Monocle issue 62 Style Directory: Top 25 fashion & retail

Monocle Style Directory: Spring/Summer 2013

From Lisbon to Taipei via Toronto and Melbourne, we’ve been on the lookout for lesser-known designers, brands and retailers that we think deserve to be on your radar. This is our round-up of all things fresh and interesting.

Full style directory can be found in issue 62 of Monocle

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01 Paulino Spectacles


Launched last September, Portuguese eyewear label Paulino Spectacles is the work of one man: Ramiro Pereira, a descendant of opticians who’s reviving the family tradition. This first collection draws inspiration from classic American films and includes 16 elegant acetate frames. Each model is handmade in Portugal.

02 Wooden Submarine


Recently opened in Bangkok’s Cabochon hotel, Wooden Submarine is a beautiful vintage store owned by collector Sikkawat Jiravich. Among the findings on sale are US Army gear and German pottery from the 1960s. “I lived in New York for years and spent a lot of time travelling and visiting flea markets and yard sales,” Jiravich says. The Submarine also carries new accessories made in Thailand, such as straw woven bracelets, hand-dyed indigo scarves and silk cushion covers. Our picks include an LL Bean leather tote from the 1960s and a 1940s Brooks Brothers boater hat.

03 Garrison’s by the Park


Occupying the floor above the White Squirrel Café (which makes one of the best lattes in town) on Toronto’s Queen St West, Garrison’s by the Park has been giving fuss-free trims and shaves for over two years now. Customers get a smooth service from manager Alan Brown or one of his five skilled barbers. Overlooking the Trinity Bellwoods Park the venue boasts wooden floors and aged leather chairs in keeping with the Victorian building. On offer are Booster Lanolin hair cream, the iconic Black & White hair wax and Osis Mess Up paste. Reservations recommended at weekends.

04 Sozzi


Sozzi Calze is a family-run Milanese hosiery label that started in 1912 and specialises in socks made from natural fibres. It uses Sea Island cotton and silks woven on 1950s-era knitting machines. The brand also produces neckties in a wool-cashmere blend.

05 New England Outerwear Co


Based in a small town in Massachusetts, New England Outerwear Company has recently set about developing a refined line of footwear. Each shoe is handmade by the same craftsman from start to finish. We’re partial to this crepe-soled boat shoe, crafted from Chromexcel leather.

06 Tradition


Tradition is a new addition to German clothing designer Frank Leder’s portfolio. The cosmetics line took over two years in development and launched with six products last December. Whether you opt for the elderflower shower gel, German oak bath oil or honey hand lotion, expect skincare based on traditional recipes, passed down through generations. The products are made in small batches with organic ingredients found in Bavaria and Austria’s Bregenz Forest. As for the appealing packaging, it was the work of Berlin-based graphic designer Vladimir Llovet Casademont.

07 Masahiro Maruyama


Masahiro Maruyama has a thing for unfinished forms. The Japanese eyewear designer launched his eponymous collection in 2011. From afar the glasses seem to stick to classic designs but the illusion is temporary. Up close, the frame has the rough sculpting of a hand-drawn sketch, which lends it a subtle signature flair.

08 Double Monk


Christopher Schaerf, co-owner

Opened last December by brothers Christopher (left of top-right picture) and Nicholas Schaerf, Double Monk is a beautiful men’s shoe shop offering an extensive range of styles by industry leaders Crockett & Jones, John Lobb and Edward Green as well as accessories from Fox Umbrellas, Abbeyhorn and Makr Carry Goods.

Why did you open a shoe store?
Our desire was to create a space we would want to visit stocked with products we would want to buy. We have an innate love of quality craftsmanship, heritage brands and the stories behind them. Many of the brands we carry are quite exclusive and it took some convincing in order to represent them in Australia.

Tell us more about the interior.
The space is about 50 square metres and we did most of the design ourselves. We imported the rolling ladders from Manhattan’s Putnam Rolling Ladder Co. The floor is reclaimed oak parquetry from a castle in Germany. The central table is made locally by Harry Evans & Sons which has been making billiard tables for 108 years.

Best pairs for this season?
John Lobb’s William II is the quintessential double monk, Murphy loafers by Rubinacci come in a range of vibrant colours, and Edward Green’s Chelsea cap toe Oxford is essential all year round. I also like Crockett & Jones’ classic tassel loafer, the Cavendish.

