It might look simple but look closer and there’s real quality in this casualwear label, says Graeme Moran.
Wholesale prices €35 to €165 (£30 to £142)
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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.