POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION

POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION

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POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION

Amsterdam based skate label Pop Trading Company are back with their latest AW18 collection. The Dutch brand have never been ones to shy away from drawing from a wide selection of stylistic influences and their latest selection manages to reference everything from pop culture to sportswear staples.

As well as paying homage to seminal Seattle record label Sub Pop and cult TV show Stranger Things through two typographic tees, there is a distinctly nautical flavour to the latest arrivals. A highlight for us has to be the AMS Hooded Jacket in a bright yellow colourway that has been cut from brushed cotton canvas. With a relaxed fit thanks to the looser cut and raglan style sleeves, the front is fastened with a funnel style neck that doubles as a face protector.

Another winner is their bold take on the classic Breton stripe tee. The Nagel Longsleeve has been cut from 100% cotton and has a heavier feel that is suited to the colder weather. Playing with a classic horizontal stripe pattern, the purple and black have been intermixed with bold yellow and subtle branding can be seen on the side seam.

Staple items such as the Sportswear Company Lightweight Half-Zip Sweatshirt make a welcome return, as do the Hip Bag and Passport Pouch. Yet again Pop Trading Company have presented another tight and coherent collection that cements themselves as a young label well worth keeping an eye on.

 

POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION POP TRADING COMPANY AW18 COLLECTION

Shop the full selection from Pop Trading Company either in store or online now.

IN CONVERSATION WITH PIERRE BOISELLE OF RECEPTION CLOTHING

IN CONVERSATION WITH PIERRE BOISELLE OF RECEPTION

IN CONVERSATION WITH PIERRE BOISELLE, FOUNDER OF RECEPTION CLOTHING

“It’s all about food and socialising” is about as good a slogan for a clothing label we have come across. The man behind it, and the t-shirts of Reception Clothing, is Frenchman Pierre Boiselle, traveller, gastronome, designer and general raconteur.

Combining your passions into a day job is surely the dream for many of us and Pierre has succinctly blended his love of adventure, food and clothing into Reception. After many years at denim supremos Edwin, he decided to branch off on his own, creating bold graphic tees that tell tales of an odyssey through cuisines from around the globe.

From steak restaurants in Rio and Greek tavernas in Athens to down-to-earth canteens in Tokyo, his silk screen prints are all about the finer things in life. We caught up with Pierre in the midst of a busy fashion season schedule to get his take on skate culture, Death Row meals and his favourite restaurant in the world…

 


 

P&s: So how did the concept of Reception Clothing come about?

PB: Back in October last year when I was in New York together with my wife taking a little break for four days. I was desperate by then to start something and was very influenced by many skate brands doing great visual stuff.

As you do in big cities, we spent most of our trip shopping, walking and eating… After a few glasses of wine I came up with the idea of paying tribute to some great restaurants we have visited via the medium of the t-shirt.

IN CONVERSATION WITH PIERRE BOISELLE, FOUNDER OF RECEPTION CLOTHING

You used to work at Edwin, can you tell us a little more about your time there?

I had such a great time there and met friends for life. I worked at Edwin for a little over six years and I have been involved in most processes needed for a brand like them to develop, everything from creative roles to sales. Work in Progress is a fabulous family to work for and I am proud of having been a part of it.

It’s hard to think of a better slogan that “It’s all about food and socialising”, when did this first come into existence?

Ha! Thanks for saying this! It means a lot to me. It’s always difficult to put words together and even more so when it’s not your mother tongue. 

To be honest I can’t remember exactly when I came up with this sentence – I tend to write many slogans like this on paper from time to time and I thought this one was very relevant and impactful for Reception.

Some of the restaurants featured are from far flung exotic places. Do you get to travel and eat a lot through your job?

I have been lucky enough to travel regularly for both work and in my private life for the last ten years. Even before this actually as my mum sent me all over the place when I was a teenager.

Travel remains to me one of the greatest luxuries in life. I love to visit a city for a few days, get the most out of it and go back home. There is always something good that comes out of travelling. 

IN CONVERSATION WITH PIERRE BOISELLE, FOUNDER OF RECEPTION CLOTHING

How do you choose the restaurants that feature in your collections? I’m guessing they are personal favourites, but how do they make cut?

