a lightweight knit for a clean understated look”.
Left - Common Projects - Original Achilles Leather Sneakers - £265
"The 'Tony' jacket from Acne Studios is a super luxurious, minimal take on American sportswear. It comes in a beautifully constructed lightweight wool and cashmere-blend. It’s a hand-finished piece and the drawstring hem is a nice touch, it allows you to adjust the fit with ease".
Right - Acne Studios - Tony Wool & Cashmere-Blend Coach Jacket - £650
"I love a crepe sole. These can be styled just as easily with your favourite black jeans and button down shirt as they can be with a suit for more formal occasions. These are on my ‘to get’ list. Crafted in England from fine pebbled leather, these wingtip shoes boast superior construction with their signature pull tabs, comfortable leather linings and those trusty gum soles".
Left - Thom Browne - Pebbled Leather Brogues - £830
"A versatile staple and worthy addition to your casual roster. An easy layering piece - I like to throw it on over a plain white or Breton stripe tee".
Right - Margaret Howell - Ribbed-Collar Cotton-Flannel Shirt - £345
"An extensive grooming kit that comes complete with face cleanser, hydrating cream, shaving serum, spray-on moisturiser and lip cream. Everything you need to freshen up tired skin in the morning or after a long day at the office".
Left - Aesop - MR PORTER Dapper Gentleman Grooming Kit - £110
Mark Macdonald, Senior Buyer, End Clothing
“‘Cut & Sew’ on a timeless garment form Japan’s premier retailer.”
Left - Beams Plus – Patchwork M-65 Jacket - £475
“With more than a subtle nod to a certain Mr Smith these are my number one summer sneakers.”
Below - Common Projects - Achilles Retro Low - £275
“Technical flower power that can be worn layered under your summer raincoat or its own with a classic white Tee.”
Left - Nanamica - Ground Jacket - £285
"Our Legacy deliver truly unique shirting season on season. This can be worn and washed repeatedly to see the chambray fade over time."
Below - Our Legacy - 1950s Button Down Shirt - £139
"Paris meets 60’s Psychedelica in an everyday easy to wear stripe number from Comme Shirt."
Left - Comme des Garçons SHIRT - Long Sleeve Printed Insert Border Tee - £119