Our editors have toured the showrooms, interrogated the buyers and been to the shows. The following pages offer up our picks of the spring/summer 2018 season.
Jumper by Camoshita United Arrows, T-shirt by Calida, shorts by Drake’s, trainers by Tod’s, glasses by Persol
“I’ve been a shirt nerd since I was very young,” says Joel Urwitz. “We started Schnayderman’s because we thought there was something lacking in the shirting industry. In Sweden there was a huge number of business-shirt brands but there wasn’t really a good brand that did something for casual or fashionable customers.”
Urwitz quit his job as a lawyer to co-found Schnayderman’s in 2012 with Victor Press. After starting with a small weekend-only shop in Stockholm, the label, which offers men all manner of button-ups, earned a sizeable customer base online and quickly grew an impressive wholesale clientele. It has been picked up by about 70 shops worldwide, from Oi Polloi in Manchester and Mohawk General Store in LA to Le Bon Marché in Paris and H Beauty & Youth in Tokyo.
In December, the first Schnayderman’s flagship opened in a former coffee shop in central Stockholm. Small, bright and uncluttered, the concrete-clad space was designed by Bozarthfornell Architects, with shirts hanging from racks that recall the rails used by old-fashioned dry-cleaners and seating inspired by benches found on Stockholm’s subway platforms. “We wanted to create a place where you can touch our products,” says Urwitz. “Even in a digital world there are some things you have to feel for yourself. Many of our customers buy their first Schnayderman’s products in person and then continue to buy them online.”
While shirts make up the bulk of its collection, Schnayderman’s is pushing the definition of just what a shirt is. A signature piece now is the “coatshirt”, a heavier overshirt that resembles a jacket. The main constant, according to designer Hampus Bernhoff, is a dedication to using the best materials. “Joel and I are very keen on materials and how things feel. We’re using fabrics, including some high-quality Italian textiles, that a lot of brands wouldn’t consider because of their margins. But we start with the fabric first and consider what kind of treatment it’s going to have, and that dictates the design.” For the new summer season, shirts come in crinkly feather-light Italian cotton twill, soft Portuguese cotton seersucker or heavy Japanese denim.
When the brand launched, Urwitz spent a year exploring whether production could be done in Sweden before finally settling on Estonia across the Baltic Sea. “One of the factories we work with is an old Swedish factory in Estonia that only does high-end shirts. It’s close to home, which is important from an environmental perspective – and many of the people working there are Swedish. It’s good to be able to discuss things in your mother tongue.”
Other production happens in Portugal, with buttons handmade in Italy. “The DNA of Schnayderman’s will always be shirts,” says Urwitz, “but now we’re creating pieces that will complement them. We have a solid customer base and they are starting to enjoy the other things we are doing too.”
Jacket by Prada, T-shirt by Sunspel, glasses by Eyevan 7285, backpack by Aeta
Levit 02’s simple leather sandals are all made in Germany. The Noa model is a take on the much-loved plastic jelly shoes. “We took a style associated with childhood and updated it; it’s a classic for adults,” says co-founder Elina Solomonov.
Coat by Sealup, dress by Sofie D’Hoore, trainers by Hermès, glasses by Lindberg, bag by Felisi
Jacket, T-shirt and jeans by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Jacket by Drumohr, shirt by Drake’s, shorts by Sunspel, shoes by JM Weston, glasses by Eyevan 7285, tie by Boglioli, belt by D’amico
The Swiss railway clock – with its white face, black dial and tomato-red second paddle – was created by Hans Hilfiker in 1944 and has been used in stations across the country ever since. Zürich watchmaker Mondaine has become famous for its line of models based on Hilfiker’s handsome design. Its latest release, Essence, boasts an eco-friendly casing and a natty rubber strap. Made in Switzerland, with an ever-reliable quartz movement, it comes in a white-face-black-dial combo – or the inverse.
