Thursday, 30 October 2014

Hackett - Joseph Cheaney x Fox Bros & Bill Amberg

It is not commonly known that Hackett, the great British menswear brand, not only does multi-brand stores but also great collaborations. For AW14, two great brands have teamed up with Hackett to produce some fantastic products - starting with Northampton based shoe maker Joseph Cheaney x  Fox Brothers. Combining the crafted shoe making skills of Cheaney's and the best British-made menswear cloths from Fox Brothers, this is a well packaged collection of six styles of brogued men’s shoes and boots. Made from burnished British leather, in brown and black, they are limited to 150 pairs of each and individually numbered which makes them even more special. 

The second is Bill Amberg, another British brand that has been producing leather bags and goods since 1985 in The Midlands. This special collaboration showcases two classic styles: a backpack and a briefcase which are both vegetable tanned in a tumbled leather to give a full grain finish. The most natural and environmentally friendly way to tan leather, during the process large quantities of oils are absorbed by the leather, which means the leather retains its flexibility ensuring it develops character and a natural patina over time. Another benefit from this tanning process is when the leather is scratched, you can rub it and like a skin it will heal as the oils return to the surface. The bags’ trims are made from a vegetable tanned, robust shoulder leather from Belgium known for its hard wearing qualities whilst all the zips are by RIRI, one of the finest zip makers, and all other hardware details are Italian or British and made from cast brass, which will look better with age. What a great way to enter AW14...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Happy Halloween with Crystal Head Vodka and Bluecoat Gin

When I arrived in Boston last month for a work trip, I was greeted with a package that contained two of the most delectable and popular liqueurs at the moment - quite the way to arrive in the USA. Firstly is the one that is the obvious choice for Halloween this week; Crystal Head Vodka, the highly aesthetic and incredibly smooth vodka from Newfoundland, Canada. You may have seen many an image on social media - the impressive, statement bottle is very popular on Instagram - of Crystal Head Vodka. 

But what makes it so pure, desirable and aspirational? It blends the highest quality peaches and cream corn which is then distilled four times into a neutral grain gluten-free spirit and blended with pristine water from its Newfoundland environment. The liquid is then filtered seven times, of which three are through layers of semi precious crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. The award winning vodka is the only drink for your Halloween party - scroll down further for some awesome drink recipes to enjoy Crystal Head with. 

With a striking, American blue bottle Bluecoat Gin is a great winner for both Halloween but also the Holidays, or just as an everyday drink. Made in Philadelphia, it has a four grain base which includes corn, wheat, barley and rye. However it is the Citrus that shines though. Tasty, not too sharp but mixes well with a well bought tonic, the warmth of the Juniper shines though but it is the mix of circus that gives it the edge. The strongest tasting notes are orange hits of lemon and lime with a hint of clove or anise. Delicious.

Blood Vodka
1 bottle of Crystal Head Vodka
10 drops blue food coloring
10 drop red food coloring
8 drops green food coloring

Best served as a bowl, mix well together and serve. To mix, serve with a cranberry juice - Sprite or Tonic will make it turn pink! 

Classic Cosmo

2 shots of Crystal Head Vodka
1 shots of orange liqueur
1 squeeze fresh lime juice
1 shot of cranberry juice
1twist orane peel, to garnish

Place the vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake hard and then strain into a coupe glass or small Martini glass. Hold the piece of orange peel over the glass and carefully flame with a match. Garnish the cocktail with the flamed orange peel and serve. For a batch, double the multiply the amount of people you are having over. 

Fresh Mojito 
2 shots of Bluecoat Gin
3 lime wedges
3 teaspoons of sugar
Crushed ice
Apple juice
Mint to garnish

Add your BlueCoat gin, lime wedges, and sugar with a few mint leaves to a highball glass, and mix together using a long, cocktail spoon - or a normal small spoon. Fill with a slew of crushed ice, top up with apple juice and garnish the cocktail with a sprig of fresh mint. Serve in a high-ball glass. 

