Tag Archives: Accessories

Carbon2Cobalt

So I got this catalog in the mail yesterday and it really caught my eye.  Not because of the clothes, per se, there is nothing at first glance that is particularly revolutionary between its pages, in fact you can find just about every style they offer in many catalogs and stores where you go to buy well-made casual menswear. What I liked about it was how it made me feel. It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a catalog that made me actually want to peruse it.

Catalog

It is a subtle but definite step into the direction of making flannel, khaki’s, Chukka boots and leather jackets a little more modern, yet keeping it rugged.

Carbon2Cobalt

There is a sense of whimsy about it and the clothes really fit the brand.  The whole of it evokes camping or being in the woods in the winter. Or even yet, being a well dressed-down hipster.

Brown Jacket

Shirt

In looking on the website, because I honestly thought this was a spin-off company from a larger retailer trying to appeal to a hipper audience, I didn’t find much that made it personal to the founder Matt Cooper. But the designs are true to his design muse.

Shoes

x354-q80

Like the name insinuates, he likes polished carbon and rough cobalt.  Matt’s intention is to “design unique details into the clothing that will enhance your individual style”.

carbon2cobalt-overlander-bag

x200-q90

The quality of their product looks good overall and they do a fine job of offering a nice variety of categories, though very curated.

Carbon2Cobalt

xo,

PB

All photos courtesy of Carbon2Cobalt website

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Women’s Brands Now Designing Menswear

 

Well I guess we all saw this coming.  In a day and age where companies are all  trying to procure the consumer in every aspect of their lives it is not at all surprising that fashion brands, that previously were known exclusively as a women’s wear or menswear brand, are now branching out and trying to do it all.  We shall see how successful some of these will ultimately be.

Women’s Fashion Brands Are Rushing to Design for Men

For Adweek

menswear_1[1]

 

Men, it is clear, have outgrown the stereotype of the reluctant shopper. “There was always a fashion market—what they used to call a ‘metrosexual’ market—that could sustain designer brands in a healthy way in bigger cities in America, but in the last few years there’s been a much wider acceptance of fashion among regular guys that previously were shy about it,” says Esquire’s fashion director Nick Sullivan. “There isn’t the stigma attached to making an effort that there used to be.”

The shift in men’s perceptions about fashion can be attributed to a number of factors. Men’s style blogs like The Sartorialist and A Continuous Lean have become must-reads. Online shopping has made designer apparel more accessible, while helping guys avoid dreaded trips to the store. And as they’ve become more fitness conscious, men are now more invested in what they put on their backs.

Celebrities are helping, too. Actors, not just actresses, are now name-dropping designers on the red carpet. At this year’s Golden Globe Awards, all nine celebrities donning Prada were men, reported The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman. Even more importantly, many athletes—the ultimate guys’ guys—are becoming nearly as well known for their style savvy as their sports skills. “Every time we shoot an athlete, they want to talk fashion with me,” says GQ’s creative director Jim Moore.

It’s hardly any wonder, then, why brands that have exclusively or mainly catered to the fairer sex are ramping up their efforts to reach gents. Consider Tory Burch, the popular women’s designer, which recently hired Coach’s former svp of men’s design, Jeffrey Uhl, to oversee a new men’s accessories line, set to debut as early as spring 2015. Michael Stars, known for its women’s knitwear, is launching its first men’s collection this month, something co-founder Suzanne Lerner calls a “natural next step for our brand.” Clover Canyon, purveyor of women’s apparel and swimwear featuring bright, graphic prints, previewed menswear during New York’s Fashion Week.

Not just American designers are jumping on the trend. Moschino showed its first men’s collection in June, as did luxury lingerie line La Perla, which is readying a line of silk kimonos and other garments that the wives of its male customers may well find themselves coveting. Whistles, a high street chain in the U.K. that recently dipped its toe in the U.S. market, is launching a line of men’s apparel this fall. Even Spice Girl-turned-footballer’s wife-turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham was quoted in the British press last February as saying, “I’d love to do menswear at some point, absolutely.”

Some of the biggest investment in menswear is happening at companies that see potential in growing existing albeit limited men’s lines. Take Michael Kors, which has already found massive success in the accessible luxury space with its affordable yet aspirational women’s apparel and accessories. While the brand has included a smattering of men’s pieces among its expansive women’s offerings for more than a decade (menswear represents about 5 percent of its sales), the designer is now making a play for a bigger share of the men’s market.

Last month, Michael Kors CEO John Idol announced the company’s intention to grow its menswear into a $1 billion business by 2017 with the help of Mark Brashear, its new head of menswear and the former CEO of Hugo Boss. Idol detailed plans for Michael Kors’ first freestanding men’s store next year, noting that as many as 500 male-focused retail shops could be in its future. Meanwhile, the company’s forthcoming flagship store in New York’s SoHo will include a full floor dedicated to men.

While Michael Kors looks to menswear to bolster its already booming business, rival Coach hopes an expanded menswear offering will help turn around its sluggish sales. Last year, it hired former Mulberry and Loewe designer Stuart Vevers to lead its transition from a mall brand into one with more fashion credibility. After adding some much-needed refinement to its women’s accessories and showing its first women’s apparel collection during New York’s Fashion Week, Vevers is now turning his eye to the men’s category. This fall, male shoppers will find a much more stylish and luxurious selection of shoes and leather goods. By next year, one can expect to see a full line of men’s apparel.

The retailer’s focus on men is already helping the bottom line. In an August earnings call, the company reported that while overall sales slumped 7 percent to $1.14 billion in the fourth quarter, men’s sales showed significant growth, reaching $700 million for the year ending in June versus $100 million in 2010. By 2017, CEO Victor Luis projects that number will rise to $1 billion.