Yes, they are all personal favourites. Not only for the food but mostly for the souvenir. We have great stories for each of these places. 

What makes a great restaurant for you?

Passionate people, tasty products and simple dishes. And finally an interesting conversation with either friends, colleagues or lovers…

Do you cook much yourself? What’s your go-to dish?

No, I don’t know how to cook, my wife is really good at it though. I should learn how to do a few things…

Death Row meal, what would it be?

Currywurst mit pommes!

The S. Pellegrino Top 50 restaurant list has recently been announced. How much are you into fine dining and Michelin starred food? Or is that stuff not necessary for a good meal? 

Not necessary for a good meal, however it can be great from time to time. But you need to be ready to spend money. My personal favourite is Bruno in the South East of France. All the dishes served are made with truffles. Everything I have eaten there was absolutely fantastic.

The house and garden are stunning too. Bruno, the owner and chef, is not rated by the guide Michelin as he always refused to be submitted to the pressure of the stars. This is another good reason to visit that restaurant. Subversion is always a good idea.

IN CONVERSATION WITH PIERRE BOISELLE, FOUNDER OF RECEPTION CLOTHING


 

And there you have it, a gastronomic journey through the mind of Pierre Boiselle. Be sure you take a look at the latest Reception Clothing collection either in store or over on the website.

SUMMER FABRICS TO KEEP YOU COOL WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES

SUMMER FABRICS TO KEEP YOU COOL

SUMMER FABRICS TO KEEP YOU COOL WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES

Not all fabrics are created equal. Some are heavier, thicker and more insulating; some are lightweight, soft and highly breathable. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a waterproof outer filled with duck down is going to be great at keeping you warm in the coldest months of winter.

But what sort of materials are better suited for the warmer weather? To answer this question we’ve created a handy guide to some summer fabrics that work as a great alternative to cotton. Below we run through materials such as linen, rayon, tropical wool and discover how these different materials have been designed to keep you cool when the temperature rises.

 


SUMMER FABRICS TO KEEP YOU COOL WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES

Made from the fibres of the flax plant, linen is the archetypal summer fabric. Lightweight, highly absorbent and typically featuring a loose, open weave, linen is perfect for keeping you cool on long hot summer days.

A great choice for both jackets and shirts, there is something about linen that is effortlessly relaxed. The way it hangs, paired with the way it takes on dye, results in a look that is the definition of laid back summer cool.

In store we have some great linen garments, especially the offerings from Venetian label Barena. Their Camicia Pavan Tellino is a casual shirt that has been based around a simple pop over style. The short placket and narrow collar are matched with a single open chest pocket and curved hem. We’re also a big fan of the workwear influenced jackets from French label Vetra. Their Rigging Jacket has been cut from pure brushed cotton for an unusual hand feel, but the cut is classic workwear: slightly boxy on the body with a button fastened placket and three external pockets.

 


SUMMER FABRICS TO KEEP YOU COOL WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES

Whilst the idea of wool for summer sounds like a terrible, sweaty idea, tropical wool is different. The looser weave promotes air circulation and the fine fibres actually draw moisture away from the skin.

What is most interesting though is the smart, smooth finish, something that makes it an ideal fabric for lightweight summer suits and sophisticated jackets. In store we have the Nohr from Norse Projects that comes in a deep navy colourway. The material for this jacket has been milled in England by Yorkshire based Alfred Brown, a business that has been creating fine worsted cloth for well over a 100 years.

Norse have added their own minimal touch with the concealed plackets, sharp cut and narrow collar. And, if you want to go the whole way, the Danish label have also crafted the Luther Trousers from the same material that feature a clean, modern tapered fit.

 


SUMMER FABRICS TO KEEP YOU COOL WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES

Rayon is a fabric derived for purified wood pulp, and whilst this doesn’t sound that glamorous, this semi-synthetic material is perfectly suited to the heat of summer. What we love about rayon garments is the soft, smooth hand feel and their great moisture absorbing properties.

Another huge benefit of rayon is its ability to take on dye, something that results in vivid colours and vibrant patterns. Pair all of these qualities together and you can see why rayon is often used for bright summer shirts such as the ones we have in store from Levi’s Vintage Clothing.

