Thursday, 25 January 2018 13:29

Introducing Massa Boutique #Sponsored

Massa Boutique Tod's online shop

Forming the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia, in Southern Italy, is home to the Massa Company. Still family owned and founded in the last 1950s, the Massa Boutique is one of Southern Italy’s premier fashion stores offering the best in ‘sprezzatura’.

A young Francesco Massa began his career as a dressmaker with a few basic tools: scissors, sewing needle and thread. He opened a small tailoring shop in Martina Franca and quickly became a trusted local outfitter for the gentlemen of the time. Eminent people of the city quickly demanded the gold hands of a Massa custom-made product.

Today, they sell men’s clothing, footwear and accessories. Located near Corso Messapia in Martina Franca, and online, Massa Boutique is strong in Italian brands including Ferragamo, Etro and a Tod’s online shop

Suiting brands include Lardini, Zegna and Isaia and the name of Massa remains synonymous with quality and style.

Left - Shirt - Barba - £107.81 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 11:25

ChicGeek Comment Shifting Shopping Centres

Primark now the anchor tenant of department stores

There was a time when prestigious shopping centres, usually out of town, could pick and choose - ‘curate’ - its retailers. Those deemed too low rent, not literally, weren’t given house room and everything was perfect in these sanitised high-streets.

Well, things are changing, we’ve heard many ‘Death of the Mall’ stories, but ultimately visitor numbers and footfall is dropping and they need/want to stay relevant.These shopping centres need bodies and lots of them. 

So, it’s interesting to see how Primark is now being heralded at shopping centres that before wouldn’t have given such a large space to this affordable retailer.

Left - The extension of Westfield White City includes John Lewis and Primark

Bluewater recently announced a huge new Primark after it said it was the most requested brand from its visitors and Westfield White City’s new extension contains not only a John Lewis but a Primark, which was missing from the original lineup. Manchester’s Trafford Centre enlarged to accommodate one and, soon, Primark will be seen as an anchor tenant much like John Lewis and Marks & Spencer.

What Primark brings to a shopping centre is a constant lifeblood of customers. With no online option, people have to get out there and physically go into the stores and this will have the knock on effect of making the whole place busier.

It’s an interesting time for shopping centres. Without something distinctive or ‘destination’, many will end up with large holes as retailers trim their retail footprint. Argos is moving in with Sainsbury’s, many of those BHS stores remain empty and with retailers such as New Look and M&S closing stores, there aren’t many big retailers to take their place.

A few years back, when Littlewoods and C&A disappeared, M&S was expanding and Primark was taking big units as it was growing so fast.

New shopping centres, such as ‘Coal Drops’ in Kings Cross, will take a different approach from the bigger is best attitude of shopping centres previously. Even the wording ‘Shopping Centre’ sounds a bit dated. What should we call them? Not ‘Town Squares’, hey, Apple!

It’s going to be about design - Thomas Heatherwick has designed Coal Drops - and discovery, with retailers many people wouldn’t have seen before. It’s about selling cool and constantly changing to keep up with this. It’s never ending. You need events, social media and a siren-like call to constantly remind your customers what you have to offer.

In America, their shopping centres are important because many places didn’t have much before it.  Without the shopping centre there is no hub or heart to the town or city. In the UK, we’ve had High-Streets for centuries which have evolved constantly and also a street culture which is ingrained within our society. Admittedly, less prosperous places will see their high-streets struggle, but then maybe shops with be replaced with homes or other ideas we’re yet to even think about.

Shopping centres need to start thinking about what they stand for and question the future of shopping and retail. I think just ignoring it and ploughing on will speed up their demise.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 14:20

Trend The Slouchy Norfolk Jacket

Menswear Trend AW18 Norfolk Jacket Oliver Spencer

Straight off the back of London’s LFWM and a look around Florence’s Pitti Uomo, the smarter jacket shape for AW18 is what I’m calling the ‘Slouchy Norfolk’. 

It’s a longer jacket with a distinctive waist, and rather than the rigid and thick tweed of the Edwardians, this is more relaxed, unstructured and modern. 

