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Aphrodite 25th Anniversary

Aphrodite’s 25th Birthday Bash

To celebrate Aphrodite’s 25th anniversary not only did we have the pleasure of working with Oliver Spencer, Grenson and Nudie Jeans on some seriously good collaborative clobber, but we also threw a bit of a party to mark the occasion. With the good people from Deja Brew spinning some of the funkiest tunes found this side of the River Wear and the botanical boffins at Port of Call keeping everyone well and truly hydrated, the evening went swimmingly, carrying on, much to the dismay of those at work in the morning, well passed everyone’s respective bedtimes. Take a look at what went down below and a big thanks to everyone for both the amazing turn out and support over the years.

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

 

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite 25th Anniversary Event

Aphrodite Since 1994

Celebrating 25 Years of Aphrodite Clothing

Way back in ’94 the universe was aligning to bring all sorts of stellar happenings to our attention; Oasis’ debut album, ‘Definitely Maybe’, and Blur’s, ‘Parklife’, were both gearing up to kick off the ‘Battle of Britpop’, across the pond the newly acquainted cast of Friends were preparing to film the show’s pilot episode, while Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption were all enjoying the fruits of their labour on the big screen.

And amidst the superlative cinematic moments and wide cultural shifts that ‘94 delivered, the local menswear scene here in Sunderland was also evolving. With the intention of bringing the finest menswear goods to the superb people of the North East, we launched Aphrodite Clothing from its first brick and mortar location at 8 Vine Place, Sunderland. Now, with a solid 25 years under our belt, we’re taking a minute to roll back the clocks on the storied history of Aphrodite…

1994:

September 8th, 1994 – Having secured the keys to a city centre base and identified a gap in the market for quality menswear, we opened the doors to Aphrodite and our unbeknown future in the fashion industry. Blanc Bleu, Amanda Basi, John Tate, Ted Baker and John Smedley were the five starting brands under our ‘94 umbrella and from here we would establish and cement an enduring relationship with menswear aficionados of past, present and future generations.

Aphrodite Clothing in 1994

2000:

Circa 2000 – In the six years following our debut we had successfully laid the groundwork for a bigger and better Aphrodite; business was thriving thanks to the support of our loyal customer base, and demand had surpassed all our expectations. The installation of a brand-new shop front, interior refurbishment and expansion into the previously vacant first floor was not only a certain way for us to move with the times but, also reward our growing clientele. This touchpoint would see the store double from 800 sq. ft to in excess of 1600 sq. ft.

Aphrodite Clothing in 2000

2003:

September 2003 – Now nearing a decade since our inception, 2003 brought yet another renovation for us. Leading retail designers Rawfish were drafted in to transform the aesthetic of the store. Bolstered by brushed stainless steel, frames of industrial brickwork, American walnut flooring and a glass staircase, the new look and feel of Aphrodite, and our reworked logo, truly set us aside from our competitors, offering customers a chance to escape the ‘hustle and bustle’ of retail, and instead, visit an intimate space that was more akin to a trendy Manhattan loft than a conventional shop.

Aphrodite Clothing Interior

2007:

Mid-2007 – Aphrodite Clothing enters the world at large. 2007 would welcome the launch of www.aphrodite1994.com, and our vast national and international following. While enjoying the home comforts of trading at our original Vine Place site, our online presence quickly grew and has since evolved throughout the years with, of course, millennial taste in mind.

2012:

With a tried and tested online operation in place, our web department would uncover new residency in a separate city centre building to cope with the global demand here at Aphrodite Clothing, while working alongside a brand-new photography studio – dedicated to delivering supreme menswear content.

2014:

September 8th, 2014 – Aphrodite reaches the grand old age of 20, that’s a whole 7,300 days trading! After expanding the ground floor space into the vacant adjacent building; creating in turn, a place to land the game’s hottest trainers across our brand-new sneaker wall, the store was near enough unrecognisable compared to its humble ‘94 beginnings.

In honour of our 20th birthday, casual clothing maestro, Stone Island, curated an exclusive window display that would work as the backdrop at our celebratory in-store event and subsequently be featured in magazine heavyweight, GQ’s, AW14 issue.