Their Hawaiian Shirt in the baked apple print is, for us, one of the shirts of the season. The bold, slightly abstract pattern, is a replica of one found in the Levi’s archives from the 1950s, faithfully recreated for the modern era. The loose fit of the shirt has been paired with a wide camp collar, button fastened placket and two flapped pockets on the chest.

 


SUMMER FABRICS TO KEEP YOU COOL WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES

Coolmax is a moisture-wicking fabric that actively draws sweat away from the skin to keep you cool. If you couple this technology with tried and tested seersucker, a material with a puckered finish designed to sit away from skin, then you have perhaps the ultimate summer material.

This season Danish label Norse Projects have been experimenting extensively with this wonder fabric, using it is a number of their lower wear pieces. The Harri Tapered Trousers in a subtle tonal pinstripe are a perfect summer garment. The tapered yet relaxed fit has been matched with four pockets, one of which has an inner section for a phone, and a zip fastened fly.

The same material has been used in the Harri Shorts in both a pinstripe and navy colourway if you fancy exposing the old milk bottles when the sun shines.

 

You can take a look at our complete selection of summer-ready fabrics here.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

Universal Works are a brand we have long admired. So long in fact that we were the very first store to put in an order with them when they started. It’s been a great relationship ever since. As they celebrate their ninth anniversary, we thought it  high time to visit founder and head designer David Keyte and his ever expanding team at their new Nottingham HQ.

We’ve sat down with David before, discussing inspiration and the history of his label, but this time we thought we’d talk more about his design process. Being able to see how he and his team work, his studio and how all operations are kept under one roof was great. So carry on reading below as we speak to David and his partner Steph to understand more about the workings of one of our favourite brands…

 


 

 

Charlie: How many different items do you design for each season would you say?

David: We have a very, very large collection.

Steph: I’d say it is about 320 items this season.

Charlie: And they’re solely designed by yourself?

David: Well, I have an assistant, Sam, who works alongside me, but as a business what we do is hugely about teamwork. Even the design process to some extent is teamwork, working closely with the people who make the fabrics and who make the garments. Being in a factory or with a maker is where you see different methods and ways of constructing things. Maybe you see someone’s mistakes, or something that they have forgotten, or something they don’t do anymore. You see different methods that tend to push you in directions you may not have thought about. A lot of my design is talking to people, then creating a really, really bad sketch, then Sam puts all of that into something that is technically a lot more readable.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

Menswear doesn’t change that dramatically each season, and silhouettes develop gradually, so we don’t have to reinvent the whole thing. We may have designed 320 items, but probably season on season, we create only a few new shapes. We may make a new shirt, or even two new shirts, we may make a new jacket, maybe we make it wider or shorter or longer, but we are not completely changing it. So in one season there might be 10/12 completely new things that started off with a sketch.

Charlie: So you’re not feverishly making one new design every single day in order to keep up production?

David: No, I mean, our best-selling pant started off in season three and we’re still making it in season 20. Some of the best things just last.

Steph: We’re always constantly looking for new fabrics, so we often have the same style but in new materials. Fabrics are really important for us to put a collection together; they dictate how it feels.

David: Last winter I created a new piece, the shape and fit was new, but I had done it in a sweatshirt fabric and I thought I’m not sure about this. I showed it to Steph and even showed it to the sales guy Martin Gill, and nobody got it. But I found a new fabric and put it into it and it’s now the best-selling style we’ve done for the forthcoming season. So sometimes it’s about the right fabric, right shape and timing.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

Ian: One of the fortunate things about menswear is that it moves really slowly, and we don’t want to reinvent the wheel. It’s not like women’s fashion, it’s a lot slower. What you said about shapes changing incrementally, it’s the same with denim. At the moment slim jeans are reasonably fashionable, give it another few years and we will be back to wide again. But it takes time  to happen in menswear. The same thing would take two seasons in womenswear.

David: That can be true about collar size and is true of so many different aspects of menswear. The moment something is classic, it’s gone, it’s outdated. It won’t be a classic in a few years because it gradually moves along. But that change is so slow that half competent people like myself can catch up with the change, or even anticipate it.

For me, the reason we started the label is because I wanted to produce a collection of clothing that I thought was relevant for menswear at the time. I created something I wanted to wear and I thought a lot of other people would also want to wear. And thankfully I’ve been proven right. Design can be anything from thinking about how much to nudge that shape or detail to deciding to make our own Ikat fabric rather than buying the same blue one we bought last time.

