Ever since its inception in 1970, the Kenzobrand has been renowned for its bold, intricate and luxurious designs, and we are delighted to welcome Kenzo to our roster of the world’s finest menswear.
The brainchild of Japanese designerKenzo Takada, the Kenzo brand was formed in 1970. Having achieved a place in the prestigious Bunko Fashion College in Tokyo, Takada later moved to Paris where he opened his first boutique. The next year, his playful designs were hailed by American Vogue as the next evolution in boutique fashion. The first Kenzo men’s collection was unveiled in 1980 and cemented the brand as a global fashion player. Now the Kenzo brand encompasses an entire lifestyle range, from fashion to homewares to fragrance, and has become a household name with a true air of youthful yet luxurious prestige.
From humble beginnings crafting his first designs from scrap fabrics to gracing the torsos of some of the world’s most famous and influential people, the Kenzo brand is perhaps most famous for its Kenzo tiger logo, which graces a whole slew of Kenzo t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies. Elsewhere the brand plays with proportion, colour, and branding to create a forward-thinking vibe and an easygoing, wearable aesthetic. All of Kenzo’s garments maintain Takada’s original dedication to exceptionally high-quality fabrication: beyond looking good, the Kenzo brand has to be felt to be truly appreciated. From classic polos to sweatshirts, luxuriously soft knitwear and utility-inspired trousers, the Kenzo men’s collection truly carry on the original spirit of the brand.
You can find a range of Kenzo men’s clothing, including Kenzo t-shirts, hoodies, and jumpers, here at Aphrodite Clothing. Shop the full collection today.
Despite being thousands of miles apart, Japan and Sweden share a surprising kinship, in a shared minimal design sensibility. Combining Scandinavian sleekness with a playful Japanese-influenced sensibility, Axel Arigato sneakers are the perfect alternative brand for those looking for something different.
Helmed by Swedish designers Max Svardh and Albin Johansson, Axel Arigato has grown from humble beginnings in 2014 as an online-only footwear brand to one of the most sought-after sneaker producers for those in the know. Stocked only in select boutiques and department stores worldwide, the key to the brand’s success lies in its dedication to top quality materials and excellent craftsmanship at a reasonable price point. Crafted in Portugal from premium leather, suede and custom-woven mesh, the range is set apart in its distinctive 90s styling, taking influences from street and skate and updating them for a modern audience. The finishing touch comes in the packaging: a custom made box, branded dust bags and—uniquely—a pair of branded chopsticks in a tongue-in-cheek nod to the brand’s Japanese inspiration.
With classic designs like the Axel Arigato Clean 90 sneaker, along with more contemporary silhouettes like the Genesis, it’s no wonder that the brand continues to go from strength to strength with each collection. We are proud to be among the select stockists for this very special brand; find the latest collection in store and online now, and look out for more to come.
It’s not unusual for menswear to be inspired by uniform: as well as being rugged and highly functional garments, military and service uniforms give an air of masculine dependability that has proven irresistible for generations. From repurposed army jackets to motorcycle garments, denim workwear to arctic parkas, menswear is rife with references to vintage uniforms. But starting a brand with an explicit inspiration from a specific uniform is far more unusual—and makes Parajumpers jackets one of the most unique brands on the market today.
Inspired by a chance meeting with a member of the Alaskan 210th Rescue Squadron—aka the Parajumpers or PJs—designer Massimo Rossetti founded Parajumpers in 2006 with the aim of replicating the PJs’ uniquely-adapted uniforms. Designed to withstand years of use and abuse in some of the harshest environments known to man, the Parajumpers Gobi jacket is closely based on the original jacket that first caught Rossetti’s eye. Boasting a removable down-filled liner and coyote fur ruff, the Gobi jacket is designed for year-round wear, letting the wearer choose how much insulation they want, while still providing rugged, functional and stylish outerwear of the highest possible quality. Parajumpers jackets represent the pinnacle of comfort, technology and style for the modern man.