09 Hongda Shoe Enterprises


Lou Wenpo wasn’t too upset when he lost the brand name Camel (which translates as Lou in Chinese) to a company that beat him to registering the trademark. His handmade slippers now simply bear the label Made in Taiwan. It was his father who first started making them back in the 1970s, taking the then plastic slippers on the road to sell to housewives across the country. Lou Junior took over the business Hongda Shoe Enterprises three years ago, expanding production at the family’s factory just north of Taipei to 1,000 pairs a day and introducing leather versions as well as a range of new colours and textiles. Everything from leopard-patterned to Hello Kitty motifs and the now classic one-coloured slipper with a zigzag seam sewn across it are stacked in high heaps on the floor here, waiting to be dispatched to local hardware shops. “Taiwanese living abroad stock up on the slippers when they are home for visits,” says Lou. “Locals feel quite proud wearing them.”

Lou doesn’t want to move production to China, where manufacturing is cheaper, but prefers to stay with the workers his family has employed for decades. He does, however, hope to break into Taiwan’s department store market this year. With its simple, comfortable and snug design, we’re sure the Lou slipper will be a hit there too.

10 Harvest


Philip Stolte
Harvest is a fresh addition to Munich’s fashion retail scene by Philip Stolte (right), an ex-designer at London’s Folk label. Set in the artsy area of Zieblandstrasse, the shop carries casual menswear staples by the likes of S.N.S Herning, Comme des Garçons, Our Legacy, Acne and A.P.C. This summer will also see the opening of Sprout, Harvest’s first women’s store.

How did Harvest happen?
I wanted to go fill the gap in multibrand casual menswear shops in the city. We cater to the 25-year-olds as well as to the 75-year-old as we try to select a classic range of products for every season. So there are some items you’ll always find at Harvest – white plain tees, khaki chinos, trainers, knitwear and flannel shirts.

Your top picks for this spring?
Definitely board shorts and T-shirts by M.Nii, one of the oldest producers of surf gear from California. A bright yellow rain jacket by Folk and a pair of classic Oxfords from our own limited edition shoe collaboration Harvest x Halfs.

What is your take on Munich’s fashion retail market?
Here you have either high-end fashion brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton or gigantic stores by high-street brands like Abercrombie & Fitch. Munich is wealthy but conservative, which in a way creates a certain freedom to do something new and exciting for those who have the right attitude and entrepreneurial spirit.

11 Kics Document


Kanako Takeishi credits her training in industrial design for the ergonomic fit of her new men’s shirt brand, Kics Document. Takeishi has worked with a specialist shirt factory in Kumamoto to realise the first collection of the brand she launched last Autumn. For spring/summer, the Tokyo-based designer has come up with 14 pieces, all made from fabrics woven at three different places in Japan. “We really paid attention to quality and comfort,” says Takeishi.

12 Container


In 2010 Kanit Tantiwong, Piroon Wacharamontri and Suvisit Laohapongchana launched men’s accessory brand Container. The line includes document cases, card holders, backpacks and wash bags, all handmade in Bangkok using canvas from Japan and Thailand and leather from Tuscany.

13 Hollander & Lexer

New York

Etablished in 2006, Brooklyn-based Hollander & Lexer menswear retailer has recently expanded into women’s clothing with a new range that pays homage to its classic men’s collections. Owners Yaz Benmira and Brian Cousins have merged decadent fabrics with bold, wearable designs.

14 Loup Noir


Stuttgart-based Loup Noir’s scarves are “for everyone with a love for striking colours, who appreciates quality and sustainability”, as per the label’s co-founders Sascha Freyberg and Jens Heimerdinger. Made in north Italy’s Como province, renowned for its weaving mills, each scarf is hand finished and comes in smooth cashmere combined with modal or silk. The pieces are available in Le Bon Marché in Paris, Dublin’s Brown Thomas, and The Styleliner in New York.

15 Baracuta x Kenichi Kusano


Designed by former Beams creative director Kenichi Kusano, Baracuta’s spring/summer Blue Label collection draws on jackets used by the British Army in the 18th and 19th centuries. Lined with the label’s signature Fraser tartan, the Blackwatch g9 (right) comes in waxed cotton and is a lighter version of Baracuta’s classic g9 Harrington jacket.