Cucumber Gin and Tonic
2 shots of Bluecoat Gin
100ml tonic water
3 slices of cucumber
Cubed ice

Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour 2 shots of Bluecoat Gin over the ice and top with chilled tonic. Garnish with three cucumber slices, and give it all a final stir. Crisp. Refreshing. Perfection.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Adidas x Spezial


Exclusively available at Oki-Ni, the new adidas Originals x SPEZIAL range is not solely about pure performance sportswear, sports luxe or the nostalgia a vintage reproduction but a modern collection that taps into all of these areas without being dedicated to any of them.

The capsule collection of clothing and footwear came out of the excitement around the first adidas SPEZIAL gallery exhibition in London in 2013, where it celebrated the adidas brand by showcasing the product collections of some of its most passionate fans – the name SPEZIAL has since come to represent the very essence of what the brand means to fans, collectors and affectionardos. Curated by Gary Aspden, he put forward an idea to work with the adidas team in Herzogenaurach to come up with a new, archive inspired, adidas Originals capsule collection of clothing and footwear. 

The collection is about identifying and utilizing those elements (beyond the three stripes) of the adidas design personality that are unique to this brand. They have re-worked those elements to create twenty first century products that have echoes of the brand’s rich history, tapping into the spirit of the brand’s core identity and present it in a new context.

Replay Hyperflex

An very, ungodly early morning car took me to Box Park in east London where the press breakfast was talking place to celebrate the new Replay Hyperflex jean. Whilst stretchy jeans are not new, the main features of Replay Hyperflex are 100% elasticity, incredible shaping performance and superior comfort. This means that Replay Hyperflex offers complete ease of motion, great shape retention - no sagging or deforming even after considerable wear, plus a luxurious feel. 

As for the fabric, Lycra comprises the corespun, Poly defines the middle, while the external layer of cotton is what gives the jeans an authentic denim look. The two top fibers protecting the Lycra ensure that the stretch factor is compromised by neither industrial nor domestic washes. Whilst this may not sound revolutionary, it is very impressive that with three layers of fibers, there is no compromise on the jean itself and is no thicker than any other pair in your wardrobe. Available now; it would be great to hear your thoughts if you get a pair. 


Simple yet detailed, nailing the t-shirt market is something that new brand Vestige has quickly achieved. This debut collection for the tail end of the American summer and into Fall explores the eras of the past to bring a contemporary line of menswear to the present. Each collection delves into the stories, facts and myths of a period for inspiration to drive the creative design process - and all are made in the USA. It's great to see a home-grown brand producing on home territory. 

Their unique approach to each collection starts by searching for the human attributes in each era of history they choose. These could be great acts of courage, passion, greed or glory and are then crafted to mix art designs that are inspired by the vestiges and stories of the period. Each collection becomes a time capsule of contemporary takes on eras of our shared history. Interesting, slightly romantic but ultimately this brand shouts quality, cool and integrity. 

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Man by Cartier at Harrods

The world of Cartier is not only a magical, if not slightly mystical, one but is deeply routed in revolutionary and innovative design. The Maison Cartier that we know today was the achievement of three brothers, who built an empire and divided it among themselves between Paris, New York and London. From tomorrow, Saturday 25th November until Wednesday 19th November, Harrods is celebrating the masculine elegance of the most iconic Cartier creations. From the very beginning, Cartier has played host as the Jeweller to Kings but just as far back one can trace the Maison’s foresight to create a men’s universe of style – from watches and accessories, to leather goods. 

