If you’ve read the blog for a while, you’ll know that Mamnick are a label I’ve featured many times and have followed closely since it started up a couple of years ago. With an ever expanding range of products and growing customer base, the brand has recently taken the big step of opening its first shop. So it seemed like a good idea to feature some of Lee Basford’s images of the new shop, and catch up with label owner Thom and talk about this latest venture in more detail.
A shop. An actual bricks and mortar shop. That’s pretty bloody exciting, how does it feel to have your own shop, full of your own products?
Obviously, it’s a nice feeling. If you’d have said to me two years ago that we would be opening a store in Tokyo this early, then I wouldn’t have believed you. That said, I think it’s still very early days for the brand and I still believe that Mamnick is in it’s infancy. There is a lot of hard work to be done.
Mamnick has grown from a brand I’ve self-financed with little-to-no budget, in a time where many people are struggling locally, so I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in such a challenging time, especially in the North of England. But I do firmly believe that you’re only as good as your last product and there’s plenty more to do. It’s hard-work to get things right but very easy to make a mess of things. So it’s a matter of keeping focused and making sure the brand continues to grow and fulfills its potential. I hope that doesn’t make me sound very boring! I’m obviously excited, but still keeping level-headed.
And why Tokyo, instead of London, Manchester, Sheffield, etc?
I think the Tokyo shop was a natural progression in all honesty. I’d already been doing some wholesale out there and it was important from the start to get the product out of the UK and raise brand awareness globally. The demand seemed to be getting higher out there so the shop was the next step. Obviously, the link with Japan is a ‘cool’ thing to our UK customers and I’ve been very happy with the Black Label products (which are manufactured in Japan). It seems the UK audience is fond of this and the Japanese audience like the ‘Made in England’ pieces. I’ll be looking to produce an equal amount of both products both here and in Japan in 2015/16.
So, if this goes well do you have plans to open a UK based version?
I’ve always wanted to have full-control of the Mamnick product and how it reaches it’s audience here in the UK. When I say ‘full-control’ I mean from the social-media feeds right through to the hand-written compliment note that goes with every sale. I want the brand to feel as personal as possible because it is, and I believe being honest in business and branding is the only way to go (for me anyway). The internet has made the world a small place which makes it easy to reach an audience and build a following, but it’s also challenging to get things to stand out, especially if you don’t ‘know the right people’ or have a tendency and desire to do things your own way.
I don’t want to wholesale to other shops in the UK because I personally don’t understand or agree with the ‘sale-culture’ that we have. Nor do I think the spring/summer, autumn/winter framework inspires the brand Mamnick. I understand I’m taking a risk this way, but I’ve tried to price the product as reasonably as possible from the start, to sell direct and build a core of proper customers. If the demand for Mamnick grows then a store might be possible in future. I’ve been looking to import other unknown Japanese brands that have a similar ethos, a few of which I found on my recent trips but I think I’m still at least 12-16 months away from this becoming a reality in the UK.
I won’t allow Mamnick to be a here-today gone-tomorrow brand, I’m in no rush to for it to be massive. Right now I’m happy for Mamnick to be a personal brand that manufactures fine products really-well, that are reasonably priced. A brand that promotes a healthy outdoors lifestyle without trying to sell you sportswear, a brand that celebrates craftsmanship. So far, selling direct through the site allows me the freedom to do this. In future maybe things will change but it’s important for me that our customers know they are getting something very limited and special every time I create and launch a new product.
As well as your own, what other labels can customers expect to find stocked?
We’ve just taken some trainers-on over there, Muro.EXE which have been received well. We’ve been selling a lot of rare and vintage pieces alongside the product – Belstaff, Barbour, Lewis Leather and handmade English shoes from the likes of Trickers, Cheaney, Edward Green etc. Also, selected Nike and Adidas, vintage SPW and some selected 6876.
We’re still looking at bringing in more brands that fit into the store, but we’ve been focusing a lot of time on our new products out there, this is far more important to us at the moment. We are very small team, so there are only so many steps forward we can take at a time. But I think this also allows us to be versatile and interesting constantly.
With such a keen interest in cycling, do you see the shop (and any others you might own) becoming more cycling focused, or are they always going to be more Menswear/fashion based?
I make no secret of loving the bike and it’s an important part of my life and Mamnick without actually producing any cycling kit! Perhaps in future I might do a wind-jacket or jersey, but right now it’s just a tool that gives me some free-time to think and stay level headed. I like clothing off the bike and that’s why I design these things.
I think there’s plenty of great cycling clothing on the market, with technologies and materials being used that you can’t get in this country. To turn Mamnick into a quality cycling brand I’d need help. I do defiantly see the potential. The place (Mam Nick / Mam Tor) itself is cycling heaven. A collaboration would be great, perhaps that’s something I can make happen next year…
Finally, what can we expect next from Mamnick?
There are a lot of new shirts coming from Japan, the Alport and Wheston overshirts are two that I’m excited about. Also a sweat collection, which is something else completely. I’ve not decided weather this will be a Japanese release only yet though. Here in the UK I’m doing some shoes in Northampton which again, is something I wanted to do from the start. I’ll be adding to the ‘Made in Sheffield’ collection too and we’re about to launch the second version of the Monyash overshirt. In late June we’ll be a doing a small run of watches too with another up-and-coming British brand.
