All the wardrobe you need to be a dapper Chapar -The Chapar, The internet shopping service

image003-6All of us nowadays have less time, whether it be because of offspring, work commitments or plain and simple just undertaking too much, which therefore means we have less and less time for other activities. Of course a huge proportion of us would confess to buying new clothes as dropping down the list of our priorities due to time restrictions. Well, what if I were to say I could take this weight off your shoulders and offer a stress free and easy solution where you discuss your clothing likes and dislikes with an expert over the phone who could become almost like a personal stylist to answer your sartorial needs ? The Chapar, offers this, literal, life saving service.

Sam Middleton, the man behind the idea is a truly global citizen having spent different stints of his life in Auckland, Stockholm, Brussels, London and started his life in San Francisco. Graduating with a degree in Economics from the University of Warwick, Middleton entered the corporate world with IMG, the multinational Sports and Entertainment giant. After two years in the corporate world Sam saw an opportunity in the menswear fashion market that he felt was a sure fire success. He moved on and set about creating The Chapar – the personal shopping service for working men. He quickly developed a dynamic team of creatives with a disruptive business model that has grown at a staggering rate.

IMG_3386 - Version 2 (2)The premiss is simple, all the best ones tend to be, all I need to do is dream up the one that’ll make me a million, tut. You register online at their website, answering the obvious questions, name, telephone number, address etc then after a short period and at a mutually convenient time, you receive the call ! A highly skilled stylist contacts you and basically gets a feel for you, brands you like, fave colours, your vital statistics. Then comes the interesting bit, from your conversation they then go off and put together a personal edit specific to you and you alone. Now the stylist does have a great deal of brands to choose from, The Chapar currently stocks brands including Albam, Baracuta, John Smedley, Scotch & Soda, Sunspel and Woorich, to name a few. The trunk, as they like to call it, then arrives at a pre-organised destination of your choosing and then the fun begins, without the need of stomping up and down your local overcrowded mall, no smelly changing rooms, no attitude shop assistants, in fact, all rather stress free a complete package of apparel covering all product categories and selected all according to your taste arrives.

You then follow these 5 simple steps –

1) Try your selection on.

2) Decide what items you want.

3) The pieces you don’t want you place back in the trunk.

4) Stick the enclosed pre-paid return label onto the box.

5) Call or email your stylist to arrange a day to pick up the trunk from an address, where so you please.

Yes it is that easy I promise !


Action Replay Guaranteed – FC Barcelona sign deal with Replay

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 09.50.52FC Barcelona is pretty much considered one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world and its current first team is held by many to be amongst the best of all time, which currently boasts such figures as Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fábregas and of course Lionel Messi. Founded in November 1899, the Club has over 170,000 members, who, unlike many other football teams, owned by billionaires, the fans are collectively its owners. Throughout its history, Barça have enjoyed plenty of success, in particular 4 Champions Leagues and 22 Spanish League titles. The Club is also known for its slogan “mes que un club” – more than a club – which reflects its social commitment, its Catalan identity, the wide range of sports it practices, a commitment to home grown players, which has earn the side a kudos many football teams can only watch with envy from the sidelines.

For the forthcoming season the Italian company Fashion Box, owners of the Replay brand,- has signed a four year deal with the FC Barcelona as the official sponsor of clothing and footwear for the first team and the rest of the Club’s sportsmen and women.

Replay will create both an official clothing and a “smart casual” line for the first team. The deal between the Italian company and Barça – who are famous for their singular and popular to watch style of play, represents a pioneering commitment to innovation. Replay have promised to invent a new way to use denim, where  the traditional jeans concept enters the realm of fine tailoring. The famous indigo fabric will, for the FC Barcelona athletes, become a deluxe textile creating a unique and exclusive super light suit, don’t think 1970’s double denim.

Fashion Box CEO, Matteo Sinigaglia, commented:

“We are more than thrilled with this alliance. Both Replay and FC Barcelona make the maximum effort to get excellence in their respective fields and Barça are not just a partner for us, they are also a great source of inspiration. This is the first time that a denim company have moved into the world of football. We are certain that the product we are developing for them will surprise the whole world”. 

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Craig Tate – Nicholas Deakins – Textual Conversation


Craig Nicholas Tate, whilst studying for a BA Honours degree in Fashion and Textile in London established Nicholas Deakins in 1991. An initial collection of only four styles was then made in England by, the historic Northampton based, W.J Brookes to exploit a niche in the market and the brand quickly became a favourite with the sharply dressed ravers of legendary nightclubs of the time including the Hacienda, Cream and Renaissance plus the well turned out residents of  football terraces around the country, this earning a loyal and dedicated fashion savvy following.

Now based in Tate’s hometown of Leeds, the Nicholas Deakins collection includes a full line of clothing and footwear, with the brand’s flagship store situated in the city’s uber trendy shopping location The Victorian Quarters. Nicholas Deakins continues to evolve, introducing new materials and production methods, whilst holding true to the classic British styles on which the brand has built its name upon. Recently we’ve seen collaborations with British Stalwart brands Harris Tweed and British Millerain, plus with the likes of The View, Devlin and Rizzle Kicks all fans of the brand, not bad for starting as a sideline while your studying, hey Mr Tate ? Anyway enough of me what has the man himself got to say ?

If you could collaborate with one brand (Who you currently aren’t) who would it be and why?

New Balance, a market leader who is immensely proud of its British heritage and continues to have a manufacturing base here in the UK.


If you could live anywhere where would it be & Why?

Easy, New York ! Such a creative, dynamic city with fantastic restaurants, bars and museums. You can lose yourself in the different neighbourhoods as each one offers a completely different vibe to the next. It also has 4 distinct seasons a year with extreme variations of hot and cold.


