The Chic Geek visits Diadora MuseumWith everything turning towards vintage sportswear, it was perfectly timed and serendipity to receive an invitation to the Diadora museum. Located near Treviso, around 40km from Venice, Diadora, the Italian sportswear brand and manufacturer, is having a renaissance and riding the wave of the revival of 80s sports classics and men’s terrace wear. 

Left - Diadora HQ is near Treviso, a town in the Veneto region of north-east Italy

Diadora museum Treviso ItalyUnfortunately not open to the general public, the museum is located at the head office and factory. Since July 2009, Diadora has been controlled by L.I.R. the holding company owned by the Moretti Polegato family, who also own Geox. They have re-established the Diadora brand and the museum is there to remind and explain to visitors and employees the brand’s history and sporting heritage.

Right - The timeline of Diadora's history in the museum

Diadora is from the Greek, dia-dorea, which means, ‘to share gifts and honours’, and was established in 1948 by Marcello Danieli to make mountain boots. Treviso is situated near the mountains and the Italian mountain police required special boots for their duties and this is why many of these types of manufacturers and companies sprang up in this area after the war. 

Boris Becker Diadora trainers sneakersIn 1960 Diadora shifted its production to sports and during its heyday in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, it was worn by some of the biggest sports stars of the time including Ayrton Senna, Sebastian Coe, Bjorn Borg and the Italia ’90 Italian football team.

Left - One of many of the famous sports shoes in Diadora's hall of fame - Here is Boris Becker's

Inside the Italian Diadora factoryIn 2009, Enrico Moretti Polegato, a member of the controlling family, became the new president of the company with the aim of enhancing the brand’s worldwide reputation and production. A background as a lawyer, and softly spoken, he kindly gave us the tour of the museum.

Right - Inside the factory where 10% of Diadora's shoes are #madeinitaly

The museum starts with an overview of nearly 70 years of history with a few of the original machines and processes it takes to make the shoes. An enviable collection of signed football shirts illustrates the depth of names who have worn Diadora.

Diadora's sporting heroes greats Italia 90The next part is where Geox’s expertise comes in. Masters in sole innovation and construction, they are regarded by some as the best, producing comfortable and practical footwear. A new concept, centred in the room, illustrates the breathability of their soles and how they are bringing this technology into Diadora’s new footwear.

Left - Diadora's sporting greats on the outside of the headquarters 

The final part is Diadora’s greatest hits: a display of all the sports people who have worn Diadora over the years including Boris Becker, Roberto Baggio and Francesco Totti pictured alongside their shoes.

Diadora’s collections are a good mix of heritage with modern finishes and techniques centred around the sports shoes and their current collection of 'Heritage' casual wear has the strong branding people are currently looking for. They do pure sports shoes, casual shoes and vintage inspired shoes, for many different sports, and they also produce utility shoes. Around 10% of their shoes are, now, made in Italy, and around 30% is made in neighbouring countries in Europe. 

Diadora spring summer 2017 campaign

When I visited they were making utility shoes in the factory adjacent to the museum. The small production space is connected to the design department so they can prototype and produce in limited runs and in tighter time frames. Diadora has recently specialised in producing special collaborations for brands and retailers. 

It feels that being part of a bigger group, Diadora, has more stability and the expertise and investment you need in order to be able to keep up in this very competitive market. As people grow tired of the sports mega brands and a return to those with real heritage, Diadora is in the perfect position to reap the benefits with quality products that are well made and define this new era of retro sports that has hit the current fashion scene.

Right - Diadora's current SS17 campaign which references its 80s archive

www.diadora.co.uk

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Published in Fashion
Monday, 02 January 2017 22:59

The Chic Geek Style Awards 2016

Best Designer Label Loewe Chic Geek

The Chic Geek Awards 2015

Happy New Year, Chic Geeks. What a year. Fashion years are a bit like dog years, so much happens and so much is forgotten about, while other things, unpredictably, have such an impact and filter out into the mainstream. Here's what I can remember from 2016. Tweet me your thoughts on #TheChicGeekAwards 

Best Label of 2016 - Loewe

There weren’t many labels to rival Gucci this year, and while I (still) love it, I wanted to recognise something else. J W Anderson creates ‘fashion’ which is becoming harder and harder to find these days. Being the head of the Spanish label, Loewe, pronounced Loo-wavay, it has allowed his ideas to be polished with their skills in leather goods and skins.

He has created a clean high-fashion label out of Loewe, it’s almost like a male Celine, but with touches of humour and seasonal difference which gives it life without being too gimmicky and themed. If only we could afford it. He’s done such a good job here it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got the top job at Louis Vuitton, eventually. 