A similar tactic is being employed by brands like Prada, which plans to nearly double menswear sales to €1.5 billion (about $2 billion) in the next three to five years and open 50 men’s stores to make up for declining women’s sales. Luxury conglomerate LVMH has spent $135 million to expand its luxury footwear label Berluti into a broader apparel and accessories brand. Richemont, the owner of luxe brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc, decided last year against selling off smaller labels such as Dunhill and instead increased its investment.

The obvious question in all this: Will men be willing to wear a Tory Burch shirt or La Perla loafers or a Victoria Beckham suit? “I think it depends on the brand and how feminine it is in terms of people’s awareness,” says Sullivan. “I don’t know that men will buy Tory Burch because it’s a famous women’s brand, but I don’t know if they will automatically be put off of it, either.”

Marketing will be key, adds Moore. “I think you really have to be in it to win it if you start designing menswear,” he says. “In the past, when some of the womenswear designers did men’s, they would just sprinkle it into their women’s boutiques, hoping to entice women to buy a little something for their man. If someone like Tory is looking to build her own men’s business, she’ll have to figure out how to set it apart from the women’s business on a retail basis. I’m not so sure that guys are going to go deep into a women’s store to find something for themselves.”

Designers and retailers are taking note. Some, including Kors, are opening more men’s stores or creating men’s-only spaces in flagship stores. To lure even the most reluctant shopper, many are creating a club-like atmosphere and adding features like the cocktail bar inside the Tod’s Milan flagship or the barbershop at Dolce & Gabbana’s men’s store in London.

Even men who prefer to shop online (according to NPD, online purchases of men’s apparel last year grew 19 percent year over year and now represent 14 percent of all men’s apparel sales) are getting the guys-only treatment. Women’s e-tailers like Net-a-Porter and Shopbop have spun off Mr Porter and East Dane, respectively, men’s sites that combine a vast selection of designer goods with editorial content to help guide men in their shopping journey. “Some men are definitely still more comfortable with hiding behind their keyboards to make their choices, but it also requires them to know more,” as Sullivan puts it.

Those retailers who do it right may see a rich payoff. As Moore explains, “Men are completely different customers than women. If they find something that they love, they will keep going back to that designer. With men, it’s all about loyalty.”

 

xo,

PB

 

Article from Adweek

 

 


Jacobs and Spade

On my recent trip to Barney’s Co-op I found quite a few things I loved. Quite a few, but to narrow it down I picked this fabulous bag from Marc by Marc Jacobs

And this one by Jack Spade

Whether you are headed to a meeting or a cabin overnight this Jack Spade bag is great.  And certainly if you are tired of the old structured, I’m my dad briefcases I think the Marc by Marc Jacobs is a great way to carry those law briefs for summer.

And it these weren’t enough here are some more pics from these two collections just in case you want to try something a little different.

Marc by Marc Jacobs. Black and White. Sleek for night!
Love how they styled this with rolled up Chino‘s. Pair this accessory with a casual blazer and bow-tie. Marc by Marc Jacobs.

 

As I just bought a structured soft fabric bag myself of course I think this one is brilliant! Jack Spade.

 

I like Jack Spades accessories a lot so here’s a few more to decide from.

 

Buy:

www.jackspade.com

www.barneys.com

www.marcjacobs.com

 

 

Related articles

Tie Me Up

A way to add an androgynous feel to any outfit of course is to add a tie.  Now I like the traditional menswear ties and bow ties but this is not to say that by wearing a menswear inspired tie that you are not bringing the full Dandi affect.  In fact you are and these Dandi’s prove it.

I say I prefer the classic menswear ties but sometimes the truth is that I too like to mix it up and wear a looser, longer look by using lace, satin or even a wool blend.  I like lots of color around my neck most of the time but these looks give you an idea of how to mix it up and take it out of the traditional which I am always a huge fan of.

Tie Designers Left to Right:

Jason Wu

Jason Wu

The Kooples

Dolce & Gabbana

Speaking of bow ties aren’t these silk and lace ones fabulous!?!  These wonderful pieces of neckwear are from a line called Marwood and they are the creation of  designer Becky French.  These ties definitely take Dandi to a whole new level.

Available at marwoodlondon.co.uk

Of course no article about ties would be complete without talking about the Four In-hand necktie which is the most common type of menswear tie.  It can be literally a pain in the neck to wear but if you want to pull off being a natty Dandi then you must wear one on occasion.

The four in-hands of the new millennium are sleeker, longer, slimmer, and sharper so throw away your old fat ties and this is one item that you might want to avoid buying from vintage and second hand shops, they are bound to be too wide and dated.  Keep it fresh when tying your outfit together with this accessory.

Photo of menswear inspired ties courtesy of Vogue

Lace bow ties courtesy of Homme Essential


Transition to Fall

Fall is coming, believe it or not, and for those of you who are in cooler climates (lucky you!) the time has come for you to begin adding more layers to your look.  Tan is the color of the season and jackets, which can be removed if it gets too hot, are a great way to start transitioning your look and your wardrobe into the fall and winter months.  The look shown here is with tan jean shorts and a classic white shirt which you can add a bow-tie to and give it a preppy element.  The jacket is a great purchase that will transition into your fall looks.  The boots included here are also a great transition shoe but if it’s still to hot in your neck of the woods to pull them off you can easily replace them with tennis shoes or loafers.  Replace the shorts with the color of chino’s (see July 15th) or dark jeans for evening.

Boots by John Varvatos

Shirt by Adam Kimmel

Shorts by Topman

Belt by Reiss

Jacket by White Raven

Photo courtesy of Homme Essential


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