16 Carson Street Clothiers

New York

Opened in March, New York’s Carson Street Clothiers stocks about 40 menswear brands including Barena, ami, man 1924 and Patrik Ervell. Set on SoHo’s Crosby Street the shop was opened by two former lawyers, Matthew Breen (far left) and Brian Trunzo (pictured second from right. Also pictured are managers CB Rucker, left, and Patrick Doss, far right). “We thought to ourselves, why don’t we just create the type of store we would love to see in New York and stock it with the products we are currently buying at 50 different outlets online?” says Trunzo.

    Best Buys

  • Patrik Ervell Indigo Lambskin Suede Varsity Jacket
  • Carson Street Clothiers Stone Khyber Cotton McCoy Chinos
  • Ovadia & Sons Washed Denim Club Collar Button Down

17 Santoni


Italian shoemaker Santoni is putting its best foot forward with a new flagship store outfitted by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. The Milan boutique in Via Montenapoleone sports a wall in neutral-coloured fabric opposite walnut panelling inlaid with strips of antiqued brass, a metal found in the shop’s shelving. Urquiola added seating by Moroso alongside one-off pieces, including a table in Turkish travertine. The contrasting colour scheme is a nod to the brand’s workmanship.

Its popular double monk strap shoe, made from French calfskin, starts off beige before it receives up to a dozen coats of dye to give it a rich patina.

18 J&M Davidson


Starting out in 1984 with handcrafted belts, London-based label j&m Davidson now offers a full range of leather accessories and womenswear. While all bags and wallets are created in Spain and Italy, about three years ago the garment production was moved to Japan where the company has recently opened its first international standalone store. Set on the ground floor of the from 1st building, designed by Kazumasa Yamashita in 1976, the well-lit 70 sq m space carries the brand’s entire collection of womenswear, shoes and bags. It’s a canny addition to its stable, given that Japan is its biggest international market.

19 A.L.L


Swedish designer Ann-Louise Landelius started her bag and accessories brand A.L.L. in 2009 after working for h&m and Tiger of Sweden. The collection consists of over 20 models with clean geometric lines as seen in this black weekend tote. Made of cowhide in an oil-tanned finish, it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap and two inside pockets.

20 Camo


Launched by Stefano Ughetti in 2007, Camo is a truly Italian affair. Each garment is made in the country with Italian-sourced fabrics. Starting with casual menswear, the Biella-based designer added a women’s line in 2011. We like the Bottiglia cotton jacket (pictured). Available online and from Tokyo’s United Arrows, and Berlin’s Soto, among others.

21 LN-CC


Open on an appointment–only basis, the ln-cc store space acts as an evolving platform for progressive international designers, from Damir Doma and Yang Li to Lanvin and Balenciaga. Creative director John Skelton and brand director Dan Mitchell make sure to place international designers next to underground Japanese street products.

It hosts men’s and womenswear collections alongside a shoe gallery, well-stocked bar and club space and the newly redesigned premises on Shacklewell Lane in London’s Dalston acts as a base for the carefully considered online store.

    Best buys

  • Yang Li Women’s Lucia ankle cuff shoes
  • Piece D’anarchive Women’s double layer pullover
  • Lanvin Women’s haut top

22 Brandmair


For her simple pieces with classic cuts, Austrian designer Claudia Brandmair prefers to work with the muted palettes of beige, grey, khaki and navy. “My mother was a classical trachten tailor so fashion was an influence on me since I was little,” she says. With an emphasis on fluid fabrics and fine tailoring, the spring/summer collection is a range of 45 styles in light silks, silk crepe or silk cotton. Next up is a standalone shop in Vienna.

23 Scye


Designer Hisayo Hidaka (above) has quietly built up a strong following for Scye, the brand she launched in 2000 with kindred spirit and skilled pattern cutter Hideaki Miyahara. Together they have created men’s and women’s collections that reference old-school tailoring while looking thoroughly modern. There’s no dedicated store and no overseas sales, but stores in Japan can’t get enough of this wearable brand.

