A year and a half ago, in the midst of London Collections: Men A/W’13, I walked into a pop-up shop in the heart of London’s Seven Dials on a cold, wind swept January morning to be greeted by three young men clad in various tones of grey, herringbone check suits. There were people milling about with champagne in hand looking at rails of various prints, jackets, trousers and heavy knit jumpers and a buzz seemed to be gathering apace.
The brand I had been invited to see was called Hentsch Man and while I had never previously heard of them, I immediately fell in love with the clothes worn by the models and those adorning the rails.
Amid the formality of Saville Row suits and the avant garde, contemporary designers such as J.W Anderson (peplum shorts anyone) and Craig Green (who could forget those wooden palettes masking the models faces) stood a brand that I felt genuinely appealed to men. Here were clothes that combined fashion with function, a brand that wanted to look good but wanted to appeal to the everyday man, it resonated with my thoughts on fashion and sat perfectly between high-end and high-street.
Hentsch Man Who?
Hentsch Man is the brainchild of Brazilian born, London based designer Alexia Hentsch and her childhood friend and businessmen Max von Hurter. The pair originally set up the brand in order to design and produce the perfect white shirt but from those humble beginnings, something altogether has taken shape.
To peruse their last few collections, it is almost impossible to believe they ever set out to simply create a white shirt; the clothes are awash with prints in a myriad of eye-catching patterns while the colour palette consists of wonderful hues of burgundy, pastel pinks, reds and rich blues. There is a playfulness in their design and with past collections taking inspiration from Latin America and California, there is a sense of youthful rebellion about the wears they produce.
Their latest collection, which previewed only last week at the bi-annual menswear fashion week in London, continued with the theme of print and colour and having recently collaborated with online retailers Mr. Porter, this is a brand very much in the ascendency.
There is so much to love about what Hentsch Man do – their mischievousness use of colour and print is juxtaposed next to the uncomplicated, relaxed shapes; and yet there is a tailored fit to the clothes which enables the brand to appeal to a wide range of men. It’s cool without being too hipster while the cut of the cloth allows for a slim line aesthetic without crossing in to the uber skinny market which caters to male models and teens only.
Within this fabric of subtle yet exuberant design blend is where the beauty of the brand lies so without further ado, here’s some outfit ideas made for the Hentsch Man.
ALL OUT SUMMER
The Hentsch Man is not afraid to break the rules when it comes to fashion – multiple prints on prints, horizontal stripes with verticals stripes and combining colours that sit pole apart on the pantone charts. This summer why not let the sun go to your head and try something a little new. Combine these ideas for a vibrant wardrobe that says ‘who cares what you think, I’m happy’.
From the long-haired models they use, to the unstructured nature of the fabrics, formal in its most traditional sense bears little (if any) resemblance to the Hentsch Mans way of thinking – this is formal for the modern age. So when you next attend a wedding or some evening gala which insists a suit must be worn, play with the rules a little. Team that suit with a brightly patterned shirt, wear a pair of pastel chinos with a separate jacket, stand out, get people talking, cause a stir. Forget black or grey or navy blue and have a little fun with the classic suit.
Unfortunately, being an everyday man means having to work. Thankfully, being everyday men also means we get to wear Hentsch Man. In an age that has become less rigid in the work place attire t-shirts, short sleeved shirts, casual trousers and chinos are no longer frowned upon and it means we no longer have to go about the day job dresses like an accountant or lawyer, unless you are an accountant or lawyer, of course. From casual trousers to relaxed shirts, Hentsch Man create a wardrobe that glides effortlessly from workwear to evening wear without you having to change your entire wardrobe which let’s face it, is great for your bank balance as well as your look.
BEST OF THE REST
Trying to put together the best of the rest is no easy task because I simply love everything about the Hentsch Man collection, the ways in which they make clothes and the ways in which we can wear them, look so effortless. From t-shirts to jackets, suits to summer shirts, there is an endless abundance of choice from a brand that seems to know exactly what young, stylish urban men want from their wardrobe.
SOME LAST THOUGHTS
Traversing the territory between high end fashion and the high street is no easy trick but Hentsch Man have managed to do so with aplomb; be it hipsters, fashionistas, bricklayers or businessman, there is something in their collections for everyone. The rebellious, tongue-in-cheek nature of their clothes is a breath of fresh air in a world of men’s clothing where, let’s face it, things can often be rather dull and unadventurous. Alexia Hentsch is a designer unafraid to push the boundaries of menswear without stepping over in to the world of garments made simply for fashions sake and for that us men should be eternally grateful. They’ve certainly come a long way since trying to produce the perfect white shirt.