Cardigan by Altea, skirt by Agnona, slip-ons by Rivieras, bag by Salvatore Ferragamo
Coat by Sealup, T-shirt by A Kind of Guise, glasses by Ray-Ban
Watch by Chanel
“None of us need to go into a shop anymore,” says Tomas Maier, the longstanding creative director of Bottega Veneta, the Italian company famed for its woven-leather handbags. “A luxury brand has to provide its clientele with a reason to visit: we created the New York Maison to provide an experience that can’t be replicated digitally.” The Maison that Maier has conceived is the biggest Bottega Veneta shop in the world. A metallic five-storey temple to luxury, it opened this year on a Madison Avenue corner plot. The slate staircase with its oversized bolts and glass encasing – one of many references to Manhattan’s gleaming skyscrapers – takes shoppers to rooms with cabinets of fragrances and eyewear, women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, and an assortment of signature intrecciato (woven) clutches.
Throughout, there are pieces that cannot be picked up online. And, perhaps owing to its sheer scale, there is an air of exclusivity: there are soaring ceilings and various corners to explore with few crowds to navigate. The top floor is dubbed the “apartment” and feels like a Manhattan penthouse, with Bottega Veneta furniture complemented by shelves laden with books and walls lined with artworks. “The design is very residential,” says Maier. “My favourite feature is that it is illuminated predominantly by daylight. It was built [by combining] three townhouses that were formerly residences so there are a lot of windows.”
Its unveiling comes at a moment of reckoning for the brand, which is owned by luxury conglomerate Kering. Unlike other labels in Kering’s stable that are enjoying record profits (such as Gucci), Bottega Veneta’s revenue has remained flat. Its sales in 2017 were up by less than 1 per cent compared to the previous year.
With this flagship, though, it will be hoping to attract Chinese shoppers who have been credited with triggering the global luxury bounceback. Although New York remains a tough retail environment, this new outpost has promise. “The size is important,” says Fflur Roberts, head of global luxury goods at research firm Euromonitor International. “There are exclusive shopping areas for private customers. And there is more stock so shoppers can buy that bag there and then.”
It follows an industry trend of luxury brands shutting smaller outposts and opening fewer – but much larger – spaces. “The overheads for a massive store are more manageable than having lots of little stores,” says Roberts. “And by having these huge stores they can really deliver their message.” With this gilded emporium, Bottega Veneta is doing its darnedest to ensure its message is heard.
Trousers by Boss, sandals by Hermès
Everywhere you look in Japan you see millions of cheap Chinese disposable vinyl umbrellas. They are unloved and no one bats an eyelid if they break or go missing. Yet that is certainly not the case with a White Rose brolly. “My father invented vinyl umbrellas in the 1950s and we’re the only company making them in Japan today,” says Tsukasa Sudo. He is the tenth ceo of this 294-year-old Tokyo company, which historically produced raincoats and washi-paper umbrellas but these days makes more than 1,000 premium vinyl umbrellas each month. “Our three-layered vinyl can withstand temperatures from minus 20c to 70C,” he says. Sudo offers repairs too and his products can last for more than a decade. The transparent model is a revelation: it goes with everything and has received the royal seal of approval. “We make umbrellas for the emperor and empress too.”
Since 1898, British industrial workwear manufacturer Yarmo has been supplying durable uniforms to everyone from government agencies to hotels and hospitals. This, then, is an unlikely piece. A collaboration with celebrated Tokyo streetwear brand Sophnet, the driver’s jacket was made in Yarmo’s factory in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and combines the company’s sturdy materials – in this case, high-density twill – with Sophnet’s design flair. Roll up the sleeves to reveal a contrasting colour, whether dark navy or tangerine.
Five years ago, Barbara Liétar and her husband Arnaud Loisel decided to breathe new life into the French charentaise slipper by founding La Pantoufle à Pépère. “The idea was to redesign an old traditional slipper that people no longer wore in France,” says Liétar, whose designs have a more playful look (think herringbone with orange trim or camo with yellow). Made with super-soft Welsh wool, the slip-ons are sewn in France’s southwest region of Charente, in one of the only workshops that can still make this traditional type of slipper.
