The very first Advertising campaign from Lacoste back in 1933

The very first Advertising campaign from Lacoste back in 1933

Bonjour Style Trekers and welcome to a, particularly Gallic post today to celebrate an amazing milestone in the history of an  exceptional brand. So without further ado, Happy Birthday Lacoste ! or Joyeaux Anniversaire for you linguistic sticklers. So what you gonna do for your birthday crocodile ?

Well, a whole host of celebrating  80 years of evolution, revisiting, reinventing and renewing of glamour, essentially.

It all started on a tennis court in 1933 when French tennis champion René Lacoste, or “the Crocodile” performed viva la revolution of men’s fashion by replacing the classical woven, long-sleeved starched shirt with a light and comfortable short-sleeved one in airy petit piqué fabric, better known today as the classic LACOSTE polo shirt.

Authenticity, audacity, empathy and a certain “joie de vivre”
inherited from the 30s are the four pillars that made LACOSTE a successful worldwide fashion brand. Today the iconic Croc insignia has more than 1160
boutiques throughout 110 countries, selling two items every second !!!!

Yes, all good and well, but what are the brand going to do to celebrate this historic event ? Well, first in the series of projects is,  EDITION – a capsule collection of classic iconic Lacoste items inspired by images taken from the archive.

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Next up we have, the Custom Polo shirt, the brand has created 12 very special limited edition custom polo kits, which, lets face it are bound for collectors item status. So throughout 2013, Lacoste will propose each month one custom polo kit, distributed exclusively in an F-Store available on the LACOSTE Facebook page (Facebook.com/Lacoste). Fans will have the opportunity to customise a white L.12.12 polo shirt using different techniques such as coloring, sewing, embroidery, flocking or graffiti.

LIMITED EDITION 80 CUSTOM POLO KITS - Number 4 - ANTI TAG - Kit

LIMITED EDITION 80 CUSTOM POLO KITS - Number 1 - TRIBUTE TO RENE - Kit

Talk about saving the best for last and personally my favourite of the projects. Lacoste to commemorate 80 stylish years, invited the celebrated British designer Peter Saville, yes the same man responsible for designing some of the most memorable album covers EVER, including Closer by Joy Division, Happy Mondays’ Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches and responsible for designing the Identity logo to the best city in the UK, Manchester. Saville was asked to create a symbol to represent this milestone in the Brand’s history. Peter, of course, successfully rose to the challenge with a specially crafted 80th Anniversary Logo.

The resulting motif elegantly epitomises 80 years of Lacoste history with a contemporary vision. Peter worked alongside Lacoste Creative Director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista and Lacoste Design Director, Christophe Pillet to translate his celebratory  configuration of circles forming a symbolic ‘80’ numeral which is designed to frame a multiplicity of visual content.

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EP_s3_018 1lowAhhhhh thats what you need, first thing of a Morning, a press release dropping into your in-tray, which evokes a, “Hello There !” moment. That sure as hell happened with this lil gem. TENT by Esther Porter , offers a collection of British designed, utilitarian outdoor bags.

Now then, the beauty and USP, excuse the marketing crap, of TENT is, all the bags are made from a combination of, get ready for this, recycled tent fabric (reclaimed from summer music festivals of yesteryear, so when you were wetter then a British Summer holiday after the mud bath that was Glastonbury, Reading or even Coachella, sorry what on earth am I thinking). British rubber-bonded cotton canvas for increased water resistance and durability, equestrian-grade cotton webbing in the straps for comfort, and nickel hardware for strength, what a combination !

This season, TENT introduces a new backpack style in addition to their signature barrel, holdall, satchel and rucksacks. The backpack is simply constructed, boxy in shape and inspired by military bags, cycle-panniers and dive wet-bags. It features a fold-over style that keeps things secure and waterproofed. Plus, new colours include; sky blue, sandy-khaki, golden yellow and soft grey. Finished to the highest standards in terms of technical properties, fabric and appearance the final product remains minimal, refined, practical and hardwearing.