So design is not just shape and fit. A clothing company has to deliver product to people like Ian and design is just one aspect of this. You can have great ideas, but if you don’t deliver it on time at the right price with quality that doesn’t come back six months later, you haven’t made a product. So for me it’s a much more holistic approach, can we do all of those things and if we can then we have a business.

Ian: I suppose at the start you are going in quite blind as well, like a buyer. Take a particular fit, for example the Aston Pant, it’s such a phenomenally successful fit of pant, and we consistently sell it incredibly well season after season, but you wouldn’t know that initially when designing. How do you get to that point of understanding whether or not it’s a good product?

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

David: You don’t know. In many ways the Aston Pant is a typical example of the design process. I would naturally design something slightly wider and looser than the Aston, but I knew that I had to come up with something that was acceptable to the guy who wanted what I would term as a skinny pant. But I wanted him to have something less skinny. So I had to give him something he thought he wanted, but I had to create something that I felt was true to us. It’s our slimmest pant, but for most of our customers it’s their widest. And it has been a huge success. We just got the fit right and people love it and people come back to it. Is that amazing design or a fluke? It’s probably somewhere in the middle.

Ian: It’s a great example of how an item can change through the fabric, it’s just a completely different animal when its twill or wool.

David: We have made the Aston in really simple cotton twill which we offer every season and we have made it in pure wool Merino suiting and everything in between and it works. It will be the first or second thing on the line sheet. A huge part of design is understanding what will be successful.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

Charlie: Does opening up in other markets like Japan, where trends and fashions are different to say Europe, alter your design process?

David: It makes me want to go and live in Japan! No, I think having a diverse market gives me more opportunity to create different things and I’m nothing if not eclectic. I want a beautiful suit and I also want a hoodie and a pair of sneakers and a baseball cap. I like those aspects of menswear from streetwear to military to formal tailoring and I want have a version of all those things at Universal Works.

So having a diverse market allows us to be varied with our design and also our product. We can know that our slightly wider pant will be popular in Japan, but we also know that the super expensive Italian fabrics that we put into our classic pieces will sell very well in America and Italy because they love the fabric’s feel.

We also know that the UK market is dominated a little bit more about price and perhaps because of the rise of online retailing the feel of something is less important. Or maybe us Brits don’t understand fabrics in the same way the Italian market does.

Our customer base in Korea is probably 25 but our customer base in UK is probably 40. Again, this gives us the opportunity to feed both those markets with slightly different products. So, I think it allows me a bit more freedom than our sales team would typically allow me.

Charlie: Obviously Universal Works is a very personal brand to you, how much of your everyday needs and requirements is reflected in the clothing?

David: It’s entirely a wardrobe for me!

Charlie: You get a bigger iPhone, you think I’m going to need a bigger pocket and then we all have to have a bigger pocket?

David: The reality is that it is a huge wardrobe for me. There is nothing that I wouldn’t wear. I don’t, and couldn’t wear it all, and I would choose to wear the Pleat Pant over the Aston currently, but all of these things I would love to have. I can’t have 320 things each season, but I could try! It’s a reflection of all the different aspects of my clothing loves, desires and obsessions.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

Charlie: That speaks about the enthusiast in you…

David: Yes, absolutely, I am that. But maybe sometimes I should give things a little bit longer to breathe and have a chance to be successful. The garments that you know have been successful for a long time, it’s hard to not show them again but I genuinely look at those things and think whether or not they have had their day. Do I still want to put it on, do I still want to wear it tonight? And if I do, it stays. You can only use your own sense of style and timing and all those things to say yes or no, then it’s up to the public to buy it.

Charlie: It seems to have worked so far…

David: Well, yes, but you could also argue that we have a big collection. If you throw enough mud and all that… Normally we have a meeting and we have a discussion. It’s not just me making those decisions anymore. We have a bunch of people who have to sell the product.

Charlie: Does their feedback impact what you produce or design? Do you take into consideration the commercial aspect?

David: Yes and no. Mostly if you ask a retailer what they want to buy, they want to buy their best sellers from last season again. Because that sold well so they want more. But they also understand that they need something new to excite their customers. So it is our job to find that new thing. But you don’t want it to be too new that it pushes the customer away. It has to be just new enough.