Aphrodite 1994 Trainers

2015:

“Kanye believe it?” – Bringing a touch of Calabasas cool to the streets of Wearside, Kanye West’s ‘Yeezy’ collection brought with it the biggest customer frenzy we’ve seen to date. The highly anticipated launch of the rapper’s ‘Yeezy 350 Boost’ seen our phones ringing off the hook, inboxes flooded and a queue that stretched the length of Vine Place and far beyond!

Aphrodite Clothing Yeezy

2018:

September 7th, 2018 – Aphrodite joins forces with SAFC. Since it’s no secret that football and fashion go hand in hand what better way to unite the two industries than with an official partnership? We ourselves are lifelong supporters of the club and have been in the business of outfitting Sunderland’s footy fans since the dawn of time. You can now find us proudly sponsoring SAFC across the club’s official team news.

Aphrodite Clothing SAFC

2019:

September 8th, 2019 – WE’RE 25! With our biggest team and brand portfolio to date, the business is only looking forward as we approach our official 25th birthday. Having built a strong rapport with Mackems, we’ve successfully kept local people, on the hunt for luxury gear and quality customer service, homebound and investing in Sunderland. Thanks to the unwavering support of the North-East, and people worldwide, we’ve been able to exclusively collaborate with brands such as Nudie Jeans, Oliver Spencer, New Balance, Paul Smith and Grenson, while undergoing continued expansion and improvement and delivering a friendly, personal service. HERE’S TO THE NEXT 25 YEARS…

Aphrodite Clothing BagsAphrodite Clothing Exterior

The Iconic Nike Air Force 1 Utility is Back With A Bang

Arguably one of the most iconic pieces of footwear Nike have produced, the Air Force 1 has become a firm favourite in the wardrobes of many since its inception in the 80’s. The combination of style and function means the Air Force 1 survives year after year, while the original white-on-white design is the perfect blank canvas for the numerous recreations the shoe has seen over the years.

The latest reinvention of the Air Force 1 would be that of the Utility pack. Deconstruction sits at the forefront of this trainer’s design aesthetic; a squeaky clean canvas is decorated only with contrasting yet understated Nike branding. An exposed label tag can be found layered under the soft leather Swoosh (perhaps as a subtle nod to their upcoming collaborative partner Off Whites’ take on the shoe), while a double branded heel-pull and tongue label are home to an inconspicuous splash of colour.  All of this sits upon a textured leather upper, with a full length foam midsole that has cushioned our feet for decades.

The Nike Air Force 1 Utility is available on 1.11.2018 for £79. You can shop the two available colourways in-store and online here.

New Balance 247 Sport Collection Launching 11th February

Offering a fresh new feel, Boston based New Balance are set to release their 247 Sport Collection which is available to buy at Aphrodite from Saturday 11th February. Taking inspiration from urban lifestyle the latest collection sees quality craftsmanship infused with modern performance enhancing details for a contemporary finish. Staying in tune with the brand’s ethos the New Balance 247 takes key details from iconic New Balance models, while offering added features to produce a new look, feel and fit.

New Balance 247 Sport Collection

The new collection only amplifies New Balance’s reputation as a premier performance brand, with the trainers combining an engineered mesh with a neoprene sock construction and synthetic overlays. Paying homage to the New Balance performance trainers, the 247 feature a reflective welded N logo, reflective collar strap and rubber sport tongue label. Creating a collection that puts emphasis on style and practicality.

New Balance 247 Sport Collection

 

New Balance 247 Sport Collection

Revolutionizing the sport lifestyle concept, the new 247 take priority as a lifestyle product over a performance based trainer. The use of flexible elastic and breathable mess (this can be seen in the toebox area and collar) provides ventilation for the wearer and once again references the ‘on the go’ ethos for the 247 Sport Collection. The lightweight materials used provide the wearer with a comfortable finish, perfect for everyday use.

New Balance 247 Collection

New Balance 247 Collection

The New Balance 247 Sport Pack releases online and in our Sunderland Store on Saturday 11th February.

