Prefectly understated – Jak Shoes

You know yourself when it come to buying a new pair of shoes, it’s all about sizing, get the size right and comfort and fit usually come along with them. When it comes to Jak Shoes sizing, is all important. All Jak sneakers fit true to size, while the toe-box on each sneaker is a little slimmer than your average – think of it as a fit more akin to a pair of Common Projects than the slightly wider Adidas Stan Smith. The sneakers insole is also incredibly comfortable right out of the box which makes every pair incredibly easy to wear right away. Which means they need less breaking in than other shoes. 

Every trainer by Jak Shoes is made instantly recognisable thanks to their refined appearance, impactful presentation and unique colourways that range from the classic Royal Navy and Black hues to the more progressive and equally popular Mustard and Grape designs. Their particular favourite, the Jak Olympic sneakers, come with a lightweight sports rubber sole and a subtle two-tone leather upper. The Olympics’ high-shine leather uppers and contrasting calfskin linings will make for a wonderfully low-key sneaker and will offer the perfect contrast to a grey tapered trouser for more formal occasions, think Summer Weddings, Proms etc. JAK was founded in 2014, in Lisbon, Portugal, by Isabel and José Maria. Part of JAK’s vision is to create products with modern design, that are made of high-quality materials and age beautifully over time. They pride themselves on creating sneakers and accessories for an urban lifestyle and everyday use.



Why Thank you – Axel Arigato

WORDS BY DANIEL RAMSDALE

Axel Arigato have consistently been bringing contemporary and unique sneakers and apparel to the fashion industry for 6 years now. For a brand that is only 6 years old, they have achieved enormous success already, cultivating a following of 472 thousand on Instagram, and appealing to a wide target market of both males and females aged 18-45.

Founded in Sweden in 2013 by Albin Johansson and Mark Svarvdh, Axel Arigato has been built on contemporary fashion injected with counter-cultural references. None other than Japanese, with Arigato meaning “Thankyou” in English. From right at the very start, the Swedish label have preached that it’s all about showcasing the imagery they began with, and channelling that through various cultural references. These references mainly consist of music, art and architecture, which illustrate the brand image they want to globally project.

Both Albin and Mark started the label after spotting a gap in the market for affordable footwear that also combined couture quality. This is very much the reason for their meteoric rise in such a short time, with the brand known amongst the industry as the go-to for high end footwear with an affordable price tag

2015 however was the year where the wider fashion industry really started to take note of Axel Arigato, as they were initially in disbelief that the brand was producing 1 new sneaker style every week. It was considered that only the big dogs within the industry could achieve such a task, so when it was first heard that a brand only a year old and with a team of only two were achieving such a feat, bruh. This approach, coupled with a strategy focused solely on social media to build communities, has resulted in the brand already selling in over 100 countries. Oh, and let’s not forget, both founders didn’t even have any formal fashion education! Mad stuff.

Fast forward to 2019 and Axel Arigato has expanded their product offerings from sneakers to leather accessory goods and garments.  Japanese architectural minimalism and counter cultural references continue to provide inspiration for their offerings, resulting in unique designs that people justhaven’t seen before. This is why in my opinion we can expect the labels garments to reach the success of their sneakers, as their designs embody street aesthetic but offer that wide commercial value which reflect their huge, diverse target market.

To add, the brand look set to further their success on the brick and mortar scene with pop up stores held in Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm over the past year. Expanding their presence away from their already popular stores in Gothenburg, London and Paris. And with a host of collaborations with the likes of Samsung and CAT recently, the label born in Gothenburg looks set to continue to take the fashion industry by storm.

Let me tell you a story – The Cotton Story

It’s no secret that the fashion industry has changed, and our consumption of products has skyrocketed. Now, compared to just 16 years ago, the average person buys 60% more clothing and keeps them for half as long. 80 BILLION pieces of clothing are consumed each year – this is insane!The solution for the fashion industry is reaching a level of sustainable and environmentally responsible production and consumption. Brands like The Cotton Story have accepted this challenge and are doing their small part now to change the world. Fast fashion is like fast food – it’s no good for anyone!

The Cotton Story was founded with a simple but lofty aim; to offer luxury everyday clothing at a fraction of the usual price. They believe it’s time that clothing made with the finest materials should be available to everyone at an honest price. And they believe factories they’re made in should be ethically and sustainably run.

 The brand want was to flip this on its head, creating high-quality casual wear and delivering it to our customers at a fair price. They’re able to do this because they come directly to you, choosing not to work with department stores and retailers and in doing so, avoiding surcharges they pass on to their customers.

The Cotton Story wanted to create items that not only have a style you’ll love forever, but are of a quality that will last a lifetime.  By working directly with their factories, they are not only able to focus on creating beautiful products and delivering these to you at a fair price, but they can ensure they have the highest standards for both the welfare of the workers and the quality of their products. Remarkable standards. Remarkable quality. Remarkable price.