Watch by Rolex
Sydney jewellery brand Sarah & Sebastian has a cult following in Australia and beyond thanks to its collections of ultra-fine pieces in sterling silver or 14-karat yellow gold. Founded in 2011 by creative director Sarah Gittoes and German goldsmith Robert Sebastian Grynkofki (both pictured), everything is made by hand in a Sydney studio and their earrings, pendants and bracelets are stocked in top Australian shops, as well as overseas boutiques such as Need Supply Co in Virginia.
Now they have opened their own spot on a bustling stretch of Oxford Street in Paddington. The space is compact and low-lit and, at first glance, the display cases look almost empty, so delicate is Gittoes and Grynkofki’s work. “There’s been a return to the effortless, unfussy approach to style and delicate jewellery is an easy way to create that effect,” says Gittoes. “We wanted to showcase our design philosophy of beauty and simplicity in our own setting.”
Husband and wife Luke and Lucie Meier are the new creative directors at Jil Sander. For their debut spring/summer 2018 collection they went back to the German house’s minimalist roots, eschewing frills and favouring black, white, and flowing silhouettes. It was a striking counterpoint to the many brands pursuing a maximalist aesthetic; this point of difference could work in the Meiers’ favour going forward.
High-neck jumper by Cos, trousers by Boss, bag by Loewe
Waterproof eva sandals by Birkenstock
Jacket by Belvest, shirt by Bagutta, jeans by Roy Roger’s, socks by Muji, trainers by Church’s
Few Swiss textile manufacturers have lasted in the former industrial canton of St Gallen. But Schoeller, which dates back to 1868, is an exception. “You can only survive in Switzerland if you keep surprising the market with innovations. We stand out thanks to our pioneering technologies and functional textiles,” says Schoeller CEO Siegfried Winkelbeiner, who heads up a team of 200.
Schoeller recently won the Design Prize Switzerland for its E-soft-shell, a fabric that can be heated using a remote control. In accordance with the industry’s thrust towards more ethical production, its range also includes Ceraspace, a vegan, ceramic-coated material that is extremely durable (ideal for motorcycle jackets), and at January’s Ispo sportswear fair it debuted a spongy waterproof fabric made with waste from roasted coffee beans.
Each textile is conceived, designed and produced at the headquarters in Sevelen before being picked up by international giants of the sportswear, transport and audio sectors. Clients include bmw (motorcycle gear), speaker company Ultimate Ears, skiwear labels Descente, Mammut and Aztech Mountain, and lifestyle brands such as The Lost Explorer.
“We are in a technologically revolutionary phase: technology and textiles are coming together,” says Winkelbeiner. “We are transferring ideas observed in nature to our textiles. There is a lot to be discovered in the field of bionics that will make life easier and more comfortable. We’re already making heatable soft-shells and fabrics with an osmotic membrane and this year we’ll launch a temperature-controlled ski jacket in collaboration with [skiwear brand] Kjus.” In the coming years Winkelbeiner foresees the development of fabrics that will translate movement into electricity to charge mobile phones and similar devices. “Schoeller textiles and technologies are designed to improve our quality of life.”
Artist, lecturer and curator Judith ter Haar opened Jones in 1988. The womenswear retailer, located in a former newspaper factory, was Arnhem’s first concept store and the first Dutch stockist of Dries van Noten and Comme des Garçons.
How has the market changed since 1988?
Customers need an experiential environment these days. Luckily I never saw the store as just a place where you sell clothes. We host lectures, drinks receptions and dinners in our shop.
Have customer priorities shifted when buying clothes?
Values are changing. The food industry is ahead but fashion is following. Customers are longing for more sustainable fashion.
What designers excite you?
Humble designers with the utmost fascination for quality and simple luxury, such as Margaret Howell, Sofie D’Hoore and Suzusan.
