Men’s Free Style


Role play
November 30, 2008, 23:48
Filed under: Discussion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One of the tough things about making your way in the style world as a guy is the paucity of role models from which to take your lead. So many possible options abound – Kanye West and Andre 3000 to name a couple – but these tend to require you to adopt a rather fearless and financially incautious attitude towards your clothes.

However, I spotted in the press today that a new figure has emerged that has given me food for thought. Patrick Robinson is becoming something of a celebrity across the Pond for his work in bringing a new focus to the classic stylings at Gap.

While reports of his desire to make the brand ‘super cool’ again must inevitably be taken with a pinch of salt, I very much welcome Mr Robinson’s attempts to show that well-designed basics can hold their own on the fashion stage and be celebrated as a real alternative to your standard catwalk nonsense.

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Hold it, Mister
October 29, 2008, 18:48
Filed under: Discussion | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Residents of England’s fair capital will undoubtedly have heard that tomorrow brings the grand opening of the Westfield London shopping centre, said to be a largest in Europe (yes, I know it’s not a patch on what you’d find in most major US cities, but we get what we can over here).

Those of you who appreciate the stripped-back style first brought to these shores by Gap will be interested to know that favourite of mine Hollister will be one of the new shops on offer. It won’t be the first in the UK – that honour went to the one that opened a few days ago at Brent Cross – but the Westfield one finds itself in somewhat better surroundings so is likely to receive the most visitors.

You may not be aware of it, but Hollister is the baby brother of Abercrombie & Fitch, which already has one shop in the UK (in central London), and which sparked widespread fury when its doors opened over here as people realised they were in some cases being charged more in pounds than they would be in dollars across the pond.

True to my ethos of seeking out affordable style, I have checked out Hollister’s new prices in London. It appears (and we got the calculators out for this one) that at the current exchange rate you will be paying 28% more in the UK than in the US. I don’t think this is too bad given that at the time Abercrombie launched, its mark-up was around 100%, and in any case the overall price level in Hollister in lower than in Abercrombie despite the clothes appearing to be in many ways of identical quality.

The one thing to watch out for is a trend recently spotted in the US – namely, that the Hollister prices are being raised to levels similar to those seen in Abercrombie (no doubt to counter the inevitable shift in customers from over-priced A&F to reasonably-priced Hollister). Let’s just hope we get a bit of time to enjoy the new wares at Westfield and Brent Cross before the corporates have their wicked way in the UK.