I had the pleasure of visiting Uniformes Generale at their Boxpark located pop-up this week. The build up to the release of their AW14 collection has been akin to that of a stove kettle on a low flame. 'As the speed of the releasing steam increases, the vibrations become louder, causing a whistle.' In menswear terms this means regular email newsletters, including a very classy PDF of the collection, a video clip and teaser shots via social media finally culminating in the live launch of their website and a week at the World's first pop-up mall. The ability to touch and feel the items is a master stroke, if you live in London. Reading their 'About' page tells you they are full of the right menswear credentials, seeing the clothes in person confirms this. The autumnal staples are present, hoods, sweats and jackets all done to the highest standard made of quality materials. I was more impressed by the attention to detail from the stitching, labels and even wording used on them. The little touches are what sets brands apart, and each touch looks to have been meticulously thought out and very deliberately included.
My picks of the t-shirts are the Uniformes Tiger Tee, reminiscent of the type of graphic used by Human Made on their tees, and the So Far So Good Tee with a distinctly Futura feel. Also included in this initial collection are a set of t-shirts designed by illustrator Ben Lamb. Soft cotton, bold graphics and what look to be a contemporary fit. The sweats and hoods are simply amazing, in particular the Ben Lamb sweat. Described as ‘Another switch-up in style, but some familiar themes: mountains, wilderness, clouds… and big floating UG initials. All on a beautiful burgundy sweat, which if push came to shove, is probably my favourite colour.’ I couldn't agree more. The standard zip hoody is every bit as amazing as the down lined version, again with a burgundy option. The last time I was this excited by 100% cotton was after viewing the AW14 Russell Athletic Archive range. I dare say these are even better and stand alone in the quality and fit offered of a sportswear mainstay. The jackets go beyond my expertise but offer a choice of light (down), medium (quilted) and heavy weight (borg lined) options.
There are a number of reviews of this collection already online, but I wanted to give you something a little different to read so I asked Adam Creed a couple questions to spice this piece up.
Which brand(s) do you see as inspirations? Clothing Brands: Norse/Visvim/Nigel Cabourne/Edwin/Junya Watanabe/CP/Massimo Osti. Sneakers: Nike/Adi/ Other brands: Beams/Brompton/Porsche/Eames/Leica/Oscar Niemeyer
How do you choose colours for the collection? I work for the high street in a consultancy capacity & have to travel all around the world NY/LA/Tokyo/Copenhagen/Stockholm etc. I have to be able to spot any & all key trends affecting menswear. It's part something I was born with & part taught (At least as far as how to make sense of the info & categorise it).
How was collaborating with Ben Lamb and are there more artists you hope to work with? An absolute pleasure! The man is a bit of a genius not just illustration wise but his ideas come thick & fast a real talent!
What do you consider the key piece of the collection for every man’s Autumn wardrobe? Flux/Down Hoodie/Crew necks.
What if anything did you purposely not to include in this collection? An absolute key part of our business model is to introduce complementary brands to our web site. We are currently looking at Edwin/Nike/Adidas/Brooks & a few others. Therefore we would never consider developing our own product in these areas.
What are you wearing right now? Nike SB Eric Koston Max Black. The best camo socks in the world ever from bought from Beams in Tokyo, Edwin & a UG Ben Lamb UFO T.
If all of this seems like your cup of tea, bringing it all back to the initial stove kettle reference, check out the website here.