Rob and Rich timed their annual buying trip to Berlin impeccably, landing slap bang in the midst of World Cup fever. The show they were there for had been transformed into a Brazilian favela, then on the Tuesday evening they watched Germany trounce Brazil in the company of the Edwin boys while the city around them erupted.
World Cup to one side, they got down to the serious business of buying menswear SS15. Orders went in the book for Our Legacy, Merz b Schwanen and Filson. They designed a new Hambledon exclusive shoe with Trickers, and found a very cool old/new sportswear brand.
Back to the football and they were on a hunt to find a bar to watch Holland vs Argentina when they spotted a group of Japanese guys outside a vintage store. A good sign they thought, so they went to explore and found Fein und Ripp, the highlight of Rob's trip. Here Marlon kindly provided lager and strudels while they sifted through the most amazing collection of vintage workwear and accessories, lots of it in orginal 1940s packaging. A must visit if in Berlin, just as much so as Mr Wong's where they rounded off their trip with really good noodles.
The Hambledon is the home of a mainland UK exclusive. Daiki Suzuki's Workaday makes an appearance in the basement. This is the continuity utility line from the Engineered Garments team. Expect every day staples (Bedford jacket, 19th century shirt, selvedge denim, pocket tee and cords) which maintain pattern, construction and quality season after season.
1 Briliant Biscuits Tin £7.50 | 2 City Cycling Europe £25 | 3 Dad Ribbon Card £4.25
4 Musgo Real Colognes £30 | 5 Balsam Fir Incense £12 | 6 Food Books from £14.95
7 Sling Shot £35 | 8 Chapped Hands Remedy £18 | 9 Dad Bear Card £3.95
10 Thermos Flask £14.95 & Falcon Mugs £7.99 | 11 Superhero Dream Mask £7.95
12 Gentleman Ceramic Soap Dish £18 & Gentleman Trio of Soaps £18
Basement favourites Edwin are back for SS14 with a spot on collection of summertime staples. Rob sat down to talk road trips, red wine, raw selvedge and rare disco with Pierre Boiselle, who heads up the sales and marketing for Edwin in Europe.
Describe your typical working day?
I am very fortunate as I travel a lot and most of the time avoid any routine at work. But if I am at the office, first I would have a coffee and a cigarette, then a quick chat with Rey and the rest of the crew before I turn on my laptop.
Who or what couldn't you live without?
My girlfriend and our 're-worked family'. Being a bit more materialist, a pair of raw ED-80 red listed and a fresh pair of fine shoes.
What do you like most about what you do?
The travels and the huge diversity of people I have the chance to meet on the road. Moreover the people I am working with. They are an extension of my own family: some my mentors, some collaborators, but overall, mostly very good friends.
Who would you most like to see wearing an Edwin design?
I have never thought about this to be honest. I guess Nile Rodgers from Chic and Jean-Paul Belmondo would have been quite cool back in their glory time. People that would inspire the notion of 'style' to other people.
Which project, collection or achievement are you most proud of?
I might be a bit boring here but at the moment what I am the most proud of
with Edwin is the quality that you can get for a decent price. There are tons of amazing products on the market, but to be able to offer a raw selvedge denim using exclusive fabric made in Japan for £130 is, I think, pretty unique.
Tell us a bit about this season's menswear collection.
It's a proper summer collection! A lot of colour, light ounces and bleached denim. A lot of prints to be applied to jersey, shirting but also jackets and bermudas. We are also introducing a new fit to our range - a new skinny called the ED 85.
What has been the most important lesson learned?
Be polite and quiet when necessary... to manage your ego.
Who or what inspires you?
Some 'entrepreneurs' I have around me at work and in my private life. Places such as Antheor in the south of France, Greve in Chianti in Tuscany and Guaiu in Brazil.
What would you like to do in the future?
Keep on going! Do my best to make Edwin an unforgettable denim brand
that can talk to everyone while at the same time respecting our Japanese heritage without compromising on quality.
What is the Edwin team's guilty pleasure?
Cigarettes, red wine and road trips.
We know that you are a massive fan of rare disco music. Which three records never leave your bag?