If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be?

Listen to your elders!


How did you get into the industry, what was your big break?

The Nicholas Deakins business was started in the recession of 1991 during the summer holidays whilst studying a BA Honours in Fashion and Textile. I guess the big break was selling the first four designs into Strand (Leeds), Life (Manchester) and Psyche (Middlesborough) which just about launched the business overnight.


What track would always get you on the dance floor?

Playing with Knives – Bizarre Inc, brings back those Hacienda memories, happy days!


What piece of clothing best describes you?

A slim fitting three piece suit in navy blue.


What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101?

Juicy Couture tracksuits.


Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it? If so what & why?

Yes, far too often I’m afraid which is the disadvantage of being an impulse buyer – sometime it comes off and sometime it doesn’t! I cant remember a specific piece but do try to avoid being suckered into a purchase just because of a massive discount, remember there’s a reason it’s in the sale!


Who is your style icon? Why?

Steve McQueen, have a look at some of his photos…no further explanation required.


If you could only wear one brand/Designer (other then your own) for the rest of your life who would it be? Why?

Ralph Lauren, has everything you need.


Preview of the Autumn 13 Nicholas Deakins Collection






Nordic Appeal – Filippa K Autumn 13 preview

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 17.59.20Filippa K is yet another, can you believe it, of those ultra cool and chic Scandinavian brands, what is it with those fashion savvy Swede folk, which focuses on high quality with a timeless and pure design. The company was established in Stockholm in 1993 by Filippa Knutsson and Patrik Kihlborg and 1998 saw the launch of the company’s first menswear collection.

Although 20 years have passed since Filippa K was established, the company remains true to its ambition of creating garments with a simple and sophisticated design that stands the test of time. Garments for style- conscious men and women who live contemporary lives and who place high demands on quality and fit. Their ethos can be summed up in the words style, simplicity and quality.

For Autumn 13 the collection continues to explore the needs of the modern man, promoting functionalism and minimalism. The collections focus is on a smart; stripped down interpretation of classic army pieces, clean of details and with a distinctly urban look.   The signature look of the season is epitomised in their signature coat with welded seams, this season made out of recycled heavy nylon with a detachable wool lining. Worn with a tonal shirt and sharp cut trousers, it offers a professional look for the office or simply relaxed feel for the weekend. It is essentially an intelligent way of dressing that supersedes seasons and trends.

For the first time the collection both explores classic sportswear such as fleece lined, raw edged hooded sweatshirts and then also applies the new material to more constructed pieces; such as in the lining of a bonded wool jacket with sharp cut edges.

Filippa K is present on some 20 markets around the world. The products are sold via 50 Filippa K stores and more than 700 retailers. For this season’s campaign the brand sort the talents of the amazing and highly sort after photographer Lachlan Bailey, whose portfolio of work includes numerous International editions of Vogue, Marc Jacobs, Burberry and DKNY campaigns. For this shoot he was teamed with the equally creative and fellow Swede, stylist Mattias Karlsson, whose body of work includes The New York Times T Magazine, Interview, Dazed & Confused, plus working with brands including Kenzo, Lanvin and ACNE. They manage to capture the true brand message of Filippa K, style, simplicity and quality all in striking Black and White.

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New Balance, its all a matter of Ying and Yang – New Balance

New Balance Tea Pack (image 2)For over a hundred years now, since its origins in Boston, Massachusetts, New Balance has invested in the development of the some of the finest sports footwear and employed skilled craftsmen to create said running shoes, that are pretty much unrivalled in the world of sport.

 New Balance is the only global athletics footwear brand to manufacture in the UK. The New Balance factory, located in, in that ‘sporting macca’, Flimby, Cumbria, employs more than 230 people and produces approximately 1.4million pairs of shoes each year !!!

The brand was started by British immigrant, William.J.Riley back in 1906, who stated to make arch supports and prescription footwear to alleviate foot pain for people with problem feet, ahhh music to my ears. Im 1938, he designed and manufactured the first New Balance running shoe for a local running club, in Boston. Made of lightweight kangaroo leather and a crepe-sole, Riley sold six pairs to the club for $7, what a bargain !  Riley’s commitment to helping people through improved shoe fit has been the foundation of New Balance ever since. In 2006, to celebrate its centenary it produced three limited edition trainers to honour three of its longest serving employees at the Flimby factory – Audrey Stewart, Ian Byers and Victor Dixon, what an accolade.

Some of New Balance’s best selling styles include; THE TRACKSTER, the first running shoe available in multiple widths was introduced in 1960. The Trackster epitomized performance, and for its day, had style.

320, By the mid-70s, running for fitness was becoming an increasingly popular trend, so New Balance designed the 320 – a light, colourful shoe that delivered performance.

620, in 1982, the lightest shoe in the market place and the first to break the $50 price barrier was produced. The 620 paved the way for the success of the 420 and 730 soon after.

801,  a rugged all-terrain shoe that captured the imagination of younger athletes, the 801 was designed in 1998 and remains the best-selling series today.

But this month New Balance launches its latest limited edition Made in the UK shoe pack, the ‘Tea Pack’. Taking inspiration from the quintessential English beverage, the ‘Tea Pack’ includes three shoes, each a variation on New Balance’s 576 heritage model, originally launched in the 1980s.

The three classic shoes take three classic teas, English Breakfast, Fresh Peppermint and Earl Grey as its muse. Handmade by the craftsmen at New Balance’s Flimby factory, each shoe is made with colours capturing the flavour, taste and look of each tea. Other unique details such as a string tea bag, containing spare laces for the shoes add a nice little finish touch. Take a look at the film below.