Online Sources: Linkson Jack
Tuesday 20 November 2012
One of the things I enjoy most about BespokeMe is the people I get to meet off the back of my writing. In addition to that just occasionally I’m able to help out a budding new independent retailer, a guy just like us who is trying to turn his passion into a working business. Linkson Jack is just such a guy and I’m pleased to announce he has just launched his own retail website sporting some beautiful kit, ranging from bespoke boxes and fine Onoto fountain pens to some beautiful wool ties, grenadine ties and horn accessories.
I first encountered Linkson well over a year ago when we met to discuss his idea for a business. As someone who is also going about setting up his own micro-label we had much to discuss. In fact we had quite a bit more in common. Born in St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, he like me studied History and Politics at the University of London before working as a Parliamentary researcher at the House of Commons. Whereas I stayed in the House, he went on to found the Social Mobility Foundation, an established charity that helps to prepare bright, non-privileged students for admission to top universities and employment in the major professions and top businesses. Since our first meeting we’ve kept in regular touch.
There is something particularly satisfying about meeting people in those early stages of a dream and then seeing that dream become reality. As you know I’m walking that same path myself (more on that in my next post) and until you try it you never quite understand the monumental effort required to get things going.
My first impressions are that Linkson has done a first class job assembling a nice range of high quality and crafted menswear accessories. I know he took some time to track down less common manufacturers and craftspeople. Former Mensflair writer Simon Crompton over at Permanent Style has already written a nice review
of Linkson’s bespoke boxes
which is worth a read.
For my own part I’m most excited by those brands I’ve never encountered before. So while I’m taken by his wool and cashmere grey ties
(something I’m told are selling like hot cakes across all retailers thanks to tit-lit phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey), it’s his range of fine fountain pens that caught my eye.
According to Linkson, Onoto pens were started in 1905 by Thomas De La Rue and Co Ltd (printers of the British pound notes and commonwealth stamps). They became one of the most famous British fountain pen brands in the world used by Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Haig, Florence Nightingale and Queen Mary. The brand lay dormant for 46 years and was brought back to life in 2004 by businessman James Boddy.
Continuing the tradition of producing high quality fountains pen in a distinctly British style, all Onoto pens are hand-made in England by qualified jewellers. That ticks just about every one of my boxes.
As a favour to me for readers of BespokeMe Linkson Jack has generously set up a discount coupon offering 20% on all orders over £30 (excluding bespoke boxes and fountain pens). UK sales tax of 20% will also be deducted at checkout for shoppers outside of the EU, after adding your shipping address. Simply type in the code BESPOKEME at the checkout.
Aside from being a genuinely nice guy who deserves to do well, I’m confident Linksons enthusiasm for classic men’s style and unapologetic love of beautiful things will take him far. I genuinely wish him well.
Posted by Stealth
Online Sources: Vanda Fine Clothing
Thursday 20 September 2012
Based in Singapore and founded by duo Diana Chan and Gerald Shen this classy little online micro-label produce a limited edition range of hand sewn ties and pocket squares made in their own workshop. That combination of handcraft, classic design and high quality raw materials has led to Vanda
enjoying quite a bit of internet love on the blogosphere, which is how I discovered them. While their handmade ties naturally attract most attention, what caught my attention were their exquisite lapel flowers
Lapel pins and non-organic buttonholes (boutonnieres) have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, not unlike those other declared dead accessories tie bars and bow ties. Coming in the form of an Orchid, the national flower of Singapore in fact, they’re fashioned from Japanese DECO clay which makes them durable if delicate in appearance. Coming in a variety of colours and costing just $25 SGD for a pair, they’re not large so if you’ve yet to be convinced by the idea of a buttonhole
Vanda provides a discrete and cost effective way to try it out. Finally, I’d add that the postage is reasonable, delivery quick and they come beautifully packaged.
With such a positive first experience I’d like to try one of their ties next, and if you’re looking for a distinctive addition to your daily formal and semi-formal wardrobe I’d have no hesitation in recommending you take a look.
Posted by Stealth
Online Sources: Jackson & Edison Socks, Rome
Monday 20 August 2012
Amongst the many contributions Italy has made to the world of menswear it’s generally acknowledged that they make the finest hosiery. So while it may seem slightly extravagant to import one’s socks from Rome with this latest find it’s an opportunity too good to pass up.
Located on the Via Due Macelli and not far from the Spanish Steps in central Rome, Jackson & Edison is an independent menswear retailer selling a complete range of fine Italian menswear under both their own label and such brands as Canali and Paul & Shark.
However, it was the fine selection of hosiery, something of a specialism, that first took me into Jackson & Edison. Spun from Scottish yarns their elegant dress socks are made from 100% Mercerised Cotton which makes them both strong and slightly sheer. The process of mercerisation also allows for a wonderful array of rich colours to suit any look and taste.
