Crew Cut – American Crew

imageDuring the 1980’s and 90’s we saw many of the local barber shops our fathers and grandfathers frequented disappear and were replaced with salons catering primarily to women.
But times have changed, and men are back. And so to are the barber shops, OK referring to them as traditional maybe one step too far but the ethos they are found on and the new generation of business they are attracting is very similar to their original counterparts.

A brand that is synonymous with male grooming, but more importantly the masculine image of barber shops is American Crew. They offer a passionate commitment to men’s grooming, with their primary aim being to bring men into salons, provide them with a great new experience and show them new ways of incorporating style into their everyday lives.

They recognise the growing number of men that are concerned with their appearance and who want to look their best and an acknowledgement that this trend of image-conscious men spans all ages and backgrounds.

imageFounded in Chicago, by David Raccuglia back in 1994, he foresaw this trend or as he puts it, “A future where men would pay as much attention to their looks as women do, without loosing their masculinity. Which is why everything we do fosters authentic confidence—from our shapes and styles to our products and imagery.”

American Crew is more than just a lifestyle brand or a salon supplier. It’s a landmark in the history of men’s grooming, in the same way as Brylcream or Aramis. It has all of the male grooming interests in mind. The company provides, obviously,  shampoos, conditioners, hair gels, grooming creams and  shave oils, but also shave gels, post-shave cooling lotions and fragrances.

As a brand it’s never forgot its primary aim, even though it’s the leading salon brand created specifically for men, it gives men and their barbers the tools they need to create stylish, masculine looks.image

Flowered up – Floral trend Watch

WORDS BY HARRY BRADBURY

imageIt seems as though each season a print of some description is seen waltzing down the runways of Fashion weeks for Spring/Summer. This year is no exception, with the likes of Gucci, Dries Van Noten, Dior Homme, Hermès, Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gobanna and Richard James all seen as campaigners for converting us to floral print some way, shape or form in 2016. Whether it’s subtle darker earthy tones or in your face full on blooming hydrangeas.
As always the word spreads and the high street brands pick up on the trends and in turn create affordable versions of what we see on the catwalks. Check out some of the best examples of the best floral prints trend for Summer 16 on the High Street.

 image imageZara

 image imageFrench Connection

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Reclaimed Vintage at Asos

 image imageMango MAN

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TOPMAN

An end to damp filled holidays – Didriksons, Scandinavia’s biggest brand of rainwear and functional garments.

imageI know I’m not alone on this point, because one of the many endearing qualities which drew me to the long suffering Mrs Mc in the first place, was our shared torturous, sorry idyllic childhood holidays spent within Britain and Ireland. You know the ones, being blown up and down a promenade by gale force winds or blowing rain drops off your nose in a torrential shower, while being told, “Stop being soft, It’ll pass in a minute,” all the whilst this happening at the height of our British holiday season in Balmy August. Ahhhh, character building, well that’s what I tell the kids now anyway.

imageWhat I would have given back then for some good quality, non embarrassing wet weather gear, that didn’t make you look like you were setting sail for a month aboard a deep sea trawler. Well do you know what, I have the solution to my, I mean our prayers. Just think the summer holidays, festival season or even the commute to work needn’t be a complete washout, even when the weather forecasts for the UK are wet and miserable. Make sure you’re covered for any sudden downpour with Didriksons, who produce stylish waterproof and windproof designs for the whole family to keep you sheltered from the wind and rain ensuring that the outdoors fun lasts all season. Yeah !

imageDidriksons apply a simple philosophy: “we don’t challenge the elements, we adapt to them.” Way back in 1913 Julius and Hanna Didrikson began producing workwear for the fishermen in Grundsund, on the edge of Sweden’s western coast. For over a hundred years now the brand have been faithful to this basic principles. Making functional clothing that keeps you dry and comfortable regardless of the weather and as result of this a hundred years later, they are Scandinavia’s biggest brand of rainwear and functional garments.

Didriksons is still a family run business today, but the world is very different to the one Julius and Hanna started their business in. The brand prides self on constantly striving to reduce their environmental impact, and leave as small a footprint as possible behind them, here here. They minimise the use of chemicals, no toxic substances, and use as little water, energy and transport as they can in the production.