For more information on the label and to buy their products online, go to the webaite here: Mamnick.
Danish accessories experts Mismo have taken themselves to the cold climbs of Iceland and used it as the perfect backdrop to showcase the latest products that sit within their Contemporary collection. Over the last seven years the collection has been constantly expanded to include a wide range of luggage, all of which superbly combine classic design with modern detailing and functionality.
This update is less about new models (although there is newness in the range) and more about using new colourways and prints on already existing styles. As such, favourites like the M/S Backpack and M/S Sprint feature in new fabrications – a rust colourway and monogram print for the Backpack and black leather for the Sprint.
New for the season is the M/S Stanchion, a canvas bodied tote with leather strips running vertically across its surface. It’s a striking piece and one that is every bit as much about function as form, the leather detailing also offering extra support to the bag’s body, as well as being a design feature. All in all, an excellent lookbook to show off a selection of excellent products.
For more information on the brand, or to buy online, go to the website here: Mismo.
West London’s Garbstore have released their latest selection of looks for Spring/Summer, in a shoot entitled ‘Cornerstone’. As is now the norm with this kind of thing, the lookbook highlights what the shop considers its key pieces for this latest season.
Brands on show here include Garbstore’s own label, plus garments from the likes of Blue Blue Japan, Mountain Research, Needles, Engineered Garments, Kapital, Norse Project, Rough and Tumble, TSPTR, Blurhms, Palace, RFW, Reebok and Garbstore collaboration, Mauna Kea and Weekend(er). Basically, they’ve got everything you need for Summer under one roof in Portobello…
For more information on the shop, or to buy online, go to the website here: Garbstore.
Short and sweet for Easter Monday – here’s the latest short film from Oliver Spencer, showing off his collection for this year’s Spring/Summer season. If the weather around your way’s been anything like it has in London today, it won’t be long before warm weather attire’s at the top of your agenda.
As you’d expect, it’s yet another great collection of relaxed Menswear, encompassing everything you’ll need for days in the sun. To see more of this new range, for more information and to buy online, go to the website here: Oliver Spencer.
Here’s yet another blinding collaboration from Kenneth Mackenzie’s 6876. This time working with Kazuki Kuraishi on his latest project, The Fourness. Together the pair have produced a four-piece capsule collection that brings backsome items from the 6876 archieve and updates them for 2015.
Starting with outerwear, first up is the ‘Jacques’ a technical pullover jacket that initially saw the light of day back in 2003. This updated version is constructed from a lightweight, micro-ripstop polyester and is available in four colours – charcoal, navy, grey and orange. Next is a revised version of 2007’s ‘MDC’ jacket. It’s made from a high density all-weather 100% cotton, which provides water repellency, whilst keeping things lightweight. Features include under-arm vents, a detachable hood and interior mesh pockets. It’s available in either blue, navy, or olive.
The range also includes two shirt styles. First is an updated version of the ‘Kerb’ shirt first released in 2013. This style now incorporates a pair of breast pockets, both featurning angular flaps. A joint branded label is situated on the edge of the left pocket, and it’s constructed from 100% Cotton. Finally comes a completely new style – the ‘Modulo’ shirt. Made from 87% cotton and 13% flax, the shirt includes front breast pockets, one of which features an extended flap with zip and mini-pocket. There’s also a notched front placket and angled crossover back yoke, both of which reinforce 6876’s unique shirt aesthetic.
Everything is made in Japan to the exacting standards you’d expect of the brand and is available to purchase now. So for more information, or to buy the collection online, go to the website here: 6876.
The Bedford jacket is one of my favourite EG pieces. A staple of the collection, this versatile jacket appears season after season, always looking good and versatile enough to go with pretty much anything.
This season, the jacket is constructed from a lightweight flat Cotton Twill, the pick of which is the navy blue version featured here (or maybe that’s just because I always wear navy blue). Features are the same as ever with four patch pockets adorning the front, zig-zag stitching on the front placket and further stitch detailing on the shoulders. Additionally, it also features four removable leather buttons, which when in place, allow the jacket to be buttoned right up on the notch lapels. Available now from Superdenim, if you fancy one, go to the website here: Engineered Garments Bedford Jacket.
With a roster of brands that continues to expand and diversify, END clothing have released their latest lookbook, showcasing their the key products for Spring 2015. With the motto “Globally Sourced Menswear” the shop has reflected this by putting together seven key looks for the season from a broad mix of labels.
The location for the shoot was the historic City Pool and Baths in Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, only a stones-throw away from END’s pair of shops and the perfect backdrop for which to photograph a range of classic Menswear and technical sportswear.
The lookbook features staple END brands like A.P.C, Acne Studios, Our Legacy, Junya Watanabe and Common Projects, mixed together with relative newcomers to the portfolio, such as Alexander Wang, Rick Owens and UNDERCOVER. There’s also pieces from Dries Van Noten, Norse Projects, Nike and Stone Island Shadow Project. All of which culminates to produce a range of looks that deftly combine luxury with a streetwear-informed appeal.
For more information, or to buy online, go to the website here: END.