As a consumer the best way to enact change is with your wallet. Demand transparency, ask the hard questions and don’t settle for poorly constructed garments that fall to pieces after a few wears.The Cotton Story is only a small company but they are committed to growing sustainably and producing responsibly. There are three ways they ensure their manufacturing process has as little impact as possible and supports positive manufacturing techniques and workplaces:

1.      Recycling: All plastic, metal and oil by-products are responsibly recycled.

2.     Small Batch Production: by producing small batches they don’t overstock, it’s why you’ll never see them on sale pushing things you don’t need.

3.     Family run factories: Their garments are made in small scale, family run factories in Portugal, that pay a fair wage, support the European economy and deliver quality.

235 million tonnes of clothing were sent to landfill in the UK in 2017. While buying a t-shirt isn’t going to change the world overnight, purchasing a product that has a smaller environmental footprint and lasts longer is a step in the right direction.

Far more than a Parisen district- Pigalle

WORDS BY DANIEL RAMSDALE-HARRIS

Founded by Stephane Ashpool, and what originally began as a humble store front, Pigalle is a French streetwear brand, named after the former red-light district in Paris, that has gone to achieve a global consumer base since opening their doors in 2008through their quite brilliant ready to wear designs, fashion shows and truly authentic story.

Fun Fact: Ashpool’s mother was a major influence in the brand getting off the ground, with herself being an esteemed producer of fashion shows and still working at the brands Flagship store today.

The Parisian label wrestles with both race, class and gentrification to combat social restrictions in the French capital. This brand culture was epitomised when Ashpool, held his latest show in the remote nineteenth arrondissement, which is usually a 45minute ride from the city centre. This demonstrated Pigalle’s approach in fostering a dialogue around the racial divides in Paris, as white people tend to live in the center of the city, pushing immigrants on to the outskirts

Too add, Stephane Ashpool himself describes Pigalle’s sprit as a “Mixity”. This has seen Pigalle create a strong relationship with cultures such as bohemianism and basketball, relationships which have seen global praise from A-listers such as Rihanna and A$AP Rocky. The brand’s culture has also attracted strong acknowledgement from Bruno Pavlosky, Chanel’s president of fashion, who is now in fact Ashpool’s mentor. The result of Pigalle’s positioning within the fashion industry has seen a mass blend of super fans who run across the fashion spectrum, from streetwear fanatics to high fashion lovers.

The growth of the brand has also brought a host of high-profile collaborations with worldwide companies, particularly within sport and most noticeably 2 with NIKE and with EA Sports NBA 2K video game. Through this partnership, Pigalle and NIKE have created two Air Force 1 Silhouettes, renditions of countless basketball sneaker models and a whole outerwear collection incorporating basketball DNA. Perhaps more importantly however, Pigalle have used their collaborations with Nike to give back to the youth of their community, creating colourful basketball courts located right across from their flagship store. Further cementing the brand’s outlook as a hub for the youth of Pigalle. Authenticity and Community at its finest

I recently visited the Pigalle store myself and I have to say it really is the heart of the community, with basketball being played in their courts directly opposite and Stephane’s mum still working in the store. If there’s any example of a brand executing a strong emotional and loyal relationship with their consumers, look no further than the job that Pigalle have done. Interestingly, the brand does not have their own transactional website and are not stocked elsewhere worldwide, defining their approach for a tight nick and loyal community.

I strongly believe that Pigalle will go from strength to strength, and that stems from the emotional connection of their story and values that so many can relate too. However, to reach new commercial heights and an even wider audience, their brand must become more accessible.

Not only good for you but the planet too ! Bulldog Skincare Launch Environmentally Conscious Shower Gels  


Showering or washing is something we do, or should do everyday. Let’s face it Showering is a key part of a man’s daily regime, but until now, men have had to compromise when it comes to the product they use in the bathroom.  Experts in men’s skincare, Bulldog’s new line of environmentally conscious and vegan-friendly shower gels care about their impact on the world. They pride themselves on only using gentle, naturally derived cleansers, natural fragrances and bottles made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.  What’s more, these shower gels come in an oversize 500ml and 1L bottles to cut down on the amount of packaging per wash.Original Shower Gel

Featuring our signature scent with top notes of bergamot, lemon and lime and base notes of cedarleaf and juniper, this non-drying shower gel will gently cleanse your skin so that you are ready to face whatever the day throws at you.

Lemon & Bergamot Shower Gel

The light and refreshing explosion of citrus will give you the perfect morning pick-me-up whatever the weather is doing outside. This sunny shower gel has been formulated to cleanse your skin.Peppermint & Eucalyptus Shower Gel

Minty and invigorating, this is the ultimate post-gym shower gel. This refreshing treat is not at all drying yet will leave you feeling as clean as a whistle. Pop one of these in your gym bag and keep it in your bathroom after a sweaty commute home from work.Vetiver & Black Pepper Shower Gel

Warm, earthy and comforting, this spicy shower gel will cleanse your skin after a long day. We recommend using this before a hot date or a big night out for a soapy pre-event boost.