Author Archives: Charlie Haywood

INTERVIEW WITH RIZ FROM RIZ BOARDSHORTS

INTERVIEW WITH RIZ FROM RIZ BOARDSHORTS

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INTERVIEW WITH RIZ FROM RIZ BOARDSHORTS

 

Founded in 2010 with an aim to blend eco-fashion with his love of surfing, Riz Smith is the brains behind London based men’s swimwear label RIZ. The label’s goal is to take the thousands of plastic bottles that litter the beaches and waterways of Britain and recycle them into swimwear. But whilst sustainability is one part of the brand’s ethos, design plays a big role too. Using Smith’s background in design, the boardshorts from RIZ utilise the latest in digital printing techniques to create a bold and instantly recognisable aesthetic. Taking classic floral patterns and updating them with geometric prints and vivid colours, each pair are a playful nod to both the British coastline and its culture.

This is our second season stocking RIZ and it has been great to see the label go from strength to strength. We thought it would be a great idea to sit down with Riz Smith to learn more about his design approach, the brand’s history and what it’s like to have the environment at the forefront of the manufacturing process.

 

Let’s talk a little bit about the history of the brand. Where did the original idea for RIZ come from?

Riz: My first job was for Speedo as their beachwear designer, where I designed a lot of swimshorts and after a lot of research trips around the beaches of the world was shocked at how lacking the men’s swim market was. I was acutely aware of the need for something better, something more inline with menswear brands, more stylish, more sophisticated.

What were your initial aims when you first started?

The phrase I scribbled in a notebook at the very beginning was, ‘ the most beautiful and environmental boardshorts in the world’. The aim was to design just gorgeous shorts that were environmentally sound. The best in every way. When you’ve got a clean slate and are only creating one product it made sense to perfect it.

Did you always harbour a passion for designing clothing?

I think I was around seventeen when I thought of becoming a clothing designer near the end of school. I probably thought it was cool and different, little did I know! I then went to Foundation Art College and Fashion was my strongest subject so went onto to do a degree in it. But as a teenager I always had a passion for clothes, which is kind of strange for a guy at that age.

INTERVIEW WITH RIZ FROM RIZ BOARDSHORTS

Do you design with a particular guy in mind?

When we started, I used to design with just cool guys in my mind. Men who I aspired to and also I designed for myself a little. Nowadays we know our customer quite well, so it really helps when designing. So yes I design with this mind; he’s around 40 – 45 years old, probably a father, lives in a city, has a good job, is conscientious, not into trends, is a stickler for quality and doesn’t want look like everyone else on the beach.

What are your influences when designing? How do you start off the creative process? 

I’ve always been inspired by contradiction, so clothes that function for movement but look smart as an example. Trying to design something classic yet contemporary, trying to harness that middle ground when design appears effortless.

Interestingly London and the UK is a strong influence for the shorts. Again, a contradiction of the norm for a swimwear brand. There is a lovely irony of designing swim shorts in England where it rains a lot and the sea is freezing.

It’s also helped influence our own unique ‘British-Hawaiian’ print style, where we swap tropical iconography for British endangered species, flowers and insects, that we hope will foster awareness and inspired appreciation for the natural world around us.

I’d say the beginning of the creative process always starts with a need. Why are you designing something, how can you make something better, the function for me informs all the styling and other design elements. This creative process has been rolling for five years now, so it’s more like refining and tuning now, turning the screw. The shorts are like a canvas that hold the prints which tell the stories. The influences for these prints are a constant evolution of our ‘British Aloha’ vibe and endangered species. I finding have these parameters really helpful otherwise there’s too much choice.

INTERVIEW WITH RIZ FROM RIZ BOARDSHORTS

What does your day-to-day entail?

We’re a small team so have wear many hats. Whether it’s working on our marketing, branding, production, essentially all the creative side of the business, every day is full. Funnily enough the design side is the smallest part, doing this a few times a year for a few weeks at a time.