TENT by Esther Porter Spring 2013 Bag collection

Esther Porter mens 3lowEsther Porter mens B1lowEsther Porter mens 4lowEsther Porter mens low1y

 

 

 

The Dry Organic Pima Selvage  anatomy

Nudie Jeans, have built a world class reputation since their launch in Gothenberg, Sweden in 2001 with a no nonsense, Anti-Fashion, common sense message of if you like the brand join us and enjoy their product and if you don’t thats cool, OK. Their core values were decided upon even before the brand was founded. To work with suppliers and partners who respect human rights and take responsibility for the environment was a given base to start from. Apart from doing what they enjoy the most they wanted to work with people who share this simple and genuine philosophy. They wanted to create a platform for realising idealistic projects and they entered into a collaboration with the humanitarian organisation, Amnesty International, in its launch year.

The guys behind the brand have a beautiful approach to the denim business believing that besides leather, only denim has the ability to age so gracefully, formed by its wearer into a second skin. The Indigo colour of denim is the living colour thats fades together with the lifestyle. The longer it lives, the more character and attitude it gains

The latest addition to their family is an, unsurprisingly, Organic premium Pima cotton grown on a small scale organic farm in New Mexico, USA. Selvage fabric woven in Japan on narrow shuttle looms by skilled denim artisans. Cut and sewn at one of the world’s best denim producers in Italy. The Grim Tim Dry Organic Pima Selvage Jeans.

The fabric has a streaky appearance which is a feature thanks to the long fibres of the Pima cotton. Combining Pima cotton with the benefits of the selvage weav- ing technique creates a durable, dense and soft fabric. Each pair has an individual number, ranging from 1–480, stamped on the back leather patch. To break-in this dry 13,5 oz selvage jean, wear it for six months before first wash.

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Gentlemen Only 100mlNo its not some grand mahogany door clad, pretentious media hungry private members club, no this a universal club with no door policy, no discriminatory management and no silly meetings in front of a panel of po faced harridans to gain membership. You don’t have to be born with a silver spoon perched in ones mouth or a case of who you know not what you know. This is a club where you will recognise its members by smell alone, as Givenchy, the French Power Fashion House launches its new Gentlemen Only fragrance.

The Scent uses a mix of the finest essences and natural ingredients. It starts with giving off  an aromatic and spicy freshness, created by a blend of green mandarin orange, pink peppercorns, nutmeg and birch leaves. Then its depth is revealed by trio of cedar, patchouli and vetiver before a powerful charm of of incense hits you.

Each element of this fragrance has been thought through, the bottle is classic and yet contemporary, reminding you of a

Actor, Simon Barker Face of Gentlemen Only by Givenchy

Actor, Simon Barker Face of Gentlemen Only by Givenchy

gentleman’s hip flask and the thick glass bottom is reminiscent of a paper weight you would find on the desk of a man of the world. The House of Givenchy has thought long and hard as to who could epitomise the elements of what encapsulates this scent and what it is all about and they choose the Australian actor, Simon Barker, currently seen in the film, “I give it a year” and the investigator in the TV series “The Mentalist”. Barker is seen as a modern day gentleman in the same way as Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant were in the Golden age of Hollywoods films.

 

Givenchy's 10 ways to spot a modern day Gentleman, are you one ?

Givenchy’s 10 ways to spot a modern day Gentleman, are you one ?

 

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There was a time, not so long ago when socks were seen as purely a utility item, very much the unsung hero of any outfit. The fact, if you wore camel coloured socks, you were seen as being daring. They were the MOST conservative item of mens apparel within the gambit of gentleman’s wardrobe. Even in the hazy, tie dyed, hippy-trippy 1970’s socks still reminded untouched by what was going on around them, in fact that during this time one of the biggest crimes against style was at its most savage and rampage, the SANDAL AND SOCK COMBO. It was simply socks came in black, navy and grey and then sports socks were white and never the twain shall meet.

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 15.39.24THEN CAME THE 80’s ! A decade of high power dressing, over indulgence, decadence and Cartoon Character socks were everywhere, whether it be Fred Flintstone, Garfield or Mickey Mouse, if you were alive during this time, the chances are you had at least a pair. YES maybe you didn’t buy them, but you had some and mores to the point you wore them ! Even to this very day these heinous creations can be purchased in numerous incarnations.

Today though, socks are a very different entity, thanks to the return of the turn up and the Thom Browne trouser length, socks have had a real renaissance and a true return to their former glory. When it comes to socks we men as consumers are spoilt for choice within every section of market certain brands are doing great things for socks from Marks & Spencer to Lyle & Scott through to Paul Smith and Corgi are producing well made, bright, without being garish and comfortable socks. But, for today’s post we’re highlighting a brand or two who are doing exceptional work within the field.