Ian: It’s exactly that. You can get too far ahead of the curve.

David: To some extent you have to listen to what retailers say. But you do have to have a little bit of single mindedness. You need to say that I really believe in this. Our aim is to give them the thing they haven’t seen yet and to do that you do have to have a bit of ego and self-belief.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

Ian: Weirdly though, success can be a difficult business, because as a retailer or a designer, once you taste a certain amount of success with a certain product, it’s really difficult to not keep going back to it. To bring something new in is kind of difficult. When you have had no success, you can do what you want.

Charlie: You’ve done a number of collaborations, the ones with Novesta stick out, as does the one with Millican, which I think we stocked.

David: I loved doing that one with Millican, shall we do another one with them?

Charlie: How do you approach working closely and creatively with another company?

David: I think we have fairly simple criteria about collaborations, which is will we enjoy it, do we personally want it and are they a nice bunch of people to work with? If they fit all those conditions then we will have a go. I really want it to be collaborative. I really want to say to someone can we do this, is this possible? And then for them to have an input into it as well. Not just us painting their shoe a different colour.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

We tend to stick to things that we don’t feel we’re particularly expert in. That’s why we have done a lot of shoes, bags, that sort of thing. This is not our field of design or product development or production. So, like, those guys are experts in shoes, can we make some shoes with you as you know what you’re doing? And we like your shoes, we would like to make a version, have you tried this, have you tried that? That’s the easiest, simplest collaboration for us because it gives us something we want to make ourselves but don’t understand enough.

Charlie: Have you ever gone down the creative path with another brand and just though that this is not how I planned it, or how I wanted it?

David: Yes.

Charlie: What do you do then, persevere?

David: No, we stop.

Ian: What about the Universal Works bumless chaps?

David: You’ve got to try these things Ian. Obviously I’ve still got a pair!

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

Charlie: Ian tells me that Peggs & son were the first store to put down an order with you when you first started. Can you tell me more about this period when you were starting out but were still waiting for orders? It must have been an exciting, nervous, worrying period, where you know you have a great product but you have to convince everybody else.

David: I had an idea to create this collection and I met a guy on a train that I knew [Martin Gill], but not that well, but I knew he had a showroom in London. He said to me, 10 minutes into the conversation, “if you’re going do this, I’ll sell it”. What you mean put it in your showroom with Margaret Howell and Oliver Spencer and Il Bussetto and the other nice brands he had? And I thought, you know what, you’re the last piece of the jigsaw. I can’t do all of this and do the sales, so it was perfect.

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

We then made 45 samples in an unbelievably short space of time and I said to him, go and get me 10 clients and if I get 10 clients then I’ll have a business. He got nine and I said, well, what’s nine or 10 between friends? We’ve got a business. When we were delivering that first season, we got a phone call off a guy in Primrose Hill who said “where’s my order mate?” It turns out Martin had lost the order, so we actually did get 10 orders. So he lost 10% of my customer base in my first season, the bastard!

Steph: At that time we didn’t have any connection with our customer, really. It was very separate, Martin was the agent, he sold it, we were very much in the background, just packing the orders.

Charlie: Did Martin give you any feedback? Suggesting you should change things?

Steph: Everyone said that if we had made it in navy they would have bought more.

David: We made the first collection in black and olive and they all said “does it come in navy?”.

Steph: So yeah, we learnt a lesson there.

David: We didn’t do black for another five years. It was a strange time I guess, I didn’t know that it would work and I was quite prepared for it not to. I’m more nervous now because then it was just me, if it didn’t work, so what? Steph had a job so we could pay the gas bill. I didn’t have employees. Now if I get it wrong I’m bloody scared. All these people need paying and they’ve got lives to lead and we have a responsibility to them.

It feels much more nervous every season when I stand in Pitti or Paris, that first sale, and I think, I need 200 people to like this. That gets way scarier. I have very, very sleepless nights before those days. I’m not a nice person to be around! At the beginning it was a lot easier, I wasn’t nervous because Martin was confident he would sell it. He knew what was selling in his showroom, he knew the people who were coming in and buying and he was confident and told me the price is great, the product is good, I’m going to sell it. So, I felt comfortable. He says the same these days, bless him, and he’s normally right…

TALKING DESIGN WITH DAVID KEYTE FROM UNIVERSAL WORKS

A huge, huge thanks to David, Steph and the whole team at Universal Works for taking the time to show us around their new Nottingham home. Make sure you take a look at the latest Universal Works collection here.