A big part of RIZ is the ethical nature of the business, how important was it for you to have this focus and how much does it affect the design/manufacturing process?

It is extremely important for us and has been there since the start. Central to the brand vision are three core elements: substance, style and sustainability. These inform everything I design and how we manufacture. Part of this is longevity;  making shorts that last are better for the environment. So triple stitching, removing cord tips that can break, having no inside labels for continued comfort over time, for example. All our shorts are digitally printed in England with water –based inks and made in Portugal in genuinely small batches. We do not mass produce and have formed strong relationships with our manufactures, helping our transparency and quality.

INTERVIEW WITH RIZ FROM RIZ BOARDSHORTS

How do you go about sourcing the materials for the shorts, it can’t be easy acquiring the fabrics you need and processing them into something usable?

Sourcing doe take a lot of time and currently we have been using the same recycled polyester since we started the brand five years ago. We were fortunate to find a fabric that was environmentally sound and performs really well – quick dry, nice weight. We are aware that our oceans are getting filled with plastic and in effort to do our part want make sure every pair of our shorts is made from recycled polyester ( made from recycled plastic bottles.) Our next goal is to make our own unique fabric and we are currently collecting bottles washed up on beaches and river banks to do this. The project is called #bottlestoboardshorts and we’re working alongside the Marine Conservation Society and other charities to get this rolling. It’s a huge yet exciting task so watch this space.

Where do you see the business in 10 years-time? Or, what are your aims going forward? 

I’d love to see our little brand grow. To continue just making men’s shorts, to make them better, more beautiful and more environmentally sound. The pursuit of perfection can be addictive and what a nice product area to do that in? Perhaps the design office will be on a beach, somewhere warm… what can be better than that!

 

Many thanks for Riz Smith for taking the time to speak to us. You can see his selection of swimshorts over on the site and in store now.

 

 

pastblog

SUMMER STYLE: PASTEL SHADES

SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son.

Summer trends come and summer trends go, but one that sticks around season after season is pastel shades. Easy to wear and providing a much welcome alternative to dark winter hues, we’re reaching for light blues, washed pinks and faded violets to add a touch of colour to our wardrobe. To celebrate the mercurial arrival of the sun, we took some of our top pastel picks down to Hove’s famous beach huts for a washed out editorial.

A particular standout piece for us this season has to be the Osvald Check Shirt from masters of Danish minimalism, Norse Projects. Cut from 100% brushed cotton, it comes in a subtle light blue check pattern throughout. Despite formal features such as the button down collar and open chest pocket it still manages to retain a relaxed feel, a style that Norse have made their own over the years. Sticking with the check, we’re also big fans of the 19th Century BD Shirt from New York’s Engineered Garments. Cut in the Garment District of downtown Manhattan, its subdued selection of colours make the perfect match for a summer’s day.

The humble tee is perhaps the most quintessential summer item. In store we have a strong selection from the likes Folk and visvim, but some of the pastel hued highlights are from British labels YMC and MHL by Margaret Howell. Both the Wild Ones and Matelot offer a great alternative to dominating colours such as navy and black and work great with a range of outfits. For something a bit bolder, try the Box L/S Tee from Our Legacy that comes in a lilac colourway.

As summer can be unpredictable, especially on the Brighton seafront, it’s always wise to bring a couple of layers in case the weather turns. A standout piece for us is the Brody Jacket from CMMN. Based around a Type III, the Swedish label have reinterpreted the workwear classic by kitting it out in pink and giving the body a boxier feel.

SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son. SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son. SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son. SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son. SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son. SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son. SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son. SUMEMR STYLE: PASTEL SHADES at Peggs & son.

You can see our full selection of pastel shades over on our website now.