Throughout the range, Parajumpers jackets boast detailing and features inspired by Rossetti’s research into functional uniform—such as the signature cargo pocket which was inspired by a firefighter’s jacket—and are designed to withstand even the harshest conditions and look good while doing it. Features like detachable down linings, real fur trims and taped seams all add up to the ultimate in year-round weather protection. The signature heavyweight metal snap-hook hardware and PJS logo patch add the perfect finishing touches to your purchase.
We are privileged to introduce Parajumpers to our range of the world’s finest menswear brands. Find our growing collection in-store and online today.
The Stone Island brand name has many different connotations for many different people; for some, it is inextricably linked with football culture, in particular the casual movement — either in a positive or a negative sense; for others, it has become associated with the grime music scene, and has extended its reach beyond the terraces and onto the streets. But first and foremost, that iconic Compass badge on your sleeve is a symbol of quality, innovation and style — the principles on which the brand as we know it was founded back in 1982.
Stone Island Spring/Summer 1983 Catalogue
Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti is from a family with long ties to the clothing industry. By the 1980s, though, he had grown restless within the world of formalwear, and sought to diversify into something he found more appealing: sportswear. He and his sister established a firm — the creatively-named Sportswear Company — and scoured Italy looking for companies that shared their vision for innovative casual clothing, where they discovered (and promptly acquired) CP Company. Stone Island itself, however, was conceived almost by accident: Massimo Osti — founder and designer for CP Company, and household name for those in the know about technical sportswear — had conceived a new fabric dubbed Tela Stella, a heavyweight, oilskin-like material impregnated with different pigments on either side, and was determined to make something out of it. He couldn’t find a way to make it fit within CP Company’s collection, however, and so decided to craft a small collection of just seven jackets. In keeping with the military and nautical inspiration behind the Tela Stella fabric, he chose a compass as the logo for his new diffusion line: Stone Island was born.
Stone Island and Streetwear: From the Terraces to the Streets
Moving forward from this inauspicious start, Osti pushed ahead with fabric innovation, endlessly researching new textiles and ways to implement them, coming up with often outlandish, off the wall fabrics that no-one else had even thought of: heat-reactive weaves; nylon fabric laminated with hundreds of glass beads to change the colour in different angles; earth-dyed, acid-corroded canvas. This over-the-top approach, along with the masculine, military styling of the brand’s offerings was a large part of ‘Stoney’s’ appeal to the football casual crowd: fans travelling abroad for away and international games were always on the lookout for new and exciting garments to bring home and show off. Stone Island, with the one-off and unique nature of a lot of Osti’s fabrics, fit perfectly into this culture of one-upmanship, and the brand’s popularity was cemented from then on.
Because of this association with the hyper-masculine world of football casuals, the brand’s enduring legacy has been as a symbol of manliness. In more recent years, it has been adopted by inner-city kids in the UK as a status symbol, and in turn became associated with the grime music scene. Buoyed up by high-profile collaborations with streetwear giants Supreme and Nike, the brand’s appeal has diversified beyond connoisseurs and collectors, particularly across the Atlantic. Urban music superstars like Drake, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott have all embraced the ‘Stoney’ look of late, skyrocketing interest in a brand that was previously alien to those not living in Europe, and launching its appeal to a whole new generation of streetwear fans.
Stone Island Fabrics: Continuing Innovation
These days, far from being helmed by a single visionary like Massimo Osti or later designer Paul Harvey, Carlo Rivetti has assembled a team of designers to better embrace its newfound worldwide popularity and the diversity of its fanbase, stating “It [is] necessary to be multicultural in order to be truly contemporary … I felt that in this era it is this possible to face all aspects of a world only with several minds and several visions.”
Stone Island Heat Reactive Jacket
This ethos has lead to the continuation of the innovation and research that Massimo Osti started all those years ago, and Stone Island holds its reputation for using unusual and technologically-advanced fabrics and finishes. Some recent examples:
Micro Reps: Stone Island Micro Reps is one of the brand’s staple fabric constructions. A classic nylon, the warp and weft fibres are of different thicknesses, allowing for a much tighter weave than a traditional nylon fabric. This not only provides natural weather resistance, but serves as the ideal base for the brand’s garment dyeing experiments.