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His & Hers no longer – Ferragamo Off-Duty Footwear

imagePlaying around with notions of sex, gender and what is traditionally items of clothing for one sex being adopted by the other is hardly groundbreaking within the Fashion world and ok so men embracing their feminine side might still be less mainstream. What would the world be without such iconic imagery as Marlene Dietrich, Madonna and Bianca Jagger all playing with their interpretation of the tuxedo, the late, great David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Prince all playing with the stereotypes of gender or more recently, Gucci’s, item of the season, pussybow shirts and Jayden Smith front the latest Louis Vuitton Campaign. Gender neutrality is big business Zara, KTZ, Whistles X Stutterheim and Selfridges are all loving their agenderness. Females for decades have been helping themselves to their boyfriends wardrobes whether it be jeans, jumpers or Blazers. However, one wardrobe staple which has, until now, eluded unisex sharing has been footwear.

But for Summer 2016, luxury brand, Salvatore Ferragamo presents the Ferragamo Off-Duty project, a special footwear collection inspired by a new casual and sporty mood, without gender distinctions. This collection includes shoes designed to be worn by him and her – in sizes 31⁄2 to 15 – reflecting the unisex lifestyles of the new generation.

imageWith its streamlined design which looks to sportscar drivers, the driver – one of Ferragamo’s best- sellers – stands out for its distinctive sole with rubber inserts making it incredibly flexible, an example of craft expertise, the brand is renowned for.

However, the driver isn’t on its own, it’s joined by the Stylish and understated, moccasin, with its double Gancio buckle is the distinctive signature feature, alongside a wide range of materials and this season’s colour combinations. Plus a hyper-contemporary street-savvy trainer, sorry, sneaker.

The palette for the Off-Duty collection imbues the driver and moccasin with the new unisex Piuma print or the warming tones of summer: Anemone, Mimosa, Orange, Grapes, Saxony Blue, New Sprint, Red and Blue Marine, as well as Black, the gender-neutral colour par excellence. Whereas the lace up sneaker combines parts in plain calfskin, patent, soft split leather, suede and Airspring print fabric, or Piuma print leather in three colourways: wine-blue-grey-brown, dark rain and burgundy, sand and rose.

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Is Mother Nature giving us the solution to this Problem ? – Aveda introduce, Invati Men

imageWithin the haircare industry the mystique that surrounds Aveda’s Invati product, its properties and the results achieved by using it are the stuff of legends and following the global success of the brand’s best-selling hair care system. Aveda are about to introduce, Invati Men – a two-step system specifically designed for men to address one of their biggest hair care concerns, thinning.

Powered, of course, it is Aveda, by naturally-derived ingredients, formulated with a blend of plant actives, Invati Men offers Solutions for Thinning Hair. It’s designed specifically to meet the unique needs of men. This easy two-step system helps improve the look of thinning hair. In fact from their tests 4 out of 5 men say their hair feels stronger and looks thicker. Invati Men helps men with early to moderate thinning, who may be seeking preventative measures against hair loss due to breakage.

Aveda partnered with Nisarga, an Indian firm committed to growing Ayurvedic herbs with organic agriculture, to supply the certified Organic Turmeric, used in Invati products, yes the miracle spice that we are continuously finding is good for us, from Teeth whitening to preventing certain Cancers. With Aveda’s support, Nisarga is able to expand organic farming that is better for the wider environment, but in assisting the farmers, the local environment too.

As we said Invati Men works on the principle of TWO STEPS, ONCE A DAY, EVERY DAY.
STEP 1: EXFOLIATE

imageInvati Men Nourishing Exfoliating Shampoo

This is a lightweight, creamy shampoo that exfoliates the scalp and conditions to help strengthen thinning hair. Wintergreen-derived salicylic acid helps remove build- up and excess sebum which can clog pores. Massage in to energize and prepare scalp for step two.

STEP 2: THICKEN & INVIGORATE

imageInvati Men Scalp Revitalizer

This quick-absorbing, drip-free leave-in treatment serum, powered by Amla, which thickens hair at the root. Instantly thickens the look of hair and helps invigorate the scalp when massaged in, whilst increasing microcirculation with a blend of plant actives. Apply once daily, every day, on wet or dry hair, directly onto the scalp, massage in and style as normal.