Cap d’Arsène’s towels are hand-made in a Parisian atelier using French terry and Egyptian cotton percale. “Our products are a siren call of the seashore, to a dream world of sorts,” says co-founder Olivier Vernin.
Joo Eunsil, the founder of Seoul womenswear label Arch The, is a stickler for fabrics. For her minimalist line of “Made in Korea” tailored suits, blouses and trench coats she insists on using 100 per cent organic textiles sourced from Italy, the US, Portugal, India and other nations reputed for cashmere, cotton and silk. The 44-year-old has run a shop in Seoul for several years and now she has opened in LA. Her new boutique in the Arts District sees her clothes displayed in a gallery setting alongside artwork by a London-based Korean artist, Japanese pottery and Korean tableware. “I feel more like a curator,” says Joo. “I chose Los Angeles because I wanted to introduce Korean aesthetics [to the city] as well as other eastern and western influences that inspire me,” adds the mother of three, who studied in Japan and Canada before entering the fashion business as a buyer 17 years ago.
A Napoli pizza was the starting point of a collaboration between Parisian womenswear label Cristaseya and Neapolitan tailor Salvatore Piccolo. Over slices and red wine, Cristaseya co-founder Cristina Casini and Piccolo discussed their mutual appreciation for slow fashion that defies any seasonal schedule. The result is a 10-piece shirting collection that draws from Piccolo’s vast fabric archive to rework Cristaseya’s signature button-ups in crisp, starched Italian cottons. Hand-sewn in Piccolo’s Naples atelier by his small team of artisans, some pieces take up to six hours to make. Styles include fringed-collar maxi dresses, grandad-collar shirts and pyjama-style suiting in classic ticking stripes.
Shoes by Church’s
Polo shirt, T-shirt, trousers, trainers and bag by Berluti, socks by United Arrows
Calmanthology, launched in Tokyo this spring, is a classic men’s shoe brand to rival the finest heritage British and Italian labels. “Japan has amazing shoe factories and craftsmen but we are in danger of losing their skills due to the lack of young people to take over,” says Makoto Kaneko. A shoe designer with 17 years of experience, Kaneko has created a collection of 12 dress and casual shoes – including side-gore (Chelsea) boots and longwing brogues – using French leather from Tannerie D’Annonay and Du Puy. The brand only makes two pairs of shoes daily (all in Japan). “I tolerate no compromise in production. I’m just happy that we can make more than one pair a day,” says Kaneko.
Kohei Okuyama was reluctant to head up the knitwear company his grandfather founded because he knew that the industry demanded ever-faster and cheaper clothes. “I had thought I would rather not take over the business because I knew the market was tough. I just wanted to make great sweaters, however time-consuming it might be.”
Fortunately he did take over his family’s company, Okuyama Meriyasu, which manufactures for Japanese fashion labels. The factory is in Yamagata prefecture, the nation’s home of knitwear. “It’s the only prefecture that has a concentration of yarn spinning, dyeing and knitting factories,” he says.
Okuyama has also founded his own in-house knitwear brand, Batoner. The factory makes surprisingly smooth knitted T-shirts (they can only produce three per day) and sweaters that don’t lose their shape after washing. “We have unparalleled skills and high-spec machines. Our collection is simple but you cannot copy the quality.”
Treuleben knows notebooks: the Hamburg company has been making them for 101 years. Relaunched last year under the umbrella of the Leuchtturm Gruppe, its hand-made products are a fitting response to digitisation. Each 176-page notebook is created in a workshop with a century’s worth of know-how, using paper from a local mill that is hand-gilded and bound within cheery covers made of Italian leather. “There’s a trend towards materiality again,” says head of brand Arne Knecht.