Nylon Metal: We’ve written about this one before: nylon fibres with an irregular structure are woven as grey weft and white, ready to dye warp threads, and undergo an elaborate double-dyeing process to produce a fabric that has an iridescent sheen in different lighting conditions. This can produce a subtle three-dimensional effect, or be used with bright, contrasting colours to provide some pretty wild results.
Tank Shield: Crafted from matte polyester fabric, the whole jacket is first assembled and then internally laminated with overlapping panels of a weatherproof, breathable membrane, giving superior weather resistance and a near-seamless look.
Heat Reactive: A highly limited capsule, the Stone Island Heat Reactive jacket from SS19 was a cotton ripstop construction, printed all over with a three-colour fractal camo design in a heat reactive pigment. As the wearer’s body heat warmed the fabric, the pattern became brighter and more prominent, also revealing a large Stone Island logo to the back.
This is just a tiny fraction of the scope of the brand’s vision: the brand’s own historical archive consists of over 7000 pieces, while their research archive is larger still, at over 40,000 items of vintage sportswear and militaria.
Stone Island Badges
Aside from the high-end fabrics and construction, perhaps the most important element of a Stone Island product is the removable badge, normally found on the left side of the garment, with the Marina collection breaking the mould and not featuring the badge at all, instead opting for bold text printing. There are a number of different versions of the badge which denote different aspects of the brand. The standard, most commonly recognised badge is the yellow and green compass rose badge (above left). Despite switching from a green border to a black one, the classic badge has remained unchanged since the brand’s inception, and is a tribute to both the military inspiration of the brand and the sense of adventure and exploration driving Osti’s research.
There are a number of monochromatic badges (above centre) that were originally used for what the brand dubbed Ghost Pieces: with fully tonal designs in a variety of colours, including black, red and white, they were conceived as a kind of modern camouflage, allowing the wearer to blend in while still keeping the unmistakeable Stone Island aesthetic. More recently, the tonal black badge has been used to denote pieces from the Shadow Project diffusion line: combining Stone Island’s technical fabric expertise with directional, futuristic designs from ACRONYM’s Errolson Hugh.
The White Compass badge (above right) is seen on limited edition pieces, often known as ‘Champagne Pieces’ because of the colour of the badge. These jackets often use even more innovative fabrics and construction that can only be created in small quantities, and are often at a higher price point to the normal line, due to the limited nature of their production. Of course, the flipside of this limited aspect is that the pieces become collectors items in years to come, holding their value for a lot longer than others, if not increasing it.
Celebrities Wearing Stone Island
Drake with Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti
The Weeknd in Supreme x Stone Island
As mentioned above, Stone Island has been spotted on more and more celebrities recently. One of the more high-profile representatives of the brand has been music superstar Drake, who seems to wear the brand almost exclusively these days, even going so far as to have custom pieces made for his Boy Meets World tour. Drizzy is joined in his love for Stoney by fellow Canadian star The Weeknd, who was recently spotted wearing pieces from the Supreme x Stone Island collaboration (for extra streetwear kudos), as well as rap mainstays Kanye West and Travis Scott.
Jason Statham in Stone Island
Back over in Blighty, grime artists are often spotted sporting the Compass, including Tinie Tempah and Skepta, while Hollywood hardman Jason Statham is another of the brand’s high profile fans.
Stone Island Headquarters Tour Video
In this unique video, Carlo Rivetti opens the door to the Stone Island empire and allows the public a sneak peek at the research and experimentation that goes on behind the scenes. It offers a fascinating glance into how the brand operates behind closed doors.
A major name in Italian fashion, DSquared2 holds the motto “Born in Canada, Living in London, Made in Italy” which embodies the brand’s history and ethos perfectly. Founded by Canadian identical twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten, the brand’s collections display a wealth of influences from across the globe.