 

More Info:
Style: MRL247OR (orange/black) | MRL247OL (olive/black) | MRL247BK (black/black) | MRL247BI (spearmint/black)
Price: £69.00
Available: Now

Christmas Opening Hours Week Comm. 21st December 2015

Aphrodite

With Christmas Day less than a week away, our store in Sunderland will be open for late night shoppers throughout the run up to the big day. For the week commencing 21 December 2015, please note the following opening hours if you are planning to call into the town centre and shop at Aphrodite.

  • Monday 21 December: 9am – 8pm
  • Tuesday 22 December: 9am – 8pm
  • Wednesday 23 December: 9am – 8pm
  • Thursday 24 December: 9am – 5pm
  • Friday 25 December: Closed
  • Saturday 26 December: 9am – 5.30pm
  • Sunday 27 December: 10am – 5pm
Please note, our online office will still operate between the hours of 9am – 5.30pm throughout this period for any telephone or email enquiries.

Aphrodite is located at 7-8 Vine Place, next to TTonic and Hays Travel. If you have any queries, please call our customer service team on 0191 5675898.

Aphrodite turns 21

Today is a milestone for Aphrodite, as we turn the big 21. Last year we celebrated 20 years of business in Sunderland by collaborating with brands such as Barbour, Oliver Spencer and Paul Smith and launching our brand new shop fit with an in store party.

Aphrodite was formed in 1994 by brothers Andrew and Duncan McKenzie, with the ambition and drive to support their enthusiasm for contemporary fashion and designer menswear. Fast forward 20 years and we have grown from strength to strength, with a successful store and website with over fifty designer menswear brands on our shelves.

We are always grateful for our loyal customer base both in store and online which has made the whole experience even more special. If you’re in the Sunderland area, make sure to pay us a visit where you will be greeted by our polite and friendly staff who are always happy to help.

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes, here’s to another 21 years!

 

Sunday Lookbook – New Arrivals AW 2013

Here at Aphrodite we have had over 150 new arrivals come through the door in the last 2 weeks, with many of these available to purchase online and the rest coming very soon. Top name designer brands such as Moncler, Paul Smith, Y3 and Ralph Lauren are a few that have new AW 2013 stock now available which will help keep you warm this winter along with adding that stylish modern edge to your look. Whatever your looking for whether its some chunky bold knits, footwear, that prefect winter coat or the staple pieces like polo shirts and jumpers, the new AW collection here at Aphrodite will have something for everyone’s taste. Make sure you check back daily for our latest new arrivals to be constantly up-to-date.

We are offering free UK delivery on all full price orders over £100, so now is the time to get stocked up on clothing for the coming.

Moncler Ralph Lauren ClothingDesigner KnitwearDesigner Trainers

Wrote by Sarah Kearney

Behind The Scenes At Barbour

What is the first thing you think of when we say Barbour? British, Northern, Waxed Jackets, Country? Whatever you relate Barbour with, their is no getting away from the fact that they are a brand that personifies Britishness, the ultimate British heritage brand that has expanded and grown over the years to become one of the most sought after brands all over the world.

Aphrodite managed to organise a trip to the famous Barbour factory for a behind the scenes guided tour of the working factory and we have put together this blog post showing the full tour including a special archived area, design studios and the factory floor, giving you an insight to the world of Barbour.

Being a company based in Sunderland, we are very proud of the fact that the Barbour Factory is still based in South Shields in the North East of England, the original starting place for the brand. The factory that the company resides in today has been occupied by the Barbour family since 1981, expanding and growing as and when needed. Today the factory has a workforce of 150 people, who all play a vital part of the smooth running of the production team, producing quality products to the highest standards that Barbour pride themselves in. We were actually surprised how smoothly the production process ran as we made our way through the factory from area to area.