Menswear Trend AW18 Norfolk Jacket Hansen Garments Pitti UomoOliver Spencer showed his with matching trousers in a handsome micro checked fabric, while Danish brand, Hansen Garments, featured the Norfolk’s signature waist belt and multiple pockets in a soft flecked material.

You’ll be able to wear this as a light coat and, also, instead of a smarter jacket during autumn and early winter.

Far Left - Oliver Spencer AW18

Left - Denmark’s Hansen Garments

Below - Classic Hunting Norfolk Jackets

Menswear Trend AW18 Norfolk Jacket

 

Monday, 15 January 2018 16:27

Trend Shoplifter Chic

shoplifter chic wearing visible security tags Palm Angels menswear trends

We’ve all been there: you get back from the shops and they’ve left the security tag on. The alarms never went off and you’re left with a veal-coloured piece of plastic visibly hanging from your prized purchase. You’ve now got the task to remove it without creating a giant hole in the cloth, or, annoyingly, having to venture back to the shops to have it taken off.

shoplifter chic wearing visible security tags Oiboy Stolen Goods menswear trends

Worry no more, as it’s actually a style statement now. Thanks to South London’s cheeky Oiboy label and LA’s Palm Angels, those security tags are the new must-have. 

Wear it with pride and channel your inner Winona Ryder even though you’ve paid for it. Just be wary of those suspicious looking security cards and let’s just hope you don’t get a crescendo of alarms everytime you visit the shops.

Far Left - Palm Angels AW18

Left - Oiboy - 'Stolen Goods' Sweatshirt - £45

Below From Left - Oiboy - 'Stolen Goods' Cap - £25, Oiboy branded security tags

shoplifter chic wearing visible security tags Oiboy Stolen Goods menswear trends

shoplifter chic wearing visible security tags Oiboy Stolen Goods menswear trends

shoplifter chic wearing visible security tags Oiboy Stolen Goods menswear trends

Friday, 05 January 2018 12:21

ChicGeek Comment The Clothes Mountain

millions of pounds of unworn clothes by men Weight Watchers

I’ve spoken of ‘Fashion Saturation’ before - here’s an article I wrote in 2016 - but, now, it’s official.

According to Weight Watchers, Britons hoard £10billion worth of clothes we never wear: 588 million unworn garments are languishing in the nation's wardrobes with women hoarding 365million and men 223million.

Of the 2,000 people polled – 1,000 men and 1,000 women – 25 per cent said they plan to wear their outfits again once they lose the extra pounds they have gained since buying the items.

Okay, I know it’s Weight Watchers, and they obviously see a motivator for people to lose weight is to get into all these unworn clothes, but it’s also a signifier of the wastage and glut of clothes we have in our wardrobes.

Left - Take a leaf out of Joey's book? Maybe this will be a trend to wear as much as possible to get those unworn percentages down

Men reported wearing just 53 per cent of their clothes, with the 47 per cent of unworn items worth £5.1billion. The most commonly unworn garments were T-shirts, jeans and jackets.

One in ten respondents claimed they did not throw out unworn clothes because they were waiting for them to ‘come back into fashion’.  That’ll be those bootcut jeans then!

Overall, the £10billion figure breaks down to £200 of unworn clothes per adult in the UK.

People are drowning in stuff. This is why retailers aimed at more mature customers are suffering. The Debenhams, Marks & Spencer’s and House of Frasers of the world. 

People have wardrobes full of unworn clothes and adding to this pile is turning many off the idea of relentless consumption.

Retailers aimed at the younger market are doing better - Boohoo, ASOS - as these consumers are still hungry for items and also their mindset is: wear, enjoy, dispose. 

The irony is the less space we have, as homes become smaller, we’re using our precious space to store clothes we’ll never wear. Okay, I understand you can’t wear 100% of your wardrobe 100% of the time, but that 47% could easily be reduced to around 15-20%. Things for special occasions or have sentimental value you’ll keep.

Just look at your wardrobe, there’s not enough days in the year to wear the amount we have.

We need to unlearn this idea of ownership and also close the loop on reusing and recycling clothes. We need processes that make clothes’ fibres easily reduced back to their raw state and then reused and those which don’t fit this process, we limit their use. We can’t simply keeping adding to the unworn pile.