Starting the New Year often begins with reflecting on the previous. Loads of things to remember fondly and equally not so, but also a chance to take stock and re-visit the highlights, one of which came pretty late on in the year in Spitalfields, East London.
Passing the Wear London shop, it was clear to see the neatly presented rail system of garments that just looked immediately ‘wearable’. It’s rare that a new offering can grab you and drag you off the street so quickly, especially in a rush, but this one does and it did.
The garments are, to put it simply, all stylish and effortless. It’s prime territory for the man that’s wants a no fuss short-cut to looking damn good in quality product and it’s price label will be a nice surprise too as the brand utilises their own experience to work with limited edition fabrics from long standing Italian and UK mills to create their pieces. The added bonus, not everyone will be walking around in the same ‘get up’ as you as once it’s gone, it’s gone!
Wear London is a brand built on the simple foundation of a passion for menswear. A collective experience driven by the finer details, fabric innovation and more importantly, bringing manufacturing back to the UK.
The brainchild of Alex Hayes and Matt Lea, Wear London began life in 2020 following a working relationship of 11 years prior with a London based fashion manufacturer.
Originally from Swansea, Hayes started working with Lea, from Basildon back in 2006. “I originally worked in the Hong Kong office and then came back to London where I met Matt and we clicked. We decided to start our own company in 2017 which supplies customers including ASOS, Jack Wills and Amazon among others. We also have a presence in UK manufacturing.”
Lea’s background combines a distinct passion and love of music with fashion, something he sees as a 100% natural fit. With a 33-year experience in the jacket business, his connections across fabric innovation and heritage mills has allowed for Wear London to be able to work to their own unique model. “I’m always inspired to continue sourcing new fabrics and having that possibility to create our own brand was the next dream for me,” he says.
Not an accidental creation, but one certainly motivated by the economic downturn created by COVID, Wear London came to the fore as factories were looking to keep busy. Using limited edition fabrics from sample measurements, the Wear team created an initial few styles, built a website and found that the product flew out of the door. “It’s crazy. One year later we have three stores and a growing online business,” adds Lea.
With UK manufacturing and sustainability front of mind, Wear London is keen to talk up the the quality versus affordable aspect of the brand and additionally has a style that is reaching everyone between the ages of 20-90!
“In Italy specifically, the mills develop a lot of new fabrics throughout the year, whether they are trial pieces, orders that haven’t been paid for, or simply just new ideas,” add Hayes “Usually, mills don’t like to show stock fabrics to customers because they want to sell full priced items. We are in a fairly unique position however, thanks fo Matt’s relationships, they allow us access to these stocks, which in turn means we can pass on the benefit to the consumer. These select fabrics include 100% recycled wool.”
With exclusive fabric comes a potential frustration with customers that there will be no further stock once sold out, but on the whole, this issue is one Wear London takes as a positive “Listen, we think it’s good for the brand image,” says Lea. “People know they are getting a limited edition item and at a great price, but there is the down-side of once it’s gone, it’s gone. We may lose the odd sale here and there because of that, but the benefit to the story outweighs the negative.”
With their stripped back, simple and clean look, Wear London is an excellent offer for those not looking to follow the seasonal trends and bold colour ways of the High Street. Jackets, pants and accessories in beautiful fabrics and in wearable styles can found throughout the business.
“In five years time we would love to have several more stores and a stronger online presence,” says Hayes “We would like the brand to be known for keeping its integrity, maintaining made in UK with surplus fabrics, we may even venture into womenswear.”