The a fore mentioned trio are the grandsons of Louis-Francois who founded the Maison in 1847 and it is some of their visions that are being celebrated as well as including the Calibre de Cartier Diver, the Fine Watchmaking Collection and the new Cartier concept watches. On view shall also be the newly released short film Shape Your Time, directed by Bruno Aveillan, who in 2012 created the masterpiece L’Odyssée de Cartier. Additionally, there will be around 100 other watches, including two vintage pieces including a Normal Tank from 1923, some spectacular clocks and archive material. There is also, wait for it...the chance to purchase the above Louis Cartier 24hr Bag in ostrich and calf skin which will retail for £9,600 that is exclusive to Harrods. This is celebration not to be missed. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Since launching in Australia in 2010, Hobes has become renowned for offering perfectly simple, lightweight and seriously soft everyday footwear. Their simple, unstructured construction really plays to the laid back Australian mentality yet Hobes shoes have a classic and timeless appeal, embracing a back to basics ethos, where simplicity rules. Remarkably only weighing only 200 - 300g they are the perfect shoe for the adventurer or traveller to take with them every day, through the city, country or anywhere else they want to explore. These are the perfect go to casual shoe. 

Each season Hobes deliver a new range of trans-seasonal footwear, designed to fit perfectly into a contemporary modern-day wardrobe. For warmer months a lightweight simple suede shoe is offered in a range of colours yet when it gets cold there is The Original Wooly Hobe. Filled to the max with soft, fluffy and quite honestly the best lambswool in the world, it comes straight from the brands family farm, not bad for £55. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


HERO has consistantly been one of the best magazines within menswear since I first bought Issue 1 in London around 6 years ago - perhaps more! Issue 12 preview was shot exclusively in SS15 Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane with Ansel Elgort is the star of Fault in Our Stars and Divergent and is one Hollywoods breakout actors this year. HERO 12 is available to preorder now from the website but here is an outline of what to expect from this issue...

Dries Van Noten reflects on how it feels to become an idol and the importance of embracing the darker side of life. Murray Blewett, head of archive at Vivienne Westwood, chooses seminal pieces from an unparalleled 30-plus years of menswear for the HERO Worlds End shoot and interview.  
Godfather of horror Wes Craven muses the constant right-wing backlash to his films and the psychological cleansing power of horror. Singer-songwriter Christopher Owens rides the wave of a new album release and shares thoughts on God, Dolly Parton and his soft spot for Mandy Moore. Australian actor Xavier Samuel (TwilightAdore) balances pleasing Hollywood with keeping his passion for indie-Aussie film alive. 
Rock legend Jennifer Herrema has been surfing the rad times xpress for three decades, and now talks to HERO on the cusp of her new European tour. Pre-eminent curator and critic Hans-Ulrich Obrist is in conversation with artist Philippe Parreno and writer/curator/artist Beatriz Preciado. 
Design provocateur Solange Azagury-Partridge discusses her first fine jewellery collection for men. HERO take an exclusive look at five music acts defining a moment in time in the English North-West, including By The Sea, Sunstack Jones, The Levons, Hooton Tennis Club and Minnetonka. 
HERO profile emerging young actors Cameron Monaghan (Amityville: The Awakening), Iain De Caestecker (Lost River) Gabriel Basso (Kings of Summer, Barely Lethal) and Jonny Weston (Kelly and Cal) who each lit up the silver screen with outstanding performances in 2014. In their special essay, Watch Us Wreck The Mic charts the rise and mutation of Psych, and Scottish poet Michael Pedersen shares a new work, Beneath the Current.
Plus photographer Hugh Lippe’s unsettling story And The Night Crept In, Hedi Slimane’s Dark – an unseen archive portfolio. HERO delve into the drawers of NYC collector David Casavant, and Sebastian Kim takes us upstate New York for a haunting 30 pages of unnerving cult following in Father.

Numero Homme China


Those guys at Numero Homme China do know how to sell a hard winter, with Brit model John Todd in very little bar some superb furs from the likes of Prada. Shot by Hong Jang Hyan, the Fall Winter editorial combines the essence of Sports Lux and texture as seasonal trends whilst portraying the monochrome shots in a way that portrays modern masculinity. Oh, and that hair...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Lacoste LS.12 Urban


Taking from their 1987 archive, Lacoste have tapped onto another winner with the new LS.12 Urban - originally designed for the tennis court, this time its designed for the street. In a supple calfskin and suede detailing, the thick sole is designed for comfort impact, whilst the design is updated in this navy, deep brown and black. An icon of footwear is re-born...