Alice Made This at Polly King
Thomas Jefferson once said that "a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life". As I was meandering from Merci to Colette yesterday morning it seemed very difficult to argue with him. The city, she is beautiful.
Having said that, the most inspirational walk I took in Paris was from one side of the Polly King showroom to the other. On the ground floor of 74 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, down the metal winding staircase and across the wooden bricked floor, sat our Alice Made This stall and a fantastic selection of other innovative brands, all powered by strong characters and strong ideas. They were kind enough to share their stories.
London made menswear brand with a clean aesthetic, constantly trying to push Form, Fabric and Function. Designer Moshin Ali speaks to us about his road to setting up a label and why the timing had to be right.
"I’ve been designing menswear for about 15 years. I think it’s best to gain experience with the fabrics and knowledge of design and then decide to set a label up. Every design student dreams of having their own collection and you know at some point whether you are going to do it or not. It’s just when you feel you are mature enough and ready enough. Now’s the right time.
The reality of it is that it’s a lot harder than people think it is. It’s very very difficult, but you know it’s the right thing to do. At the moment the aesthetic is good and it feels very current. You go through these phases constantly of all these ideas. The interesting thing is that you come up with about ten different ideas of which only one will probably be right and it will then be a progression. I think the most important thing for me is that everything is constantly evolving. What you envisioned at the beginning isn’t what you end up with and that makes things a lot more focused."
Shoes you can attach some romance to...and now clothes as well! Founder Marc Hare discusses the move into clothing and those beautiful beautiful sneakers.
"Before I started Mr Hare I seriously thought about starting a t-shirt company. We haven't really been able to do clothing before now because it would have meant doing tailoring and really technical stuff, but since we launched our sneaker collection it suddenly makes sense. We are going to launch a full on clothing collection for SS16. Really looking forward to that."
Renowned for specialising in contemporary tailoring for both men and women, alongside a broadening offering of casualwear and accessories. Sales maestro Sabina Goth talks soft tailoring and a man's right to experiment.
"We are moving more and more into a casual formal look. We no longer sell suits. Everything is separates that you can mix and match. It’s more about giving guys the opportunity to experiment in the same way that women do. It’s about finding yourself in that soft tailoring market.
Fashion at the moment is all about soft tailoring. It’s the new modern look. It’s no longer these structured slim lapels or fitted suits. We have developed a fit with one of our manufacturers and it’s all completely unconstructed on the inside, with a slightly looser fit and a wider lapel. It's modern. It works for young guys and it works for older guys. All our fabrics are Italian. Philip and our designer both go to the main fabric shows in Milan and Paris and everything is hand chosen. Everything."
We loved spending times with these guys and can't wait to see what they do next...or what we do next! Au revoir for now Paris.