DSquared2 Brand History
The Caten brothers founded the brand in 1995 and, thanks to their dedication to luxurious construction and the irreverent, punk-infused attitude of the clothes, quickly became a favourite among fashionistas and celebrities alike. The brothers capitalised on their growing reputation, forming relationships and connections with their most high-profile and influential customers. This strategy resulted in them working closely with stars like Madonna and Rihanna on collections for the artists’ tours, as well as enlisting them to walk the runway for spectacular shows.
This penchant for spectacle translates to the clothing, with heavily distressed and embellished detailing appearing as a signature throughout the brand’s collections, along with nods to the Caten brothers’ home of Canada with maple leaf and rugged outdoor motifs. DSquared2 jeans in particular are popular for their outlandish styling and exceptional quality. As enshrined in the brand’s motto, all the clothes are made and hand-finished in some of Italy’s finest couture factories, giving the brand a healthy mix of opulent fabrics and rock’n’roll attitude.
Uniquely, the brand has extended their collaborative stance to outfitting football teams, starting with Juventus in 2006 and more recently with Manchester City. These partnerships showed a more subdued, sophisticated side to the brand, which has started to cross over into the main DSquared2 collection, resulting in a well-balanced, wearable range that still boasts the Caten brothers’ unmistakeable graphic sensibility.
We are proud to be official stockists of a range of DSquared2 t-shirts, jeans and other apparel, welcoming the brand to our list of the world’s finest menswear. Shop the whole range today, and keep an eye on our social media channels for all the latest news and arrivals.
Trust the Swedish to know a thing or two about excellent outdoor gear; with their naturally rough terrain and classically Scandinavian climate, plus the country’s traditional inclination towards a minimal aesthetic, they’re well-positioned to know exactly what to put into clothing to make it work without being overdesigned, and none have been doing it for longer and with more success than Fjällräven.
Named after the Swedish word for the arctic fox, the brand was first conceived in 1960 when a teenage Åke Nordin came up with the idea of a rucksack with an external frame to relieve back pressure. Working in his parents’ home, Nordin honed his idea until it was finally ready: utilising a lightweight aluminium frame, the body of the bag was made from tent material, which was both wind- and water-resistant and highly durable. Over time, the brand developed their own version of this fabric, dubbed G-1000: a 65/35 poly/cotton mix, the fabric refined the properties of the surplus tent fabric into something more supple and easy to wear. The first piece of clothing to use the newly-developed fabric was the now-iconic Fjällräven Greenland Jacket, which quickly became a hit among the fellwalkers, climbers and general outdoor enthusiasts across Europe for its simple, stylish design and utilitarian resistant properties, and was readily identifiable by its distinctive brown leather Arctic Fox patch sewn to the left arm.
Fast-forward to 1978 and Fjällräven has established itself as one of Europe’s go-to outdoor brands for both clothing and accessories. Responding to a report of a rise in back problems among Sweden’s schoolchildren, the brand goes back to its roots to design a better backpack for kids: the Kånken. With its distinctive rectangular shape and canvas Arctic Fox patch, the Kånken remains a hit with kids and adults alike for its comfortable wear, deceptively-spacious capacity and wide selection of colours.
Like many brands who focus on the outdoors, Fjällräven are keenly interested in protecting the environment they love so much: today’s G-1000 fabric utilises recycled polyester and organic cotton, the brand has recently eliminated PFC coatings from its whole range to mitigate any potential harm to the environment, while its supply chain is regulated by the Fair Labor Alliance (FLA), a global organisation to provide fair working conditions and wages across the world. Further, the brand has also donated to initiatives for conservation of its namesake arctic fox, which is under threat from climate change and hunting.
We’re proud to welcome Fjällräven to our selection of the world’s finest menswear brands here at Aphrodite Clothing, and whether you’re after a classic Greenland Jacket, a Kånken backpack or wardrobe essentials like flannel shirts and wool beanies, the leather Arctic Fox mark is your sign of hardwearing quality for years to come.