24 Silver Deer

Mexico City

Despite its flourishing retail market, Mexico City has lacked a reputable multi-brand menswear outlet. The recent addition of Silver Deer, which opened last autumn in Santa Fe, signals a bold new shift in the Federal District’s clothing offerings. Run by Montréal-born Robert Hirsh, a former investment banker, Silver Deer occupies about 150 square metres in recently developed Park Plaza. Brands on offer range from European labels such as Boglioli and Oliver Spencer to American classics including Hamilton 1883 and Raleigh Denim.

25 Maison Kitsuné


It’s taken more than a decade but the Paris-based fashion and music label Kitsuné has finally opened in Tokyo. With their blend of Japanese tradition and Parisian elegance, the Aoyama stores and café are the perfect embassy for the brand.

Over a decade after the launch of their Paris-based fashion and music label, Kitsuné, co-founders Masaya Kuroki and Gildas Loaëc have finally opened a home in Tokyo. Two in fact: Maison Kitsuné and, a few steps away, the smaller Café Kitsuné. Given that Tokyo’s effortless crossover of music and fashion was the original inspiration for the label, it’s been a long time coming. “It was just timing,” says Kuroki, who slips easily between English, Japanese and French. “We could have opened here a couple of years ago but 11 March [earthquake and tsunami] happened and then we opened our New York store.”

When two sites came up in Aoyama, a neighbourhood loaded with designer stores, they decided the time was right. “Aoyama – ‘the blue mountain’ – it sounds chic, a bit upper class,” laughs Kuroki, an architect who is responsible for the design of the Kitsuné (the word means “fox” in Japanese) stores. He has given the two new spaces a very different look. For the Maison, where they sell their beautifully made men’s and women’s collections, Kuroki came up with a blend of Haussmann hauteur and custom-made Japanese touches such as the curved tatami benches and sliding doors. The knock-out parquet floor was made in situ by a Japanese craftsman. “He had all the pieces and produced this overnight,” says Kuroki, sweeping his arm before him.

For the smaller café, which doubles as a standing coffee counter and a store for Kitsuné’s music and the casual Tee and Parisien lines, Kuroki assembled what he calls his “dream team” and created his version of a Japanese interior using wood and tatami. “I was brought up in Paris so I have an outsider’s perspective,” he says. “We both really like a certain Japanese aesthetic – like simple soba places – and we wanted to show a young audience the beauty of traditional things.”

There will be Tokyo exclusives, such as a Kitsuné Japan T-shirt, but Kuroki thinks that ultimately “the look is very Parisian, Ivy-inspired” and that’s the way the Tokyo customers like it. “We have a young crowd,” he says. “But they appreciate quality.” That means eight-ply cashmere from Scotland and Japan-made denim. From autumn/winter this year, Kitsuné will also have its own exclusive denim made in Okayama. “It looks heavy but it feels light,” says Kuroki. “It’s really difficult to make.” Kuroki and Loaëc are canny businessmen, so is this the start of launch across Asia? “Of course, we want to talk to Asia,” he says. “We know that everyone in Hong Kong, Singapore and China is looking at what’s happening in Japan. From here we can show them the value of the brand.”

Café Kitsuné

To create the perfect Paris-meets-Tokyo coffee counter, Kitsuné founders Kuroki and Loaëc called on local coffee supremo Eiichi Kunitomo of Omotesando Koffee.Aoyama is a long way from Saint-Germain but the duo wanted Café Kitsuné to be a place where you could get a Parisian-style shot of proper coffee in a Japanese-inspired interior. Kunitomo’s first move was to order a Slayer coffee machine – Seattle’s finest and the only one in Japan. “It’s not an easy machine to control since it’s 100 per cent manual,” says Kunitomo. “But in the hands of a skilled barista it allows you to bring out the full potential of the coffee beans.”

Kunitomo also came up with an original coffeefor the café using a blend of four beans from Brazil, Panama and Costa Rica roasted by Ogawa Coffee in Kyoto. He thinks of it as a modern take on the strong espresso that is favoured in Southern Europe.

“Masaya likes this traditional style of coffee, but adding a twist to it seemed like a fun idea,” says Kunitomo. “So we cut off the bitterness and found a sweetness to balance it out.” Sweet-toothed customers should also appreciate the cubes of baked custard that are freshly prepared in the café.