The Sudden Rise of the Cult Independent Fashion Store

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At the beginning of summer in Marylebone opened the Anglo-Italian men’s clothing store. It offers a refreshing and subtle blend of soft seams, casual jackets, denim, Polo shirts, knitwear, and accessories. Designed by founders Jake Grantham and Alex Pirounis, this is a luxurious and very easy-to-wear collection handcrafted by craftsmen around the world, but whose aim is to combine the best British and Italian styles.

Anglo-Italian is just one example of the global trend of men’s fashion, which has attracted the attention of dozens of artists around the world over the past decade. Grantham and Pirounis are former employees of the iconic store The Armory, launched in Hong Kong in 2010, and have become a model for a new generation of specialty menswear stores that often focus on bespoke handmade items that have sprung up around the world.

The artisans with whom these shops collaborated were virtually unknown. But things have changed. For example, a traditional manufacturer like Frank Clegg, who makes luxury men’s bags (fleece, $ 1025) and other leather goods in Massachusetts, now has a global customer base – as do brands like Saint Crispin Shoes, a small Romanian company that makes tailored shoes, as well as the world’s top manufacturers. Meanwhile, tailor-made tailors are using these men’s clothing stores in New York to hold parades and expand their reach, meaning Neapolitan Maestros like Dalquor and Ambrosi have become popular in Shanghai, Manila and New York.

The story begins ten years ago with Hong Kongers Mark Cho and Alan Zee. Classic men’s fashion was becoming more fashionable: Scott Schumann published photos of very well-dressed Italians on his influential website The Sartorialist, and sites such as Styleforum were developing rapidly. Cho worked in international real estate and See in logistics, but both were adherents of high fashion.

Anglo-Italian suede Aviator jacket, £ 870, and linen jacket, £ 990, and cotton Polo shirt, £ 185
Anglo-Italian suede Aviator jacket, £ 870, and linen jacket, £ 990, and cotton Polo shirt, £ 185
Determined to follow their passion, they opened their own shop-with the aim of bringing authenticity, know-how and Haute couture customer service to a Hong Kong audience dominated by global brands. “The difference in experience between a famous designer and a tailor-made tailor was so great,” Cho says. “We wanted to communicate directly with customers, talk to them and understand their lifestyle – but sell products made around the world, not just sewing clothes.

The military carousel opened in 2010 on the third floor of a secondary street in the Central district of Hong Kong. There was no movement, licking of the window. But over the years, the group has developed a global cult following because of the stunning photo taken by employees posted on the Tumblr of employees in Hong Kong, in search of a very clear and elegant look. “I remember seeing these first pictures of the Armory boys on the street. They made sewing elegant and at the same time so modern – clothes that could be worn without being too traditional,” says financier Andrew Sassoon, who is now a regular customer of the military Park in New York.

The military carousel offered Neapolitan tailoring services from traditional houses such as Orazio Luciano and Ambrosi, as well as bespoke tailoring from Florentine tailor Liverano & Liverano. Liverano’s style went particularly well with his flowing figure, flattering shoulder line and smooth lapel. Master tailor Antonio Liverano is now highly regarded by clients for his colorful and distinctive style, as well as for his extensive collection of thick vintage fabrics, which are often limited to one or two jackets (suit to order from 6,500 euros).

Craft manufacturers that have been singled out by the store include Japanese eyewear company nackymade and Spanish footwear company Carmina. The military carousel still works with these brands, with great items like Carmina loafers ($450) and nackymade sunglasses with dinosaur-like branches ($495). New artisans are also being added all the time. The Japanese consistency brand is a recent addition that is inspired by artists, writers and musicians of the past for its strong figure.

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