Best new menswear label Gosha RubinchinskiyBest New Label of 2016 - Gosha Rubchinskiy

‘Designing’ since 2008, this Russian designer is part of the non-fashion, sportswear trend that infiltrated the po-faced - read East London - side of fashion, this year. While he didn’t create anything new, he subverted like a professional and hit the sweet spot when it came to pricing the designer market. There’s a real market for affordable designer clothes and the Comme backed Gosha is cleaning up with his sweatshirts and skater style pieces. We’re spending more time in the gym and this is being reflected in our clothes and this is where it meets high-fashion with a side order of 80s charity shop.

Best high street award ASOS The Chic Geek 2016Best High Street of 2016 - ASOS

With annual sales now standing at £1.4bn, ASOS is the ‘high-street’ giant of the internet. It’s obviously doing something right and it wins TheChicGeek Award for best high-street for its pure experimentation and ridiculousness. From Yeezy inspired Mad Max looking outfits to Gucci pussy-bow shirts, ASOS has the depth of choice at a price everybody can afford. 

Where once the high-street copied designers, now, due to the sheer volume of product needed, they come up with their own ideas and run with it. Just don’t buy the ‘Super Skinny Fit’. Sequinned trousers, anybody?

Boldking razor review The Chic Geek Awards 2016Best Grooming Product 2016 - Boldking Razor

The razor market is dominated by the big players who out discount each other to monopolise the supermarket and pharmacy. They do innovate, but slowly, so it was nice to hear of a small player thinking differently. 

The big difference here is the blades are further apart to prevent clogging, which, if you have thick, coarse hair, will happen a lot. Plus the razor comes with a suction cup to put on your mirror or sink, out of the way. Simply yet effective.

The branding is really good. Gone are the muscles and steamed up mirrors: replaced by cute graphics and chatty instructions. This feels modern, it feels like there’s no pressure to be a certain type of man, it’s simply about shaving and doing a good job. Time to start shaving again. Hello, Boldking. More here

 

 

Best Grooming Brand Buly 2016 The Chic Geek Style AwardsBest Grooming Brand 2016 - Buly

Parisian brand, Buly, takes you back to a fantasy time of apothecaries and Renaissance snake oil salesmen where there’s a tortoiseshell comb for every part of your body. Where things have more meaning than is obvious, at first, and time-honoured traditions are bottled and squeezed into metal tubes and glass jars. This brand is all about the packaging which is always a big thing when it comes to grooming and beauty products.

I’ve tried the toothpaste - orange, clove and ginger - and the shaving cream - read more here

They add a difference and excitement to the grooming routine and the products work. They’re not cheap, but they’re special and feel like a historical treat. 

Dunhill Icon Absolute fragrance of the yearFragrance of the Year 2016 - Dunhill Icon Absolute

2016 was a bit of a disappointment from mainstream fragrance brands. The power of the fashion brand has waned and their offerings don’t feel as special or as premium as they once did. People are moving towards niche and specialised fragrance houses which offer something of quality, but at a higher price, usually.

Fashion brands and their licensees are too quick to release and they don’t commit to the fragrances they produce and thus fall by the wayside very quickly. I wanted to choose something more mainstream. Technically, this came out in 2015, but I only discovered it, this year. Even though Dunhill Icon won TheChicGeek Award last year, this Absolute version is completely different in a good way.

The top notes are bergamot and black pepper, middle notes are saffron, black rose and jasmine and base notes are agarwood (oud), tobacco leaf and leather. It smells really exotic and rich and warm and keeps you coming back for more. It doesn’t really last, but that’s okay, it’s not ridiculously expensive. I’ve smelt this on a few people over the year and it’s instantly recognisable. This really is rather good if you like something rich and intoxicating.

Most stylish menswear programme Deutschland 83 The Chic Geek AwardsMost Stylish Programme 2016 - Deutschland ‘83

Forget the shoulder pads and power dressing, Deutschland ’83, was a lesson in Eastern European sportswear and military dressing. It was the great pop soundtrack of 80s classics that got us channelling our East Berlin realness and Vetements irony that made us want to stay firmly behind the wall. 

Best collaboration Craig Green Bjorn Borg Best Menswear Collaboration 2016 - Craig Green X Bjorn Borg

Affordability seems to be the word of 2016. Collaborations needs to tap a new market or appeal to those priced out. That’s why H&M always seem to do so well. Craig Green teamed up with Bjorn Borg this year to produce a collection that didn’t meet in the middle, it just gave the great unwashed Craig Green at a price they could afford. His samurai favourites were here in a capsule collection of unisex pieces. Doubles your market, natch!

Chic Geek Awards 2016 Dover Street Market Best RetailSpecial ChicGeek Award 2016 - Dover Street Market

While the world tipped towards online, and the high-street continued to try to pile it high and sell it cheap, Dover Street Market moved.

It became what it should have always been. It got a proper retail space and had a flow and order to it. It’s dedication to designers and their visions will make Dover Street Market the hardcore venue and destination for devotees of the catwalk and its silliness. This is serious fashion for those who can’t see the humour in it all, but mock what you will, it’s nice that a Dover Street Market as good as this one exists in London.