 

SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED

SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED

SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED

We teamed up with our good friend and local menswear blogger Jake Story from Overdiluted to run through some of his favourite spring styles we have here in store. Taking to the streets of Brighton’s Seven Dials area, he chose an array of outfits all with the ever changing weather conditions in mind. Take a look below at his picks and see what he had to say about them:

 

“Initially, there might not seem much difference between my spring style and what I might wear in the winter – apart from the shorts, of course – but a lot of it comes down to the weight of materials. Spring is about as unpredictable as it comes, so it’s important that pieces are lightweight and layered. It’s all about adding up and taking away to keep yourself comfortable, which in my eyes is the art to perfecting your spring wardrobe.

You’ll need weatherproof jackets one day and shorts the next, which is why the Universal Works Bakers Jacket is a great piece: thin enough for a jumper or hoodie underneath and thick enough to do you some favours when things get a little chilly. Equally, both the YMC Deja Vu Trousers and visvim High Water Chinos aren’t as heavy as you might need for the colder months, which means you can comfortably get away with them on warmer days, despite the fact they’re full length. My favourite piece we shot has to be the Engineered Garments Parka in a nice and light poplin cotton that’s ace for the ever-changing conditions.”

SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED SPRING LAYERS WITH JAKE FROM OVERDILUTED

 

And there you have it, spring layers courtesy of Overdiluted.  Many thanks to Jake Story for the words, modelling and styling and Jordan Wright for the images. You can see more of Jake’s work by clicking here.

ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE

ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE

ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE

Just landed here in store is the latest collection from Lyon based label, Arpenteur. Adding contemporary twists to classic French clothing, their latest collection is full of summer weight fabrics and bold patterns, making it ideal for the coming months. With all production taking place in France, there is an undeniable quality to Arpenteur’s clothing that is completely in fitting with the label’s workwear roots.

With the sun out, we thought it a prime opportunity to get out the office and join the crowds amongst the penny arcades, candy floss and dodgems of Brighton’s infamous Palace Pier.

A highlight for us was the Ete SS Shirt, a lightweight number that has been based around a pop-over style with short placket detailing and open chest pocket. The airy cotton construction has been paired with an intricate blue check pattern for an easy-wearing, laid back look. It is also a versatile garment that can be easily smartened up with the addition of an Arpenteur mainstay, the Villefrance Jacket.

Another stand out item is the Brehat Shirt, a take on the iconic Breton stripe. Coming in a range of colourways, the orange and navy version caught our eye for its bold use of colour. Heavy cotton construction has been paired with a looser fit and three quarter length arms for a relaxed feel that is ideal for the rising temperatures.

ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE ARPENTEUR NOW IN STORE

Shop the latest Arpenteur collection in full either in store or by visiting our website.

FRESH SPRING COURT SELECTION

FRESH SPRING COURT SELECTION

FRESH SPRING COURT SELECTION

French label Spring Court have just delivered a fresh batch of their latest trainers to us here at the store. Blending bold colourways and unusual fabrics, they are the ideal for a laid back summer look.

Spring Court trainers made a real impact when they were first created in 1936 by Georges Grimmeisen. The Frenchman crafted them for use by tennis players but they soon caught on in fashion circles with people loving their simple design. One such fan was John Lennon who sported a pair not only on the front cover of the iconic Abbey Road album, but was so taken by the shoes that he even wore them on his wedding day.

The same unmistakable look remains to this day, but the offering of colourways and material types have expanded somewhat. In store we have an array of styles, from the classic white canvas to the highly textured hemp. All come complete with tonal laces, rubber toe cap and comfortable padded sole with trademark ventilation holes. We think that their strongest point though is their versatility. Slip on with  shorts, wear with some relaxed chinos or even pair with some washed denim, the choices are almost endless.

FRESH SPRING COURT SELECTION FRESH SPRING COURT SELECTION FRESH SPRING COURT SELECTION FRESH SPRING COURT SELECTION

 

Shop the Spring Court collection in full either in store or online now. 

