I'm excited to finally be sharing a new project that's been in the making for over the past 6 months. MAN/MEN documents a journey across the UK to factories and studios looking behind the brands who manufacture in the UK. For the past few years I've been particularly interested in labels that make in the UK, buying basics from Sunspel and shoes from brands like Grenson, but it was really at the first London Collections: Men in summer 2012 that my brain began ticking over about what brands are truly British.
There are three key driving factors behind this MAN/MEN project:
- Legally any brand can label their products as 'Made in the UK' if the finishing treatments to the product are completed here. For example, a jacket could be constructed overseas but if the buttons are added here, it's 'Made in the UK'.
- In the past 10 years the push towards 'heritage' has been huge,
meaning brands with months of history slap an 'established in' logo in
- There's a real lack of understanding and appreciation of design crafted in the UK by British men. My international peers, particularly those from Japan and South Korea, have a great love of British design and a deep knowledge of which brands produce where in the UK. This fetishisation of British style has not returned home.
These three points have come up in conversation time and again over the past few years. There are many great blogs doing factory visits but there isn't one location where all this information is shared. I'm excited to also be working alongside David Evans from Grey Fox Blog, a man with great knowledge of British brands and a discerning eye for style. Together, we'll be showing a selection of our favourite brands - those manufacturing menswear with integrity that doesn't compromise design.
Next week a new blog ManMen.uk will go live - a platform we'll be updating with new factory visits, interviews and photoshoots. We'll be officially launching at London Collections: Men with a free journal handed to show-goers on Monday 15th and we're hosting a pre-launch event and exhibition on Thursday 12th in Private White VC on Lamb's Conduit Street. As the PWVC brand makes all their clothing in Manchester they're the perfect location for the MAN/MEN journal launch so if you're available, come along and say 'hello' - RSVP to Riccardo@FinchandPartners.com.
In the meantime, follow us at @ManMenUK on Instagram and Twitter. We're always looking for new suggestions of great British craft so let us know who you appreciate.