 

 

 

  

Most Stylish man Jared Leto Gucci The Chic Geek AwardsMost Stylish Man of 2016 - Jared Leto

If you’re going to be a ‘style icon’ you need to take risks. We can all do a Thom Sweeney three piece suit with a horseshoe waistcoat and look the part, but it’s those little touches and breaking-out-of-the-mould outfits that gets TheChicGeek nod. 

I’ve never been a fan of Jared Leto, not really sure why, but since he became Alessandro Michele’s dress-up doll, he’s really committed, with both GG logoed feet, to the Gucci renaissance. Some have been hits, other misses, but it’s definitely not safe and hats off to him.

Turkey of 2016

We got a lesson in how not to launch a website this year with Condé Nast’s style.com. The much delayed and anticipated site was supposed to use their expertise and kudos in the luxury market to rival Net-a-Porter and matchesfashion.com by using the power of their magazine brands and offering a new take on curated commerce. What we got was a quiet launch of something that didn’t have much content, was a shopping portal and didn’t offer anything new in a saturated luxury market. It will be interesting to see whether they further commit to this or quietly shelve it and put it down to experience. Read more here

What are your thoughts? #TheChicGeekAwards

 

Published in Fashion
Friday, 21 October 2016 14:46

Hot List The Craig Green X Bjorn Borg Polo

bjorn borg Craig green hot list circle poloIt’s great when a collaboration brings a designer to a new audience or offers something that could easily pass as their mainline at a realistic price. This is true of the new Craig Green X Bjorn Borg collection.

You wouldn't necessarily put these two together. So it was either a case of inspired thinking on behalf of Bjorn Borg or a big, fat cheque! Swedish underwear specialists, Bjorn Borg, has teamed up with British menswear designer, Craig Green, to offer a monochrome collection of 18 unisex pieces in Green’s signature micro quilting.

Most of this stuff could easily past muster alongside some of his catwalk pieces, which probably means he’ll be moving on from these ideas pretty soon.

If you’re a fan of his Asian inspired pieces you won’t go far wrong with getting involved here, especially at these prices. I’ve chosen this polo as it’s slightly more wearable. For those in the know, Green likes a circle, most notable his knitted cutout from a couple of seasons ago, so wear this with in-the-know pride.

Left & Below - Craig Green X Bjorn Borg - Men’s Polo Top Cloud Cream - £75

craig green bjorn borg collab chic geek

Published in Fashion
Monday, 15 August 2016 13:30

#OOTD 86 Olympic Geek 3/5

nike sneakers ootd the chic geek olympicsAs Team GB continues to bring home the gold medals, TheChicGeek's third Olympic Ring OOTD goes bright in bold yellow and orange. In a loose fitting running top, retro-length sports shorts and leggings, TheChicGeek just needs the arms and legs to go with it. Maybe lifting all those winning medals will help! 

Go bright, or go home. Come on #TeamGB

Credits - Yellow Trainers - Nike from JD Sports, Skin Cream - Egyptian Magic, Sunglasses - Oakley, Watch - AVI-8, Mr Mint Daily Face Wash - Soveral, Black Leggings - Bjorn Borg, Yellow Shorts - adidas, Orange Top - Soar, Tracksuit Top - Umbro

Shot by Robin Forster on Olympus PEN

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AVI 8 kinetic watch ootd the chic geek olympicsolympic chic geek style menswear soar running orangehula hoop menswear geek chic adidas shortssports sunglasses oakleyrunning chic geek sportswear olympic rings orangeootd menswear flatlay olympics blogger

Published in Outfit of the Day
Tuesday, 02 August 2016 12:03

#OOTD 84 Olympic Geek 1/5

rio olympics chic geek sportswearBehind every great athlete there is a great trainer; passing on his experience and knowledge to the next generation of Olympians. To celebrate the Rio Olympics, TheChicGeek took to the playing field to train for that gold medal.

Always striving to be his best, TheChicGeek is, here, channeling 'retro sports teacher' in a fresh white tracksuit and 'Chariots of Fire' type vest top. An Olympic gold, like true style, takes commitment, dedication and training!

Credits - Trainers - Puma, White Tracksuit Top - Bjorn Borg, White Tracksuit Bottoms - Bjorn Borg, Socks - adidas, Watch - Maurice Lacroix, Vest Top - Iffley Road, Whistle - Le Coq Sportif, 'Omoressence' - Omorovicza, 'Urban Blue Detox Clay Mask' - Lab Series, 'City Block Purifying Cleansing Gel' - Clinique.

Shot by Robin Forster

Get involved #Olympichicgeek

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sportswear menswear white tracksuit bjorn borgrio olympics style menswear the chic geekwatch maurice lacroix the chic geeksneakers puma trainers the chic geek ootdwhite men's tracksuit rio olympics the chic geekootd menswear flatlay white sportswear

Published in Outfit of the Day