Photos: James Hole.

 

PATAGONIA ARE SUING TRUMP

PATAGONIA ARE SUING TRUMP

PATAGONIA ARE SUING TRUMP

American outdoors label Patagonia have always been ones to stand up for what they believe in. Having donated millions of dollars to grass roots environmental causes, last year they began legal action against Trump, filing a lawsuit in protest of his decision to remove protections for Bears Ears national monument in Utah. ⠀

Critics say that the move by the US President will result in some two million acres losing federal protection and could pave the way for private ownership and exploitation of previously public land.⠀

As well as being vocal critics of Trump in the past, Patagonia also donate 1% of all annual sales to environmental causes, a figure that was close to $10million in 2017, and have launched projects to encourage customers to repair and recycle their old gear.⠀

For us, Patagonia are a model for how fashion businesses can operate ethically and sustainably whilst still producing incredible clothing. As ethics and the environment become more prominent in consumers’ minds, Patagonia are at the very forefront of this movement and represent what a progressive clothing company can and should be.

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL’S FACTORY

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

We’ve long been aware of the quality of Sunspel’s made in England tees. Just getting your hands on one immediately reveals a lustrous finish and soft handle that puts them head and shoulders above the competition.

We’d also heard about the long staple cotton yarns used in construction, the fastidious attention to detail and the unrivalled craftsmanship. But these terms are abstract concepts, hard to gauge and difficult to fully grasp without a detailed knowledge of clothing production.

So when we were invited to Sunspel’s factory and design studio in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, we immediately booked our train tickets and revelled in the chance in the learn more about the creation of our favourite t-shirts.

 


 

It’s easy to lose sight of our manufacturing heritage down here in Brighton. Our main industries seem to be tourism and digital marketing, the result of which is more coffee shops and vegan brunch spots than seem necessary. So a trip up to Long Eaton was a great reminder that a world beyond cortados and chia seeds exists, a place where businesses and factories still produce tangible products.

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

We were met at Nottingham station by Universal Works’ founder David Keyte who kindly dropped us at the Sunspel headquarters on his way to another local factory where he was getting knitwear samples produced. Down a road of terraced houses, 200 metres from the banks of the River Erewash was the saw tooth roof of the Sunspel factory, still standing in the same place it has been for over 100 years.

We were met by John Mart, production/sourcing manager, a man who knows everything there is to know about the creation of finely crafted English t-shirts. A veteran of Sunspel for 18 years, he was the perfect person to show us around, explaining the multitude of processes, vast history and product development at Sunspel. After listening to his wise words for even a few minutes, his and Sunspel’s unwavering dedication to quality quickly became apparent.

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORYHOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

For instance, Sunspel used to source all of their long staple cotton from Egypt, a country widely regarded as producing some of the finest cotton in the world. But around five years ago, at the height of the political crisis in the country, the Sunspel factory began noticing a reduction in quality. Slight white flecking was appearing, affecting the uptake of dye. The factory ran tests and discovered that the result of this flecking was down to immature cotton being picked before it was ready. Unable to tolerate this dip in quality, they scoured the globe before finally being satisfied with the quality of cotton from California.

 


 

Making a t-shirt is a very long, very involved procedure. As well as negotiating complicated geo-political issues when sourcing, what you do with the raw materials once you’ve acquired them impacts on the finished product.

Only long staple cotton, those with individual strands typically around two inches, is used. Everything else is rejected to be used by other clothing manufacturers with less discerning taste. This yarn, smooth and lustrous, is then twisted with another to create a strong, dense weave that takes on dye exceptionally well. Once dyed, the finished cloth is then shipped to the Long Eaton factory ready to be turned into the iconic tees that are beloved by everyone from Bond to Batman.

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

After an initial inspection (the first of many, many quality control checks), it is handed to a pattern cutter for marking and cutting. Using an extra sharp saw that wouldn’t look out of place in a joiner’s workshop, she cuts each panel, creating the building blocks that will eventually become the finished product.

