One of the question I am frequently asked by my male friends is which brands I would recommend. And because my blog has a reactionary approach to current attitudes, and because I believe that end-consumers do shape or direct trends I put this post together.
We all know and love the likes of Philip Lim, Public School, COS, and Acne Studios but there are a few less known brands that are making enough of the right noise to deserve our attention. New blood is attempting to redefine our perception of menswear, moving away from the tired “regular jeans and crew neck mid-bicep t-shirt” model, towards a new mindset that prefers to experiment with shape, volume, and masculinity.
But what is also interesting – watch this space- is their alternative route to market. Most of these brands choose to sell their collections only directly (via their reference retail and online shops) instead of selling via big department store chains and online conglomerates. They also understand that by collaborating with other cool brands, whose expertise is different to theirs, beefs up their offering. Collaborating and exclusively selling your product might sound a bit too dangerous for the fashion establishment, but it seems to be working for these new brands. Questions are born: are male consumers ready now to embrace the ‘lifestyle-model’ retail experience? Are they willing to search around for exclusive brands instead of finding a one-stop shopping experience like they used to?
But for now, let’s get back to the point and answer my friends’ question: I would recommend the below 5 menswear brands. They are definitely the ones to watch!
This Italian brand was a social media sensation that turned into a reference shop before growing into a a few million euros worth brand. It redefines Italian menswear by concentrating more on innovation and less on a traditionalist heritage approach. Expect high quality fabrications and out of the box styling.
This brand is for those who love clashing streetwear with haute fashion. The brand’s recent obsession with ‘working class’ styling is definitely very Now…
Prices from €125
Natural Selection is a London based brand that successfully juxtaposes smart with casual. The latter might be a huge conundrum for most brands but Natural Selection has achieved in offering garments that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Expect basics with a twist and design detail galore.
It is for men who like modern silhouettes and finishing techniques.
Prices from: £60
This fresh youthful brand from South Korea is masterfully mixing street references with more traditional menswear stables such as suits and denim. Expect oversized hoodies worn with “daddy” jeans and leather bombers.
This brand is for Raf Simons fans on a budget.
Prices from $54
Mohsin Ali is an expert in pattern cutting and fabric manipulation. His brand, which is based and produced in the UK, borrows influences from urban environments and intertwines them with classical menswear references. Expect unusual silhouettes, luxury fabrications and provocative detailing.
This brand is not for wallflowers, and for those who are not embarrassed to admit their hipster aesthetics.
Prices from £155
This is another Italian brand challenging what we thought we knew about Italian style. The days of tight white trousers and crisp shirts worn unbuttoned are over. Lucio Vanotti is a luxury brand that turns tired “classical” Italian menswear style on its head. Expect hyper conceptual product reduced to its most functional elements, impressive fabrications and bucketful of coolness.
This brand is for men who like to invest in their fashion and believe that the “classical” can be much more than a black crew-neck jumper and navy suits.
Prices from €250