T-shirt by Orcival from Bshop, trousers by Brooksfield, watch by Tag Heuer
Once a disused container terminal on the edge of Sydney’s cbd, Barangaroo is now a repurposed waterfront precinct stacked with gleaming offices and restaurants. Less famously, the AU$6bn (€3.7bn) development is increasingly also home to some of Sydney’s best shops. The Streets of Barangaroo, as the retail strip has been dubbed, is an effective example of inserting casual multi-brand shops (rather than suitmakers or fast-fashion chains) into a corporate setting to spice things up. For office workers who want a lunchtime browse, these retailers provide great options.
“We were interested in opening in the city but we don’t like shopping malls,” says The Standard Store co-owner Nicola Reindorf (pictured, left) of her decision to open here in 2017. “I want to be able to see the sky from wherever my store is.” She stocks pieces by ymc, Engineered Garments, and Australian swimwear label Matteau and, like other retailers here, already runs shops in a more obviously fashionable part of Sydney (Surry Hills). Barangaroo is her move to court the corporate customer.
“Barangaroo wanted to make the retail a bit more boutique-y rather than having the big established brands,” says Mattias Friberg, owner of Somedays. His racks are filled with an international mix including T-shirts from Sweden’s ao cms, sandals from Byron Bay’s St Agni and dresses by New Zealand’s Kowtow.
Barangaroo’s setting – wedged between the ocean, the 22-hectare Barangaroo Reserve and the cbd – appeals to shop owners. “The location is unique because it’s in the heart of the city but you feel a bit outside,” says Belancé co-founder Theodore English. His luxury men’s tailor, whose original branch is in Paddington, does made-to-measure suiting but also carries streetwear from Kenzo and Maison Labiche, and Qwstion bags.
Nearby, Collector Store sells local homeware and accessories such as Hunter grooming products and Simple Watch Co timepieces, while book, music and film shop Title opened in December to complement the sartorial mix. Soon we’ll all be jockeying for a job in one of Barangaroo’s corporate towers so that we can indulge in lunchtime shopping sprees.
Jacket by Herno, shirt by A Kind of Guise, jeans by Jacob Cohën, stole by Faliero Sarti from United Arrows
Coat by Mackintosh, jumper by Sunspel, trousers by Barena Venezia, sandals by Moncler, bag by Piquadro
A decade spent in Melbourne, where he was exposed to the quality wares of Australian tailor P Johnson and shoe shop Double Monk, prompted young Malaysian Wen Yeunh to start his own business. He abandoned his corporate career to open WJ & Co with Jay Son Tan in 2016. Stocking items such as Ring Jacket blazers from Japan, and formal shoes from Majorca’s Carmina and the UK’s John Lobb, this retailer in downtown Kuala Lumpur is an important hub for classical menswear.
What’s your customer base like?
We have some older clients who are super knowledgeable, well travelled and are used to getting menswear overseas; for them it’s about being able to buy things locally. Then we have the younger guys who have been less exposed to things; they are very keen to learn about the different construction methods behind items and about how to put an outfit together.
How did you choose which brands to offer?
Deciding on the brands was straightforward for us. We picked the guys we worked with because they were offering the best value at the right price. It’s a unique opportunity because a lot of them have never been to Malaysia or even Southeast Asia before. We’re John Lobb’s only official partner in this region.
Where do you travel for your buying?
We travel to Japan a lot for Ring Jacket – maybe three to four times a year. We’re in Florence once a year for Pitti. That is very good for us because we see our suppliers from North America and a large part of Europe. It’s a nice central hub.
“I didn’t want to create yet another apparel brand for an already saturated market; I wanted something with soul and passion,” says Franco Loro Piana. The avid sailor – and son of Italian fabrics titan Pier Luigi Loro Piana – has started an outdoor brand for urbanites who want to get back to nature. There is often talk of emotion in the fashion industry but, in this instance, his words ring true.
Piana has launched his brand with a shop in Milan’s fashionable Brera district: a two-floor space kitted out with leather armchairs and prints of crashing waves, and loaded up with gear for sailing, skiing and all other manner of outdoor adventuring. Everything is produced in Italy using the finest technical Italian fabrics.
