In this game we call #menswear it’s dead easy to get caught up in HYPE.
We’re all guilty of it; us for writing about it (sometimes, when we can be arsed) you lot for believing them overpaid marketing-graduates and their reinvention of the emperor’s new clothes, via their carefully crafted social media campaigns, or by scattergunning their way into your inbox; or just believing that ’cause everyone else you ‘follow’ says they’re getting that new bobble hat, pair of trainers, or socks, you’ve GOTTA have them too, or somehow you’re the one losing out.
It’s easy to forget that there are other ways.
There are brands that stand apart from the marketing muck, and just keep on keeping on with what they’ve always done.
No big bells. No loud whistles. A self assurance that sees no need to go shouting from the rooftops.
Confidence in their own product, and their own way of doing things.
Universal Works are one of these brands.
It was only on a flying visit to ‘The Smoke’ last week and an early evening ponce around SOHO (*winky face emoji*) with one of Proper’s Favourite Fives author, that ended up with us ‘gatecrashing’ (walking in off the street to) the UW Berwick Street Store’s 2nd Birthday celebration.
It all served to remind me just what a solid and sound brand UW are.
That’s not just because they were giving out free G’n’T’s (with slices of ginger in it, yes, GINGER!! – “an LDN thing”) and head honcho and all round top man, gentle giant and one of Notts’ best …..David Keyte was doing an understated meet & greet.But more the fact that when you’re in an environment looking at all the product together in one place (as they planned it to be seen) you see how those 100 and odd lines for AW15 sit together and work dead well.
It’s very rare that I can honestly say I’d wear ALL the gear from a collection, there’s usually a few rogue items that designers throw in there to take the piss and test you; overly large hooded shirts that make it down to your knees (ankles in my case) or a donkey jacket Eddie Yeates’d be proud of (but’d be unwilling to spend the requisite 800 notes on), but in the case of UW AW15 I’d happily knock about in it all.
From Labour and Deck jackets to Parkas and all the Oxford shirting, trousers and knitwear that you’re going to want to see you fit, through the coming months. That’s before I mention the Scottish-Wax bucket hat (and matching raincoat) in vivid Jaffa orange c/w. Tangerine dreams of the highest order; or if that’s not your thing there’s always the Electric Blue versions.
Product you thought you didn’t need, ’til you felt it; then that made you wonder how it’s done so well at that price, how far removed UW actually are from those ‘try-too-hard, email all the time, marketing prank’ brands that have started to jump on other’s coat tails and you can’t shake off (no matter how many times you delete yourself from their mailing list).
Universal; ’cause they’re for everyone. Works; ’cause it just does.
Go see them in their own fine stores on Lambs Conduit Street or Berwick Street in that there London, or travel t’interweb to their website, in your pants, on your sofa, in front of Homes Of The Hammer…either way, you’ll be chuffed you made the effort.