An extended brand list and buyers aplenty made for a hectic Jacket Required .
The autumn 15 edition of menswear show Jacket Required took place at the Old Truman Brewery in east London on February 4 and 5.
This season the brand list had swelled to 275 brands - up 45 from last summer’s event - and included everyone from established industry stalwarts to new international names, as well as an increase in footwear, accessories and lifestyle product.
The mood across the show was upbeat, if not slightly cramped, with buyers from all over the UK and Ireland taking the opportunity to shop and socialise. Queues formed on a packed-out first day, while day two was slightly slower but just as positive.
Following a womenswear launch six months ago and a men’s capsule collection for spring 15, AM London unveiled its first full menswear range this season. Hoping to fill a gap for sophisticated and quality product at a competitive price point, it focuses on a clean, smart look. Outerwear is key, with a padded parka (£50) and a long check overcoat with subtle contrast lapels (£75), all featuring sleek details and finishes such as patterned linings, trims and bindings. Shirting starts at £21, fine-gauge cashmere-blend knits from £18 and heavy-gauge alpaca-mix options start at £28, all with a three-times mark-up.
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Denim brand Blue Collar Worker debuted its new sub-brand Blue Line. Pitched as a lower-priced, less-specialised collection, it is around 20% cheaper than the London-based brand’s mainline. There are four fits (slim, regular straight, tapered and comfort, an extra wide-leg shape) and 11 fabric and wash options, wholesaling from £22 to £30. Bestsellers at the show included the tapered fit and regular straight in Ocean Blue wash, which is a brighter blue shade.
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The most ordered styles from Farah’s autumn 15 offering at Jacket Required were staple classics, with burgundy red and dark forest green the bestselling colours. The classic button-down collar Brewer shirt (£22) and Merryweather long-sleeved polo shirt were by far the most popular, while a new embroidered polka-dot shirt (£26) and checked options were also selling well, as checks come back on trend. All have a 2.5 mark-up.
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Sold through new agency Doghouse Studios, the second season from Hero’s Heroine includes a full clothing offer as well as its signature T-shirts. Patterned neoprene bomber jackets stand out, alongside printed T-shirts in normal and longline shapes, printed or embroidered tailored shirts and sporty over-the-head cycling jackets. Wholesale prices range from £10 for basic T-shirts to £33 for full neoprene bomber jackets.
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Menswear label Common People has rebranded and relaunched under the name of its creative director Kestin Hare for autumn. Ushering in a new direction for the label, the collection has grown with a focus on more premium fabrications, meaning prices have risen by about 10%. Buyers have been drawn to a quilted blazer that features a nylon lining and wool outer (£112), a textured knitted jersey jumper (£47) and a double-face, bonded neoprene and wool overcoat available in grey or navy, featuring contrast colour lining (£100).
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Following its successful relaunch last winter, US outerwear specialist Spiewak was back at Jacket Required with a fresh range of classic parkas. A 100%-recycled feather down range is new, featuring down taken from post-consumer household items and garments. Giving a softer feel to the jacket, as well as improved warmth factor, buyers were drawn to the eco credentials of these items. Mainline parka styles are also available with both real and fake fur trims for autumn (starting at £140). Black, navy and brown continue to be the most popular colourways, alongside red,
green and bright blue.
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This Dutch menswear label, which launched with T-shirts in 2010 but now offers a 60-piece forward-order range, made its trade show debut at Jacket Required. Popular styles include a statement gradient-fabric tailored coat (€75/£56), a logo jumper (€33/£25), bomber jackets with patched sleeves (€62.50/£46) and a thick wool take on a denim jacket with quilted lining (€75/£56).
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There are a raft of new styles from British accessories brand Mi-Pac. These include a larger weekend bag (£12.50), two clutch bag-style pouches (from £6.25) and a rectangular tote (starting at £6.25). These are joined by new bum bags (from £6.25), a bestselling style last season, and a folding wallet (£6.25) and cardholder. Popular prints, patterns and fabrics include quilting, tartan, polka-dot and a coated neoprene.
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Making its debut on the British trade show circuit and looking to pick up its first UK stockists was French brand Bombers. Bestsellers include a retro-inspired classic bomber jacket (£57), a traditional shearling flight jacket (£79) and a longline bomber jacket (£99). The bomber jacket has been big news for the past few seasons and has established itself as an essential outerwear style, so this brand has high hopes of UK success.
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Boots brand Palladium has introduced more variety to its offer for autumn 15, including a range of Vibram-sole stylesand a higher-end ‘elite’ collection called Dark Legion. Made in Portugal from premium leather, the three styles are based on the classic Pampa boot and focus on a dark colour palette. They will wholesale for about £110.
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“The second day was good, but the first day was even better. We’ve written a few orders and picked up some new European stockists. Everyone comes to this show, so it’s a very important one for us.”
Sam Jones, director, Weekend Offender
“The show has been good but I wouldn’t say there’s anything overly exciting. We already have appointments set up with most brands we like. I feel the show is less edited this year. You might walk by a brand you like because there’s just too much
to look at.”
Lee Goldup, menswear buyer at etailer The Great Divide
“The show has been good for us, especially on the first day when we were very busy. We’re happy to be here. We’re heading to Moda next weekend, but it’s really important for us to be seen at Jacket Required. We’ve had particularly good interest in
our collaborations with [designers] Christopher Shannon and Alex Mattsson.”
Tom Malone, territory manager east, CAT Footwear
“Jacket Required has been great - easily as good as Berlin - and it’s really gathering momentum. There’s a great mix of sportswear and heritage brands and this year I’ve noticed a bigger European presence. Hero’s Heroine and House of Nines are two brands that have caught my eye.”
James Emmerson, assistant buyer, Topman
“This is our seventh year here and [day one] was the busiest day of Jacket Required I’ve seen. We’ve seen buyers from all over Europe and written lots of orders. All the great and the good are here, so I’m feeling very optimistic.”
Andrew Tompsett, head of UK, Merc