What feels like a lifetime ago, when they were housed in their original Tib Street base, Oi Polloi released the first round of own-brand gear. Polo shirts, t-shirts, and some gorgeous knitwear featured, and even a take on the iconic Peter Storm cagoule.
Following that initial foray, Oi Polloi then evolved into a side project called Cottonopolis, which saw trousers, shirts and some smart mountain parkas made in Manchester.
Next was a range called Wyse, which spoke of a type of sportswear for the unenergetic. Sort of slow sportswear, yoga-infused. It’s all been great and has had that haphazard lack of cohesion that has made it all the more appealing.
Now under the stewardship of the JD Sports mothership, it looks like much of the stuff they always held ambitions to do has been made possible. That means a much wider range of Oi Polloi own brand clothing, with a recent release of some winning knitwear.
Some will look down their nose and suggest they’ve lost their edge, but there’s no sense in having an edge if your business can’t ride out the inevitable storms that come with being around for two decades.
Interestingly, JD announced earlier this week they’re doing a deal with Frasers Group to divest themselves of a number of parts of their business, including Scotts and Tessuti. What a business that owns Flannels and more will do with its competitors remains to be seen but it’d be unsurprising if a bit of streamlining went on. Is it telling that JD have spent much of the last few years buying up the likes of Wellgosh, Hip and Oi Polloi? Is this a new direction, or are they focusing on the more profitable parts of their business, and letting Mike Ashley’s mob own that luxury sport/fashion part of the market. Who knows? Not me.
Anyway, I’ve digressed a lot more than I intended to there, sorry. Back to Oi Polloi.
Since they climbed into bed with JD, one thing that’s been noticeable has been their stepping up of Oi Polloi own brand clothing. Going back to that original range over a decade ago, this new stuff feels like a continuation of that same aesthetic. Good quality basics that – when styled in that inimitable Oi Polloi way – look anything but basic. The most recent drop in this regard is their knitwear, right on cue for the wintry weather.
Check all Oi Polloi gear out here
Aside from the wooly seasonal bits, you can also take advantage of their discounts on the more sporty garments dropped earlier this year. All in all it’s a nice offering from people who have been leading the way curating collections of other people’s clothing for a long time now. If anyone knows the score, Oi Polloi does.
See all of it here