Now here's a very pleasing thing. Opening a parcel permeated by the smell of really good leather to find these beautiful wallets and cardholders - handmade in the UK for one of our favourite menswear labels, and a Hambledon wholesale exclusive. Delivery of the week goes to our friends at Universal Works.
Made to order in small batches, each piece is designed with paper and pencil, fashioned from English veg tanned leather, hand cut with traditional knives and finally sewn together using vintage hand cranked machines for an authentic stitch quality. No electricity required; a proper little ‘cottage’ business run by a lady who’s been everything from a scrap vehicle dismantler to an award winning packaging designer. This we like a lot. Thanks Universal Works, you know us well.
Leone Large Fruit Jellies £19.95 | Brutti E Buoni Chocolate £3.50 | Retro Tin of crunchy Amaretti £14.95 | Chocolate Cigars £6.95 | Stirring Slowly £20 | Tropical Fruit Nougat Slice £6.50 | Good Things to Drink £20 | Coco Artisan Chocolate £4 | Dolce £17.99 | 4 Medaglie Doro Quatro Centenario £21
Plate Imperfect Gold £11.95 | Golddust Stud Gold £59 | Dandy Wallet Silver Dot £55 | Set of Two Cup & Saucer Anouk Gold £39.95 | Stars Champagne Saucer Set of 6 £68 | Leone Classic Tin Mixed £4.50 | Nail Polish Cassavetes £12 | Star Hand Cream Bouquet £22 | The New Garconne £16.95 | Tea Tonique Eau de Parfum £95
It goes without saying that Christmas is a huge deal at The Hambledon and we embrace it heartedly. To the extent that several members of staff have multiple trees to accommodate varying decorative schemes. And they might need one more this year because our Christmas shop is open and it’s more fun, colourful and kitsch than ever before.
The tree is decked with a sparkly, neon-trimmed menagerie: winter hares in velvet collars; racoons carrying tres; birds wearing earmuffs; glittery swans, polar bears, bambis and parrots; dogs from Scotties to corgis, and for cat lovers out there (we hear you!), we're introducing your furry friends encased in beautiful glass globes. We’ve also thrown metallic rainbows, unicorns and pineapples into the mix for good measure.
Cards, wrap, advent calendars, crackers, garlands and balloons come courtesy of Meri Meri so the profusion of glitter, neon and fun continues; the foil balloon garland reading 'jolly' saying it all really. Let the festivities begin.
Former anthropology student, native of Montpellier, inveterate traveller, lover of Japan, William Eggleston fan; it's fair to say we're a bit taken with Emma François and the label she started back in 1997. Here's a closer look at the very lovely world of Sessun.
In 2011, French entrepreneurs Boris Gratini and Lilian Monnier focused their attentions on nail polish, and the idea of “leaving the world of cosmetics and getting closer to the world of fashion”. They wanted to be kind to the environment and make their products in France from start to finish. They wanted great colours free from nasty chemicals. And first and foremost, they wanted to sell their nail polishes from vending machines.
And so started Nailmatic, and probably the most fun, friendly and fashion forward nail polishes out there. We haven’t got one of their cool vending machines but we do have shelves stocked with their grown-up polishes (great colours, solvent free, phthalate free, formaldehyde-free); a nail polish remover that actually smells nice (lavender and 100% natural); plus their kids range featuring polishes (removable with just warm, soapy water) and rollerball lip-glosses (glittery and made from apricot kernal oil). A whole lot to love right here.
Knitwear. It has to be one of our favourite things about autumn/winter. We’re perpetually on the lookout for the next best jumper. And this season Rob’s found it courtesy of Italian knitwear label GRP Firenze which he discovered on his annual buying trip to Florence earlier this year.
One of a small cluster of textile companies based in and around the small village of Carmignano about an hour outside of Florence, GRP started out back in 1973 as a production resource for other companies. It wasn’t long though before they decided to step away from the supply business and establish their own line, focusing their business on creating something superior. They used better yarns and raw materials, as well as a combination of different weaves, applying innovative solutions to traditional techniques.
In an area dominated by historic textile businesses, it was this artisan approach that meant the relatively young company managed to establish itself in a relatively short space of time. People were quick to notice the quality they were turning out, and turned to them.
Over the years GRP have worked with some of our favourite labels including Engineered Garments, Beams and Svenson. That’s how good they are. They're the unsung hero, the brand you didn’t realise you already knew. But you do now. And they’re a label really worth knowing. Because that sweater still in your drawer ten years from now, loved and worn every winter, it will be GRP Firenze.
We love Halloween. But we hate spiders. And bats. Just as well they only arrived in the shape of balloons, tattoos, garlands and cookie cutters.
Currently resident in our project space, we’ve got a lot of time for this brand; their clothes, their ethos and especially their founder, "reluctant businessman" Yvon Chouinard. Here are some of words of widsom, taken from his book Let My People Go Surfing.