British heritage brand Wolsey opened their first store on Friday, on the fast-developing Brewer Street in Soho. Alongside newly established stores from Jack Spade and Stone Island, the brand brings its extensive quality, authenticity and history to an area that is changing into a menswear bastion just west of Piccadilly Circus.
Wolsey, which was established in 1755, represents its heritage aesthetic within the store itself. Vintage draper’s cabinets line the walls, vintage light fittings light the windows, and vintage brickwork surrounds the till – the electronic chip and pin machine actually comes as a surprise. Captain Scott, Aston Villa and British Royalty have all been clothed by Wolsey, and the wooden beams and burnished steel makes clear the pride this brand has in its past.
The clothes themselves are modelled on iconic design and made of quality materials. Consistent heritage inspiration leads to a hoody with neck front fastening and quilted elbow patches – a pattern of incorporating modern influences with established details – an approach that is present throughout.
Never is there a poorly thought out choice. Everything has specific detailing or an aspect which makes it a bit more special than the average jumper or the average chambray shirt. FashionBean’s favourite is the indigo denim stripe trouser – its contrastingly detailed waistband and careful patterning makes it an example of the way Wolsey go about things.
Stone island opened their first store on the 27th of March, locating Italian innovation amongst sex shops and organic supermarkets. A few days later Jack Spade followed suit, opening their first European store on the 30th and offering men a slice of the working man’s Americana. Both offer very different attitudes to fashion to Wolsey, but the three still complement each other.
Classic Britishness is at number 83A, utilitarian Americanism is next door at number 83 and Italian sprezzatura is at number 79.