For those in the know, the names Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons are synonymous with a certain fashion sensibility; one that eschews trends, norms and the status quo to offer up not only an uncompromised vision for fashion, but a unique business model that encompasses over 17 departments, sub-labels and retail ventures. One of the most influential fashion houses of all time, Comme des Garcons was established by Kawakubo in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Meaning ‘like the boys’ in French, Comme des Garcons – often shortened to CdG – has constantly been pushing and reshaping the boundaries of what the world considers ‘fashion’ since its catwalk debut in 1981. Drawing inspiration from punk and underground subcultures, history and folklore and everything in between, the relentless innovation of Kawakubo and her design team has kept the brand constantly and consistently relevant to the fashion landscape; a claim that few, if any, others can lay claim to. Keeping production in Japan as much as possible, Kawakubo herself still heads up the majority of the brand’s multitude of diffusion lines, including the men’s ready-to-wear line, Comme des Garcons SHIRT.
As the name may suggest, the Comme des Garcons SHIRT brand uses the traditional man’s shirt as an anchor for its design ethos, but, in true CdG style, plays with the notion in surprising and unexpected ways. Exaggerated cuts, unusual material choices and distressed detailing all play a big role in the CdG SHIRT aesthetic, transforming what might ordinarily be part of a daily uniform into a unique artwork in itself.
At the more casual end of the spectrum, CdG SHIRT also produces its own takes on casual staples like t-shirts and hoodies, with their own label-within-a-label Comme des Garcons SHIRT Boys. Displaying the same idiosyncratic design approach and attention to detail of the main collection, CdG SHIRT Boys employs hand-finished branding and distressing, lending the pieces a streetwear sensibility that’s aimed at a younger audience, while still channelling the same punk spirit as all of Kawakubo’s work.
For some, the name Eastpak requires no introduction; synonymous with high-quality, affordable luggage with a huge range of design and finish options, Eastpak has long been the brand of choice for students and stylish individuals to carry their essentials around, whatever they may be.
The History of Eastpak
Like many other of the most enduring designs in the clothing and apparel world, the story of Eastpak begins with them manufacturing goods for the military. Under the much less catchy name of Eastern Canvas Products USA, Ltd., the brand and its founder, Monte Goldman, manufactured a range of backpacks, duffel bags and other equipment for the US Army, which, like many other surplus products, found their way onto the backs of cash-strapped college students as a cheap and tough way to carry their books around. Monte’s son, Mark Goldman, had been taking notice of this growing trend when he joined the family business in 1976, and decided to change the brand’s direction drastically, becoming a fully-fledged lifestyle label targeted at those very same students. Their first product was the now-iconic Padded Pak’r daypack, which, with its rounded, compact shape, suede bottom and front zip pocket came to define the backpack as we know it.
As the Pak’r became more and more popular, demand increased for more varied styles and patterns, and in 1985 the brand expanded from its timeless traditional colours into more bold, abstract and fashionable territory, which became became the brand’s hallmark going forward. At the beginning of the 21st century, this flair for often outlandish colourways and patterns was parlayed into the first of the brand’s many designer collaborations, with Belgian designer Walter van Beirendonck, in 2004. Since then, such collaborations have become a regular part of the brand’s output, with influential Belgian designer Raf Simons helming a total of five thus far, along with brands like APC, Vetements and Ami also contributing their own twists on classic Eastpak designs.
Alongside the iconic Eastpak daypack styles like the Out of Office and Back to Work, the brand offers a number of other luggage options for larger or smaller loads.
The One Shoulder Bag
If you need a compact way to transport your travel essentials, the stylish The One mini bag is ideal. Another of Eastpak’s best selling products, this compact shoulder bag has a main compartment with useful interior and back zip pockets to hold mobile phones, passports, sunglasses or other travel necessities. The Constructed version is a bit more rugged, made from ballistic-grade nylon for exceptional durability to withstand whichever adventure you decide to take it on.
Bum bag, fanny pack, side bag…whatever you want to call them, these surprisingly useful bags have transcended their somewhat uncool ’90s associations and can be seen on runway models and street style influencers alike. Eastpak produce numerous versions in various configurations, but the Bundel is hard to beat in terms of good looks and capacity, packing 3.5L of storage into a compact body; you’d be surprised how much you can fit in one of these! Perfect for hands-free commuting, this bag gives you quick and easy access to all of your daily essentials within its zippered pockets, while leather accents give it an undeniable vintage appeal. For something even more compact, the Springer is small, lightweight and durable, perfect for festivals or outdoor events.