Firstly, Panterella, a brand with genuine sock history having just celebrated their 75th Anniversary. Family owned, Founded in Leicestershire, UK, Pantherella takes pride in its long-established heritage of designing and producing great men’s socks. Authentically ‘Made in England,’ the quality of Pantherella socks is distinguished by a hand-linked toe seam. This traditional method leaves an exceptionally, almost invisibly smooth, secret join.

This trademark attention to detail marks Pantherella socks as some of the very best in Britain; combining traditional methods with modern technology makes the brand hard to beat for craftsmanship, colour and choice and with fact like,

One sock takes 15 minutes to make

1.1 million socks are produced a year

There are 1373 options per season

72 socks are hand linked a day, you can see why.

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Pantherella Spring 2013

Next up we have, Falke, a brand that can boast they produce  6,700.ooo men’s socks annually.  4 generations of the Falke family manage the company and still do today. The brand was borne in Schmallenberg, Germany in 1895. Their most expensive sock is a mind boggling €860. Plus, shhhhhh 13 heads of state wear their socks, but lips are sealed as to who. They offer such foot delights as fine cashmere and climate-regulating merino wool to provide you with incomparable wear comfort -whether you’re looking for business or leisure socks. They even offer a Sock Subscription option, a practical feature that gives you peace of mind as you’ll always have enough of your favourite socks in your closet.

FALKE Mens Legwear SS13_2

Falke Spring 2013

Last, but certainly by no means least and definitely a sign of the times is Richmond Socks an on line web emporium dedicated to sock par excellence. We caught up with Simon Bullmore Founder of this sock lovers utopia who gave us his expert opinion on why wearing quality socks is so important –

1) Great socks get you noticed. Men used to be able to add some colour to outfits with a tie. But the move from suits to smart casual at work has taken this away. Socks are a great way to add back a touch of flair and class.

Step out in a pair of stylish socks and you’ll stand out against the sea of socks in boring blacks and greys. A pair with a decent design, interesting colour or beautiful texture will get you noticed – for the right reasons.

What to choose? This season’s favourites at Richmond Socks are vintage designs in modern colours for work wear. At the weekends bolder designs in stripes or candy colours like raspberry and orange are getting really popular.

2) Socks are an easy way to wear a bit of heritage and support British business. Sock making is a British success story right now. Firms like Pantherella, Corgi and Wolsey are true icons. The attention to detail and quality finishing that goes into their socks make them stand out. You’ll know the difference when you pull on their socks. And so will other people.

3) Hand linked details. At Richmond Socks all the socks we sell are handlinked. It’s a small detail. But one we insist on. Why? Well, you know that ridge under your toes on most socks? The bit that rubs? You won’t find it on decent socks. A quality pair of socks is hand linked – a fiendishly difficult manual process. The result is a smooth seam, which means the socks won’t rub you up the wrong way, and will last longer.

Stylish men are now aware that hand linking is important. So when you want to buy your next pair make sure they are handlinked. It’s makes a real difference and in the long run will protect your feet as well as your pocket.

4) Socks are now as good for the planet as they are for your feet. Our customers want to know that their socks don’t cost the earth. So we’re seeing increasing interest in socks made in renewable materials such as bamboo. Wool is still a firm favourite too. In many ways it’s the ultimate renewable resource!

These materials have the added benefit of making socks longer lasting and more comfortable. Take merino wool. It’s far better than nylon at wicking away the pint of sweat your feet release each day. It’s also naturally anti-microbial which stops feet from smelling. A bonus for you, and of course for anyone who’s around when you take your shoes off….

5) Keeping your legs undercover. Most men now know that showing off a swathe of hairy skin when they cross their legs is not appealing. It’s a definite style faux pas. Worse, in many Muslim countries, that bit of leg can cause offence.

So, stylish men, and those that do business abroad, are increasingly adding a few pairs of over the calf socks to their wardrobe. Over the calf socks have always been de rigeur in Italy, but are now catching on elsewhere. The added bonus is that they’ll stay fitted to your leg all day, and won’t sag around the ankles.

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Oh and one last thing, good reader, please remember –

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!NEVER AN ACCEPTABLE OPTION !

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!NEVER AN ACCEPTABLE OPTION !