Our first stop was in the menswear show room, showcasing the new lines and collection for the coming seasons. Point of sale displays and the visual merchandising of the collections were bang on trend, mixing vintage aspects with new elements to appeal to all age groups. Each collection, for example heritage, department B, lifestyle etc has its own unique look and feel, which is followed through the complete collection and covering all aspects of branding, from lookbook designs, POS stands, photography and even down to the garment labels, making each piece instantly recognizable to its own collection. This is a huge part of Barbour’s branding and marketing strategy, and helps each collection have its own identity, while still being instantly recognizable as a Barbour product.

 

BarbourBarbour ClothingBarbour Jacket

As we made our way to the factory floor, we couldn’t help but notice the family feel and atmosphere throughout the buildings. You can genuinely tell that this is a family run business and how much pride every person takes in their role in the company. At the present time Barbour is in its 5th generation of a family owned business, with Dame Margaret Barbour as Chairman and her daughter Helen Barbour as Vice Chairman and Head of Barbour Sporting.

The factory itself was a lot bigger then we thought and the number of workers was far more then we anticipated. All together Barbour has a workforce of almost 600 employees, 150 of whom are part of the production team and they are one of the Northeasts largest employers, with over 400 based in the North East area. 90% of the workforce has been with the company for over a year, with many employees having over ten years service. These statistics says all that needs to be said about the staff satisfaction, moral and ultimate enjoyment of the job.

Barbour

Every single jacket to go through the production process here is hand made and manual work is always preferred to machines. The workers need to be extremely skilled in their rolls to achieve the high standards set by the company. Watching the staff getting on with their tasks made it look easy, but the precision and accuracy needed for every part of the process is second to none, opening our eyes as to why Barbour has the price tag it does.

Barbour Clothing

The above images shows the initial stages of the creation of a waxed jacket, cutting out the templates for each part of the jacket and hand modifying them. This is a crucial exercise, as this is the basis of the jacket, if this goes wrong it could lead to a batch of imperfect jackets, wasting time, materials and ultimately money. Each piece is then moved to the sewing area, ready for the machinists to work their magic.

Barbour

Barbour JacketsThe above images shows the Bedale jacket under construction. At one time, up to 9 different types of jackets can be made on the factory floor, on this particular day 5 various styles were being produced.

The Machinist work is highly skilled, the art of stitching on waxed jackets cannot be re-worked, as it means that the garment wont be fully waterproof. Accuracy is essential.

After the jacket has been constructed, the buttons etc are added to the product, final checks are made and the final product is packed and ready for shipping around the world.

Barbour BrandBarbour ClothingBarbour JacketsEach jacket takes approximately 60-95 minutes to make depending on the style and detail, and each machinist makes the equivalent of 25 jackets per week, pretty impressive!

Customer Services

Barbour Jackets have became one the nations most loved jacket, and some people just don’t want to part with their possession. That is why the factory has a dedicated customer service facility, solely for repair and alteration. Wax jackets can be returned for alteration, repair and reproofing at any time to the original South Shields Factory where the jacket was originally made. On average it costs £25-£30 for a full re-wax.

We were allowed into the customer service department, and it was like stepping back in time. We were lucky enough to see jackets from as early as the 1980’s being sent back for repair, showing just how much Barbour is loved and how long they can actually last.

Barbour Jackets

Unusual items which have been found in the pockets of returned jackets to customer service are Keys from St James Palace, sheep’s tails, maggots, foxes teeth, a glass phial of monkey blood, love letters and cash. So a nice collection there!

The popularity of this service is huge, with approximately 13,000 -14,000 jackets coming through the doors of the of customer services each year, where 17 specialists work in the repair and re-waxing center.

Barbour JacketThe waxing process altogether takes around 20-15 minutes per jacket.

Design Studio and Archive

We were lucky enough to get the chance of going into one of the working design studios at Barbour and got to see the archive collections from over the years. These pieces have shaped the way for the staple Barbour Jacket. Below shows a collection of photographs from the studios.

Barbour ClothingBarbourBarbour BrandWe would just like to say a massive thank you to the Barbour staff, especially Laura for taking us on this guided tour.

Aphrodite have a wide range of Barbour Waxed Jackets and Clothing available to buy online and in-store now. Head over to our Official Barbour Brand Page Now to view our full collection.