For a higher carrying capacity, only a backpack will do. If a laptop is part of your everyday carry, a traditional daypack may not cut it; having a pack with a dedicated laptop sleeve is essential. Fortunately Eastpak have all the bases covered as usual. The Macnee backpack, for example, combines a military-inspired rolltop design with modern specifications, providing secure housing for up to a 15″ laptop along with a slew of pockets and compartments for any essentials and accessories, in a durable woven polyester material.
For anyone interested in quality, well-constructed footwear, the Made in England and Made in Italy labels have become synonymous with the best of the best, denoting companies that have decades, if not centuries of experience and know-how at their disposal. But in between these two countries, one company has quietly crafted a niche for itself as a maker of superb outdoor shoes with a timeless, rugged appeal: the Paraboot brand.
The History of the Paraboot Brand
The Paraboot brand was originally founded in 1908 in Izeaux, a small village at the foot of the French Alps which was known for its leatherworking, by Remy Richard, an ambitious son of a farming family. Richard had begun working as a factory agent, selling his designs to clients in Paris and having them made in a shoe factory in Iseaux, creating the ‘Chausseures Extra’ brand of high-end, leather-soled shoes, which proved a major success. In his travels across the world to show off his product at trade shows — again, to great acclaim — Richard made it to the United States, where he was intrigued by the rubber-soled boots worn by the Americans, and saw great potential in latex as a new material for his own shoes. After acquiring vulcanisation patents from Charles Goodyear Jr, as well as stitching techniques from his father, Richard began developing a process of attaching these rubber soles that were both watertight and sturdy enough to withstand extended use. In 1927 he debuted boots using this technique under the name Paraboot — from ‘Para’, a port in Amazonia where the latex was exported from — and cemented the direction of his brand to this day.
In 1937, Remy’s son Julien joined the company, taking the helm from his father. Unlike Remy, Julien cared little for the city, preferring outdoor pursuits like angling, hunting and horse riding, and decided that this was the audience the company should be targeting, as there was a gap in the market for outdoor shoes and boots with the level of quality and craftsmanship that the Paraboot brand could offer. This was a risky proposition at the time, with the Occupation looming and most companies opting for cost-saving materials and techniques. But Julien stuck to his guns, which paid off with his clientele of farmers, factory workers and builders, who appreciated such robust yet comfortable boots. Alongside these heavy-duty models, Paraboot also debuted less technical models for architects, doctors and surveyors, including the Morzine, the precursor to the legendary Paraboot Michael shoe, which remains the brand’s iconic model to this day.
Thanks to their dedication to quality, tradition and craftsmanship, the original factory in France has survived where many others have since folded, and it is here that the Paraboot brand still craft their shoes to this day, to the same exacting specifications as all those years ago.
In keeping with the brand’s DNA, Paraboot shoes are still durable enough for the outdoors, yet timelessly stylish enough to be worn in the city. Whether opting for a full outdoor-heritage aesthetic, or paired with more directional styles, the Paraboot brand makes a distinctive alternative to more mainstream shoe brands.
The Paraboot Michael shoe boasts a chunky profile with a mocassin-style upper on a commando sole unit, and is easily dressed up or down depending on what you want to wear with it; team with a substantial wool suit trouser for a smart look, or with cropped or rolled corduroy pants for a more casual vibe. The rubber sole and cork-filled footbed ensure that the shoes mould to the wearer’s feet, becoming more and more comfortable over time.
The Avioraz boot is a classic mountaineering boot in waxy leather with a heavy-ridged tread, striped rope laces and metal lace hardware, while still boasting a slim, well-proportioned last that balances style and functionality perfectly. Team them with heavy jeans or substantial wool trousers and your favourite knitwear to get yourself ready for winter.
Discover our range of Paraboot shoes in-store and online at Aphrodite Clothing today.