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Brandwatch: U Clothing

It might look simple but look closer and there’s real quality in this casualwear label, says Graeme Moran.

THE BASICS

Wholesale prices €35 to €165 (£30 to £142)

Website www.uclothing.com

Contact 020 7033 7710

The past few seasons have seen menswear get in on the print and pattern party, with everything from colourful camouflage to tropical florals catching our eye. But occasionally something a little calmer grabs our attention, such as U Clothing’s autumn 13 collection of pared-back, luxed-up wardrobe staples.

“When it comes to casualwear, the market is dominated by fast and disposable fashion or over-designed and, in my opinion, contrived fashion, with an astronomical price tag,” says Don-Alvin Adegeest, U’s managing director.

“The result is they aren’t ‘real’ clothes anymore. We create pieces we’d wear ourselves and offer a wardrobe that isn’t disposable or dates after three to six months.”

And it’s difficult to pick favourites from a collection full of hero pieces (the brand also has a limited womenswear range, which isn’t wholesaled). There is a masculine simplicity to the menswear, with sports-meets-street touches and sleek design details. Familiar styles feel special through the use of quality Italian and Japanese textiles.

“For example, this season we did a pared-down utility hoodie in a beautiful alpaca wool. Even though at first glance it’s a simple, casual piece, you wouldn’t find something similar on the high street,” explains Adegeest.

The brand has certainly caught the eye of some discerning menswear buyers. “The autumn 13 collection is a marked improvement on an already strong spring 13. The quality is better and the fabrics are even more luxurious,” says Tim Sturmheit, buyer at menswear etailer Oki-ni. “We decided to buy into [autumn 13] because we love the sportswear-inspired aesthetic. It’s very wearable but still interesting.” We think you’ll agree.

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