I am indeed a big fan of disco music but I should not get any honour for this. A dear friend of mine spends most of his free time digging tracks. The rest of the time he drinks vodka and makes me listen to his new finds. So, here is mine and Clement's selection:
1. Herbie Hancock: Stars in Your Eyes
2. Joe Dassin: Le Jardin du Luxembourg (Tee Two Mariani Edit)
3. Gino Soccio: Turn it Around
And finally, your top three Lyon must see/dos...
I love this city a lot so I give you a few more than three:
Food: Go to Les Halles Paul Bocuse, a covered market where you will find all sorts of fine food, from snails to foie gras, but also lots of specialities from Lyon. My favourite place there is called Chez Merle. They specialise in
seafood and serve the best oysters in town.
Drink: Head to Le Voxx. I don 't know if it's a good tip as the servers aren't always polite and the food isn't great, but I spent all my teenage years there so it's a bad habit that keeps my friends and I going back. If you want to enjoy a bottle of rose or a Ricard on a sunny Saturday afternoon we might meet each other.
Club: L'ambassade is a very small club that used to be an old gangster spot back in the 80s. The crowd can be a bit strange sometimes but the music is always great. Manoo the resident dj has made some tracks with Masters at Work in the past which probably explains why!
Shop: Go visit my good friends at Heritage Store. They have great selection of menswear and in the basement of their store there is also a record store called Emile Records! For womenswear Solis is worth a visit.
Stay: If your budget allows stay at La Cours de Loges. It's an amazing place hidden in the historic district of Lyon. A cheaper alternative is The College Hotel nearby.
Norse Projects is now a Project. Yep. A gift for a lazy writer. Thanks to our new best friend Tom Bettinson, Norse's capable and lovely factotum, Norse Projects is now live in the project space. And it's looking very sharp indeed. Stainless steel, Danish oak boards, some very nice vinyls and an occasional orchid: this is a project of which we are very proud. Expect to see old friends including Anton shirts, Niels tees and Aros chinos. But we're taking some brand new clobber from Copenhagen's favourites from all three key areas, Refined Technical, Technical and Casual. There's a cotton nylon jacket story featuring lightweight, packable SB blazer, Samuel, and his big brother the full raincoat, Thor. Jens, padded shirt with Primaloft lining. And we're introducing denim. Clean, unbranded, 14oz Cone Mills in a slim taper. Fit no. 2. Norse Projects is the full story. The project runs until 28 March.
This year's European expedition saw the pair partying in Berlin with the guys at 14oz, eating noodles at Mr Wong's, hanging out with Nigel Cabourn, checking out Brandenburg Gate and Foster's Reichstag dome, rummaging in Florence's amazing vintage stores, papping a papper (Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist, third row on the right) and returning to Il Latini for some classic Italian homecooking. Oh and they bought some mighty nice AW14 menswear too.
The story of Andersen & Andersen is like a case study in low key Danish design. Founders Cathrine Lundgren-Andersen and Peter Kjær-Andersen had spent their careers working in the fast-paced fashion and advertising industries so when they founded their family run business back in 2009 they resolved to work in completely the opposite way; focussing on just one thing and setting their sights on perfection; a fisherman's sweater that would outshine all others.
Gathering the best details from maritime knitting history and adding new ones, theirs is a fully fashioned knit inspired by an old navy sweater. This means the stitches are increased and decreased to form the shape, all seams linked together meaning no sloppy cut and sew. The wool too is as neat as it comes, 100% new worsted with uniform length fibres combed so that they all face the same way. To top it off the construction is symmetrical so no worry of wearing it back to front.
Yes, we think they've nailed it. Fisherman's sweater perfection.
It's not every season we can shout about a mainland exclusive. And it's Engineered Garments' hard to come by Workaday line no less. Primarily designed for the Japanese market, it's a collection of exceptionally made basics; seasonless and timeless clothes, designed to be worn through and through. Thermal hoodies, selvedge denim, Oxford shirts, khaki pants and five-pocket cords - the pattern and construction of each piece remains the same season after season, ensuring they earn their place as enduring classics. Daiki Suzuki's utility jacket has already become somewhat iconic in the menswear world. Get yours now.
We're smartening up our game in menswear in the later months of AW13. It's decontructed tailoring all the way. Beautifully cut tweed jackets. Heavy wool pants and twill chinos. Clean-cut, unfussy shirting. Brogues, brogues and more brogues. Teamed with interesting scarves and spectacles.