A true dress sock, if you go for the knee length versions, as I did, the large elasticated tops mean they stay taut without exposing hairy white shin when you sit cross legged. At just 17.50 Euros for three pairs this equates to unbelievable value for a product of this type. Indeed, I’ve paid more for one pair of Pantherella socks in the past and those lasted only one or two outings. Despite the fine gauge there are no such worries with these socks. The 3 pairs of Jackson & Edison socks I bought in March are still going strong.
So, it was with the very greatest pleasure that I recently discovered this retailer had an online presence with international shipping. As is often the case with Continental merchants the cost of even basic postage are quite high but as I’d resolved to completely renovate my sock drawer it made that decision easier and ultimately more cost effective. As to fit, Italian socks run to a unique size system of their own that roughly corresponds to European shoe sizes, but as a guide a UK size 10 is a size 12 and a half in Jacksons’s socks and they fit like a glove. And of course there is one quality I haven’t mentioned, but let’s just say it’s like putting your foot into a silk purse.
I’m done with the stodgy overpriced crap available in this country and fine hosiery is the last element in my arsenal of bespoke suits and English bench made shoes –if you’re going to a do a thing, do it right.
Posted by Stealth
Monday 13 August 2012
(Click to enlarge)
I love London, and for all its faults I always will. Its scale and energy amazed me as a kid, and the yearly trip up to town with my big-Nana (yes, I had a little-nana too) was the highlight of my school holidays. When it came time to leave Norfolk to begin my undergraduate studies London was the first choice on my list.
Over the past two weeks this extraordinary, frustrating, surprising and vast city has been the centre of the world. The atmosphere here has been amazing thanks in no small part to the volunteers, or games makers are they’re called, and men and women of our Armed Forces. But London itself has bristled with a new energy and sense of community that one can only hope lasts.
Like many people I was unsuccessful in my attempts to get tickets to any Olympic events. Not that that was a bar to enjoying this once in a lifetime event.
However, by some extraordinary good fortune and the overwhelming kindness of Samsung, and We Are Social PR
, I was invited for a 5-star Olympic opportunity. Not only was I a guest of official sponsors Samsung
at the Olympic Park but they also whisked us off to Manchester to enjoy the semi-final Olympic football between Japan and Egypt.
There will be more on all this in a few days time, plus a video on my own unique take on the games made with the help of some talented animators at We Are Social and using my new Samsung Galaxy Note
. But with the London 2012 closing ceremony having just ended and this amazing fortnight in this amazing city committed to memory, I thought I’d share some of the photos from my own Olympic experience.
...of course we do still have the Paralympics to go.
Our little group gathers. Fellow bloggers Derek and Graham, Lauren from We Are Social and Damian from Samsung. A fellowship of the rings you might say
And then the sun came out, and so did the people
The scene of so much British Glory. It is a wonderously beautiful building
Messing about on the Samsung pavilion. Allison our guide and host. She and her colleagues could not have done more.
The World comes to London
But the people even more than the sport defined this moment in history. And then we headed off to Manchester...
A wonderful cast of characters awaited us, not to mention some great sport.
But never turn your back on a Samuria!
An amazing atmosphere and some cracking football
And afterwards, a little filming for our videos. A fellow lucky blogger.
Posted by Stealth
Of pocket squares and ties
A trick for combining pocket squares and ties.
Tuesday 17 July 2012
The Wardrobe: An idea...
Navy, pink and yellow.
Sunday 8 July 2012
Online Sources: The Knottery
Micro label from the USA and purveyors of affordable style.
Saturday 30 June 2012
Seasonal Jackets: Nino's, London
Some beautiful jackets by Nino Santoro, ideal for the season and reduced!
Friday 13 April 2012
My Own Money: Czech Glass Cufflinks from Exquisite Trimmings
Following on from my initial posting, a first look at the cuff links.
Wednesday 11 April 2012
Update: Slim Fit Shirts and Gift Vouchers now available at Stephan Shirts
Some useful innovations from our favourite shirt maker.
Tuesday 6 March 2012
Online Sources: Exquisite Trimmings, Cufflinks
A New York based independent retailer well worth a look. Of particular note are the glass cufflinks.
Monday 27 February 2012
A new range of luggage from our favourite footwear retailer.
Sunday 19 February 2012
The Wardrobe: McQueen Simple
The man made it look easy.
Thursday 19 January 2012
Greasy Boot from Private White VC
Made in England from waxy leather with a full leather lining they feature a micro sole topped off with waxy laces. The militaristic overtones are a hallmark of this distinctive British label.
Tuesday 17 January 2012