This stage is crucial as any errors here will throw off production further down the line. These cloth panels are then distributed to several seamstresses, all with a highly specialised set of skills and tools who go to work overlocking, marking and stitching. One particularly fiddly part is the creation and attaching of the collar. First a seamstress cuts cotton into a precise width that is rolled onto a spindle. This roll of two-inch-wide cotton is then taken from one machine and placed onto another that feeds it through a device that folds it neatly before a needle stitches it around the unfinished collar of the front and back t-shirt panels.

The process is quick, intricate and miraculous. An innocuous strip of fabric is turned, as if my magic, into a perfectly formed, beautifully stitched collar. A t-shirt is beginning to form.

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

After a quick fire rally of stitching, hemming, trimming, steaming and ironing, all that is left is to fold each tee and slip it into its packaging. All along the way quality control checks have been taking place. Fabric is weighed, off cuts are checked for extraneous wastage, time sheets are checked and forms filled out. The finished tees, batched up into boxes, pass through a metal detector to check for any broken sewing needles before a single tee is plucked at random from every dozen or so boxes to be sent to quality control for inspection. A last check in a long line of compliance procedures.

 


 

Watching anything get made this intricately is always a pleasure. The cumulative experience and skill of the women who operate the factory floor is remarkable and this translates into a product that really is something very special.

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORYHOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

The fact that this type of production has been in rapid decline is even more reason to cherish it. We seem to be proud of our manufacturing past here in Britain, yet we have idly watched it disappear. Rising costs, cheaper international alternatives and an economy more focused on providing the world with financial services than physical products have all been to blame.

But when something is made as good here as anywhere else on the planet, we should all sit up and take notice.

HOW TO MAKE A SUNSPEL TEE: WE VISIT SUNSPEL'S FACTORY

Many thanks to John and Michael for taking the time to show us around the factory floor. Photography: James Hole

ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL

ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL

ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL

Inspired by Neil Young’s iconic 1974 album of the same name, we present On The Beach, our SS18 Editorial. Featuring some key pieces from the latest collections by visvim, Barena, Our Legacy, Stone Island Shadow Project, Engineered Garments, Danton and Stan Ray, the selection has been chosen to reflect the long, lazy summer days that lie ahead.

Checks, stripes, tribal prints and floral patterns feature heavily but have been paired with more subdued pieces such as military jackets, shop jackets and linen blazers to offer versatility throughout the summer months. These are outfits put together with the beach and the town in mind, perfect for holidays where you don’t want to be laden with carrying layers around with you. Effortless and relaxed, just the way summer should be…

You can shop all of our the items in this Editorial by heading in store or over to our website now.

ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIALON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL ON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIALON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIALON THE BEACH: OUR SS18 EDITORIAL

Photography: James Hole and Charlie Haywood.

INTERVIEW: TSUBASA TAMAKI FROM DANTON

INTERVIEW: TSUBASA TAMAKI FROM DANTON

INTERVIEW: DANTON'S TSUBASA TAMAKI

A classic French workwear brand, adopted by a small Japanese label keen to recreate iconic cuts using modern materials: the story of DANTON had us hooked from the moment we heard about it. We caught up with the man behind DANTON’s rebirth, Tsubasa Tamaki, to discuss the past, present and future of a label that has quickly become a store favourite.

 


P&s: We’ve only had DANTON in store for one season, can you give us a little introduction to who you are, what DANTON is about and what attracted you to work with the label in the first place?

TT: For me, DANTON has a unique style and a long history having been established in Paris in 1935. Now my label/store, BOY’S Co., is producing everything. We oversee all aspects of the brand from design and manufacture to sales and distribution. We wanted to work with DANTON’s history and keep the traditional style, but bring Japanese quality to the whole production to help elevate the range.

That’s why DANTON has been doing really well in a number of markets and that is also one of the attractions for me. To be able to take something with a rich and diverse history and update it for a modern audience using new materials.

INTERVIEW: DANTON'S TSUBASA TAMAKI

How did you get into menswear/retail? Have you always had a desire to work in fashion?

As I have been crazy about fashion since I was a junior high school student, getting into this job felt completely natural. I have been working in fashion wholesale since the beginning of my career. Right after I graduated from Japanese fashion school, I got into a company that focused on cut and sew wholesale, targeting the mass market in Japan. That was my first job and I worked here for a number of years before I finally joined BOY’S Co.

