Where the runway meets the street

L-R: Mark Batista, Craig Ford, Andrew Parfitt

Time flies. Seems like just yesterday we were rooting through the offerings on display at Jacket Required‘s first ever showing in London town. Craig Ford, Mark Batista and Andrew Parfitt have been working hard to step things up for this second outing. The brand list, now well over double in size, is still a select line up of labels, both British and from furtherfield, all of which represent their ethos of  “quality of brand, diversity of offering and uniqueness of experience”. Our previous coverage is worth another look if you are just aquainting yourself with Jacket Required.

We asked the guys to give us their take on last season’s happening and look to  Jacket Required Autumn/Winter 2012 kicking of this Sunday at new venue, Victoria House in Bloomsbury. Brands old and new include; The Superior Labor, Filson, Bedwin and the Heartbreakers, Universal Works, Garbstore, Human Made, Sanders and many more tasty names. We will be bringing you more on how it all panned out. For now, click on.

Images: Jacket required

SL: Were you happy with the reaction following your first outing?

MB – We were overwhelmed with the response, it far outweighed our expectations (in a positive way)

CF – We couldn’t have asked for a better reaction, it met, and excelled our expectations.

AP- Delighted, it couldn’t have gone any better, lots of the brands that I spoke with wrote some great orders and made fantastic contacts. We are all very upbeat about the second outing now.

SL: As the show moves on to its second season, do you think attitudes have changed towards a London tradeshow?

MB – The UK market was ready, and quite rightly deserved to have a credible platform for brands right here in the capital of Europe.

CF-Definitely, the response from brands and buyers has been overwhelming. We haven’t been out doing the hard sell on the show, but we have been contacted by a phenomenal amount of amazing brands who want to show and stores who want to attend.

AP – I think the attitude was that it was desperately needed, we have worked hard behind the scenes to get together the brand mix we have ready for the weekend. The amount of daily hits for visitor registrations we get on our website certainly reflects this.

SL: Some new brands this time round, can you tell us a little about them?

MB – Where do we start??…We have gone from 38 brands to almost 100 whilst managing to maintain the original idea of the show, a line-up of brands that have to be able to compliment each other in-store. There is a whole host of new names from across the globe, some of which we are incredibly excited about as it’s their first time showing in Europe and in some instances, the world.

CF-Edifice – People may know as they used to be stocked in Liberty London. They are a Japanese select/dept store with 15 branches in Japan, making good quality contemporary smart casual menswear. First time showing in Europe. Ebbets Field Flannels – Classic American Baseball company, making flannels, jackets, and caps. Stocked in a couple of stores only in the EU to date.

AP – Riding High -Riding High is a brand specialized in knitwear, a very particular one, obtained through a unique mélange. The style is the American standard casual, but the materials, the production and the high and advanced quality are typically Japanese. Also, Superior Labor,  a Japanese brand that goes against the tide and focuses on craftsmanship and in-house production.

SL: Tell us a bit about the new venue?

MB – A beautiful, iconic Victorian building slap bang in the heart of London. We have the basement for the show (22,00 sq foot) which is not your run-of-the-mill setting for an exhibition of Jacket Required’s nature.

CF-It’s difficult to find a decent interesting venue the size we needed in central London without looking at a boring exhibition venue. This space has been used for a couple of fashion shows before, it’s got great ceiling height, gallery lighting and it’s in a very central London location.

AP- I fell in love with the place the first time I walked in to it, I’ve been to so many venues over the last months and this one stands out, for sure. It has a great layout so no brands are squashed in, also no one gets missed as you have to walk round the whole circuit. There is nothing worse than being in a little room out back that no one walks past! No issues like that at Victoria House!

SL: What’s you take on the current menswear scene in London?

MB – Influential as ever, I’m struggling to think of a city that is as pioneering as London in the global menswear scene.

CF- Retail wise its very competitive, with a load decent of stores, especially in the East End competing for similar products, but they all have their own nice and personality so there’s enough out there for everyone. Soho is having a bit of a renaissance for own brand stores with Supreme, Sunspel & Oliver Spencer opening to add to Soho stalwarts Bape, Albam etc. Designer wise, Charlie Casely-Hayford is doing a good job following in his father’s footsteps, Andrew Bunney is making some nice wearable jewellery for men and Palace are making t-shirts cool again.

AP – Very strong at the moment in regards to stores, but because of the competition, retailers are starting to look outside the box to have the point of difference which they need. I’m looking forward to this as the looks have been quite similar over the last few Fall Winters.

SL: Where do you see Jacket Required going from here?

MB – We are happy moving slowly and very thankful for the supprt we have received from everyone, most of all the exhibitors that are involved with the show.

CF- Onwards & upwards, building on the solid foundations to date.

AP- To keep giving our market a show that is full of sartorial surprises!

What To Read Next