There is a weekender bag sewn from recycled carbon sails, waterproof woollen outerwear to protect against wind and waves, and four-way-stretch swimming trunks made of bio-friendly nylon, plus all the necessary outdoor tools, including Swiss Army knives and pocket torches.
Jacket and shirt by Gucci, jeans by Acne Studios, glasses by Lindberg
T-shirt and scarf by Massimo Alba, trousers by Roberto Collina, sandals by Tod’s, bag by Emporio Armani, bracelet by Hermès
Masayuki and Yuki Takata started their hat brand in Kobe in 2004. Hats had been on Masayuki’s mind for some time – he apprenticed with a hat maker while at fashion college and joined a hat company as soon as he graduated. Their designs are made for the real world: they can be stuffed into bags and emerge looking presentable. The signature Boxed Hat (pictured), made from wood pulp, comes folded flat in a box. Other items include Cuenca Panamas, knit caps and floppy linen gardening hats. The couple works with nine factories around Japan and the hats are finished in the Kobe atelier. They are sold at 200 shops in Japan, including Arts & Science and 1ldk, and 120 overseas retailers.
Jacket by Sofie D’Hoore, jumper by Roberto Collina, trousers by Eleventy, shoes by Baudoin & Lange
Cardigan by Maison Kitsuné, shirt by United Arrows, trousers and trainers by Woolrich, scarf by Altea
This London menswear label has built a reputation for itself with knitwear staples but is embracing summer with a collection of colourful T-shirts made of Italian cotton. “We love small-batch production. Everything from our design conception through to production and packaging takes place in our Streatham workshop,” says co-founder Ben Taylor.
Nanamica founder Eiichiro Homma excels at producing technical pieces with a touch of flair. The Tokyo designer’s new collection is particularly strong. Canary yellow is omnipresent: in polyester drawstring trousers or shorts, workwear jackets, and this water-repellent polyester coat, with its roomy silhouette and contrasting dove-grey buttons.
Jumper by Roy Roger’s, shirt by Maison Kitsuné, trousers by Paul & Shark
In search of bags that could be easily stashed away, engineering graduate Garrett Loveall began making nylon totes that roll up into a tiny ball in his garage in Redmond. Six years later he still manufactures in Oregon and ships thousands of models (in vibrant colours and bold patterns) around the world. He has a particularly big customer base in Japan.
Menswear brand Ami’s beanie-wearing icon is back (a joint effort from 2015 with SmileyWorld, the company behind the original emoticon). “This collaboration means something to me because the red beanie has been part of Ami since the start,” says founder Alexandre Mattiussi, who is never without his scarlet hat.
Coat by Pal Zileri, jacket by Orazio Luciano, shirt by Bagutta, trousers by GTA, shoes by Crockett & Jones from Ships, tie by Fiorio from United Arrows, bag by Serapian
Montréal native Molly Spittal started making handbags in 2013. “I remember selling a bag here or there and using that money to buy single skins, which I would haul to my apartment,” she says. Production has shifted to southern Spain, where wallets, clutches and bucket bags are stitched from Italian leather. Stockists include New York’s Assembly and Paris’s Centre Commercial.
“Our founding idea was to reinterpret the espadrille,” says Jonathan Agrifoglio, who in 2009 launched Zespà with two fellow engineering graduates in the south of France. “We knew nothing about the footwear industry so we spent years in workshops with craftsmen.” Their legwork paid off – although today Zespà is best known for its trainers. They can be found in Le Bon Marché in Paris, where the brand is opening a shop-in-shop this summer.
Husband and wife Alexander Yamaguchi and Momoko Suzuki, the Japan-born, LA-based pair behind Black Crane, have garnered a cult following in recent years. Their designs combine Japanese minimalism with relaxed Californian vibes – and hits of bright colour. The new collection features boxy mustard shirts, button-up apricot dresses, and cream-coloured overalls. Everything is dyed and sewn in LA and can be found in US retailers including the local Mohawk General Store and New York’s No6 Store.