How do you go about creating a modern approach for DANTON but still remain faithful to the brand’s history?

We are always researching the latest trends and movements within the fashion market from major cities such as Tokyo, New York, London, Milan and Paris. We then distil what we find and try to incorporate this into our products.

This approach helps maintain the feeling and roots of the label, but at the same time it incorporates the essence of the latest trends in fashion.

INTERVIEW: DANTON'S TSUBASA TAMAKI

When you design new collections, do you have a particular man in mind?

DANTON has been designed for working people so therefore it has been made with many different kinds of men in mind. We want to add new detailing and experiment with modern materials but overall we try and stay true to the original designs and ethos of the label.

Bringing production to Japan has also changed the way we approach design. We like to add details that we think the Japanese customer would like, giving a fresh perspective to an old garment, breathing new life into it and adapting it for the modern day.

What’s in store for the future of DANTON?

All I can say is that DANTON will stay functional, reasonable and fashionable. We want the brand to stick to its tradition but utilise high quality Japanese craftsmanship that will appeal to many kinds of people. We will continue to look at the rich heritage of the label and explore their archives and history in order to find inspiration.

INTERVIEW: DANTON'S TSUBASA TAMAKI

Many thanks to Tsubasa for taking the time to come visit the store and sit down to answer our questions. You can shop the latest DANTON collection in store and by visiting the online shop.

Photography: James Hole

IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION

IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION

IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION

Worn out crotches, frayed hems and ripped thighs typically seal the fate of denim. After many months of wear, these issues often signal the end of life for jeans and the beginning of a journey to find a new pair.

The alternative, repairing them, is often overlooked by people. Either they lack the necessary skills with a sewing machine or they don’t trust a tailor, who may not be a denim specialist, with their beloved pair of jeans.

Clocking on to this desire to repair rather that replace, the guys at Nudie set up a Repair Station in their flagship London store where customers could get any issues fixed for free. Here their team of trained denim wizards could fix all manner of problems with the proper materials and machinery. But with wait times of up to eight weeks, there was a desire to get the operation out of the store and on to the road and we were fortunate enough to be the first shop to host the inaugural Mobile Repair Station.

With sewing machine and denim patches in tow, the Nudie guys set up at the front of our store to give passers by a chance to see denim repairs being on the spot. The response was great but if you missed out this time then good news, the Nudie Jeans Mobile Repair Station will be returning to the store in the not too distant future…

IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION IN STORE WITH THE NUDIE JEANS MOBILE REPAIR STATION

SPRING STYLE: STRIPES

SPRING STYLE: STRIPES

SPRING STYLE: STRIPES

It could be the change in seasons or the effects of the sun’s rays, but there’s something about the first signs of spring weather that makes us want to crack out the bold patterned tees and striped shirts from our wardrobe. With thoughts of long summer days on the horizon, you really can’t beat a classic Breton or simple pinstripe.

One nation synonymous with the stripe is France, and Lyon based label Arpenteur have come through with the goods this season. Although French brands are typically associated with the iconic Breton pattern, a style initially developed to commemorate Napoleon’s military victories, Arpenteur have switched it up, flipping the stripes through 90 degrees to create a vertical lined extravaganza in the form of their Pyjama Shirt.

Not ones to be left out, English label Sunspel have also muscled in on the stripe action with their S/S Striped Crew Tee. A luxe take on a wardrobe staple, it has been crafted using the finest long staple Egyptian cotton to give an incredibly soft handle. This is a spring standard, pair it with washed jeans, smart chinos and, if the weather is on your side, a pair of shorts for an effortless and relaxed look.

The great Danes, Norse Projects, are also partial to a stripe or two and this season they have produced the James Logo Tee, a long sleeve tee that comes in a variety of colourways. Minimalism, a core concept at the centre of all Norse Projects’ designs, can be seen in the restrained use of detailing, subtle branding and use of premium materials.

Below we have featured some of our top spring stripe picks, but you can shop more styles over on our website now.

SPRING STYLE: STRIPESSPRING STYLE: STRIPESSPRING STYLE: STRIPESSPRING STYLE: STRIPES