 

 

GETTING OUTDOORS WITH BATTENWEAR

GETTING OUTDOORS WITH BATTENWEAR

GETTING OUTDOORS WITH BATTENWEAR

Truth be told, we’ve had just about enough of winter. The glimpses of sunshine that spring has given us so far has us eager to stash the winter coats away, grab some lighter layers and head outside. Thankfully the latest collection from New York based label Battenwear is made with the great outdoors in mind. Head designer Shinya Hasegawa has a love of both surfing and adventure and these two passions can clearly be seen in his clothing.

SS17 continues this trend and amongst the latest arrivals are bold graphic tees, climbing pants and vibrant patterned shirts. With this in mind, we decided it was time to take a long overdue visit to Brighton beach to soak up some rays. For us, a highlight from the collection has to be the Five Pocket Island Shirt, a relaxed number ideal for the summer weather. Coming in a vivid navy pyramid print throughout, it has been made in the USA from lightweight cotton. A utilitarian focus is seen in the five front pockets, regular fit and curved hem.

Another standout is Tortoise Tee, featuring graphic detailing on the chest and reverse. We paired it with the Field Cap, a peaked number that comes in a pleasingly refreshing salmon colourway. Be sure to take a look at the full Battenwear collection either in store or online now.

 

GETTING OUTDOORS WITH BATTENWEAR GETTING OUTDOORS WITH BATTENWEAR GETTING OUTDOORS WITH BATTENWEAR GETTING OUTDOORS WITH BATTENWEAR

SPRING JACKETS: THIS SEASON'S TOP STYLES - Engineered Garments

SPRING JACKETS: THIS SEASON’S TOP STYLES

SPRING JACKETS: THIS SEASON'S TOP STYLES - Stutterheim

Spring, dare we say it, is on the way. The evenings are beginning to stretch out that little bit longer and the sun’s rays seem just that little bit more powerful. We can always tell when spring is on the way when we begin to put away the heavy down coats for the winter and begin the search for lighter styles more suited for the change in weather.

Here in store we have received a fine selection of spring appropriate outerwear, covering all types of styles from smart to workwear, bomber jackets to waterproof coats. A highlight for us is the latest selection of raincoats from Swedish label Stutterheim. Their block striped Stockholm model has particularly caught our eye. Not only do we love the pattern, but thanks to the rubberised cotton construction and welded seams, it is also completely waterproof, something essential in the temperamental British spring weather.

Parisian label A.P.C. continue to take influence from classic military garments and the Blouson Alain shown below is their take on the iconic MA-1 flight jacket. The dark navy exterior has been cut from a cotton blend and the interior is fully lined. The front is fastened with a Riri zip that leads to a shawl collar in traditional fashion and two pockets are located on the hips. Completing matters is the obligatory pocket detailing on the upper left arm.

As we enter the season of weddings, it’s also important to keep something a little more formal in your wardrobe. For this, Engineered Garments have matters covered with their Andover Jacket. Cut from lightweight 100% cotton, it comes in a navy colourway and classic details such as the four external pockets, three-button fastening and notched lapel are all present. However, what makes this jacket for us is the fit. Perfectly cut, it remains unstructured but spans the divide between smart and casual perfectly.

SPRING JACKETS: THIS SEASON'S TOP STYLES - A.P.C.SPRING JACKETS: THIS SEASON'S TOP STYLES - Engineered GarmentsSPRING JACKETS: THIS SEASON'S TOP STYLES - orSlow

 

You can take a look at our full selection of spring jackets over on our website or in store now. 

 

 

ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION

ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION

ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION

It’s always a good day when the new Engineered Garments collection arrives here at the store. New York’s finest never fail to deliver and their latest SS17 selection is no different. Part of what makes head designer Daiki Suzuki’s approach so good is his points of reference, effortlessly blending both workwear and military into something new and interesting. With this in mind, we decided to head to the grounds of Brighton’s famous Royal Pavilion to take a closer look at his latest work.