Now if all that wasn’t enough for you, the Invati Men Nourishing Exfoliating Shampoo is housed in a 8.5 oz/250ml containing a minimum 75% post-consumer HDPE and up to 25% bioplastic. Invati Men Revitalizer is housed in a 4.2 oz/125ml bottle containing a minimum 75% post-consumer HDPE and up to 25% bioplastic bottle, and what does all that actually mean? Don’t worry all you need to know is the bioplastic used is a biopolyethylene derived primarily from sugarcane. Sugarcane is a quickly renewable and sustainable resource.

Boxing well above your weight – Hamilton and Hare X Joe Calzaghe

imageMen’s leisurewear brand Hamilton and Hare, inspired by the original boxing short, have partnered with the longest-reigning super-middleweight world champion in history, boxing legend Joe Calzaghe to create a limited edition capsule sportswear collection. Inspired by the aesthetic of British boxing, the collection transcends the gym for all day style. It uses only premium natural cotton fabrics, as synthetic fabrications are useless outside the gym and leave the wearer prone to sweating and overheating the range is created with a technical construction to provide excellent breathability and temperature control, cooler when active, balancing temperature during recovery and providing warmth when inactive in leisure time.

imageThe first brand collaboration will feature details that represent Calzaghe’s superstitions in the ring. His ‘black only’ uniform became a visual mantra during his career as he continued to win and reached his undefeated status. This is reflected also in the range’s branding which includes Calzaghe’s distinctive Celtic cross, tattoo.

As with all Hamilton and Hare pieces, it has been designed in London and made using small-scale producers in England and Europe, quality and fit are a top priority. Their approach is to treat underwear and loungewear with the same attention to detail as outerwear. Combining the finest cottons fabrics with a masculine aesthetic the range of versatile wardrobe essentials is testament to their belief that basics don’t have to be boring.

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TEXTUAL CONVERSATION – JONNIE PEACOCK PT1

imageCan you believe it’s 4 years since London 2012 and the euphoria of the Olympic Games begin held in the British capital. In a matter of weeks representatives from pretty much every nation on the globe will be converging on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to compete in events from the Marathon to BMXing and Karate to Kayaking. One of the real highlights of the London Games was the emphasis, public demand and appetite for the Paralympics. One of the true stars who emerged from this event was Jonnie Peacock, or Jonnie Peacock MBE as I should call him, the inspirational sports star who won the 100m T44 final with a time of 10.90 seconds, claiming the gold and the Paralympic record in the process.

At just 22 Peacock is incredibly inspirational, not because of his disability, which in no way, shape or form, defines this athlete, but because of his star like quality, carisism and sense of humour. Jonnie was only 5 when he lost his right leg, below the knee after contracting Meningitis. But it’s been these admirable personality traits that have contributed to his winning ways and he’s gonna have to call on every possible jott of talent and mental steel to maintain his highly sort after Olympic Gold medal and record. This event will be the hottest ticket of the entire tournament with the likes of of local boy Alan Oliveira running on home turf and motor mouth and Jonnie’s biggest rival, American Richard Browne, snapping at his heels to take Gold.

Peacock prides himself on never letting or seeing his disability as a disadvantage and continues to break down taboos and stereotypes. So much so this season he makes history by becoming the first Paralympian to front a menswear fashion campaign.

Menswear retailer Jacamo has broken the mould by signing the gold medal-winning Paralympian to be the face of its Summer 2016 campaign, to help further promote body diversity and confidence. Particularly in the face of research carried out by the retailer which revealing a staggering 40% of men are not comfortable with the way they look.

What’s your favourite piece of clothing?
Black jeans. They’re my definite go to item and easy to put together with anything.

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it?
Yes, the deep V vest I wore on holiday a few years ago. I look back and shudder.

imageBest piece of advice you’ve ever been given and by whom?
‘Just run a bit faster’ by an anonymous fan (possibly my Mum).

If you could give your teenage self-advice, what would it be?
Ha Ha, I was only a teenager 3 years ago so it would be a very recent conversation!! It would probably be something along the lines of commit more to the things you care about, but then again, being a teenager is all about trying different things and winning and losing isn’t it?

What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101?
My deep V vest. See previous answer. Horrific!

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Current pop, last year was the year of Bieber and surely its all about Zayn this year!

What is your most memorable moment?
It has to be London 2012. To win Paralympic Gold in front of a home crowd was an absolutely awesome feeling.

What are you most excited about at the moment?
I can’t wait to get to Rio and compete at the 2016 Olympic Games.
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