One of our top picks has to be the Light Poplin Parka, a spring weight jacket that comes in an olive colourway. Made using a poplin cotton blend, it has a great regular fit and a large adjustable hood. The front is fastened with tonal snap buttons and the hips feature dual function pockets. Elasticated cuffs also feature in traditional fashion as does a drawstring hem. Here we paired it with another Suzuki mainstay, the 19th Century Shirt that comes in a colourful check pattern.

Another standout is the Baker Jacket that for SS17 Daiki Suzuki has kitted out in bold paisley. Although retaining a slightly formal edge, the vivid print definitely imparts a playful feel, making it an ideal jacket for a summer wedding. It is this versatility that is the beauty of Engineered Garments. They have a knack for being able to effortlessly switch styles without feeling contrived or over thought. The result is beautifully made, highly wearable clothing that lasts.

ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS17 COLLECTION

You can take a look at the Engineered Garments SS17 collection in full either in store or over on our website now.

A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17

A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17

A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17

The clothing from Parisian label A.P.C. is usually defined by its sharp cuts, military detailing and contemporary Gallic cool. We’re used to the label producing smart button down shirts and long wool overcoats, so the arrival of the SS17 collection here in store came as somewhat of a surprise. For this season, Jean Touitou’s brand have turned their attention to the world of sportswear with sweats, hoodies and branded cotton t-shirts all featuring heavily.

Featured in the latest selection is a small capsule collection of clothing that sees A.P.C. pay homage to the spiritual home of sportswear, America. All made in California, bold branding plays a key part, but as with everything from the French label, the quality of the material and fit are given serious consideration.

Another standout is the Blouson Alain, a trimmed down version of the iconic MA-1 flight jacket. The dark navy exterior has been cut from a cotton blend and the interior is fully lined. The front is fastened with a Riri zip that leads to a shawl collar in traditional fashion and two pockets are located on the hips. Completing matters is the obligatory pocket detailing on the upper left arm.

A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17 A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17 A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17 A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17 A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17 A.P.C. GO SPORTSWEAR FOR SS17

 

Take a look at latest A.P.C. collection in full either in store or over on our website now…

 

 

NORSE PROJECTS SS17

NORSE PROJECTS SS17

NORSE PROJECTS SS17

We always look forward to the arrival of Norse Projects. Copenhagen’s finest seem to be able to condense down and distill the feeling of their home city in each of their collections. Whether it be laid back shirting with fuss-free patterns, great fitting tees paired with bold colourways or outerwear that perfectly balances form with function, the great Danes get it just right.

As expected, SS17 is no different. Their first drop has arrived here in store and is full of updated Scandinavian takes on classic wardrobe staples. A standout in the Ryan Crisp Cotton Bomber. All the traditional details you would expect to find in a bomber jacket are present such as the shawl collar and slightly boxy fit, but Norse have kitted this one out with a lightweight outer and a blue colourway.

The Anton Oxford also makes a welcome return, this time in a multitude of colourways and patterns. What we love about the Anton is it can be used as basis for a wide array of looks. The 100% Oxford cotton construction works with smart or relaxed outfits, shorts or jeans, dress shoes or trainers. It’s strength is in its versatility.

Continuing with spring layering is the Thor Crisp Cotton. Perfect for the coming months, it has been based around a classic mac style with a long body and slim to regular fit. It features a water resistant outer, comes in a navy colourway and features a concealed button fastened placket to keep the look clean and minimal. A spread collar, two pockets on the hips and a split hem on the reverse completes the look.

NORSE PROJECTS SS17 NORSE PROJECTS SS17NORSE PROJECTS SS17 NORSE PROJECTS SS17 NORSE PROJECTS SS17 NORSE PROJECTS SS17 NORSE PROJECTS SS17 NORSE PROJECTS SS17 NORSE PROJECTS SS17

Shop the Norse Project SS17 collection in full either in store or online now…