Friday, 30 January 2009
When we started with our Japanese denim, those who knew about the amazing creature that is "Dry" denim were enthused. For those who hadn't sampled the delights, there was some trepidation about wearing such a rigid pair of jeans. Our reassuring words that they would get better and better with age were met with further questions, but on wearing they discovered how good they really are. We have various pairs from customers in different states of wear/wash etc that we are having photographed as a log book for newcomers.
This first pair is one of the first pairs from the first roll of denim. Worn for 12 months of near everyday wear, used on a bike through the streets of London. They were finally washed at the start of January and this is how they look. Washed at 40 degrees, on their own, no detergent and just hung to dry.
More pairs to come, some dry cleaned, some topped up with woolite, all looking good and telling a story. If you have any images then let us have them.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
The Taper Chino arrived in store today. They look great, I think they will take a few wears to break in although they feel softer than the jean in the same denim. With wearing they will look amazing. As they are a trouser construction the price is £85 but they will give good service! Legs are long as per our jeans.
We have had amazing success with our collaboration with Quoddy (one of the finest if not "the" finest handsewing company in the US).
We were having a review with them the other day and they gave us some price increases which kind of made us wince a bit! The price is going up to about £240 for the new season on all styles which is a lot to ask. What we plan to do is run them on a made to order basis. If you would like a pair then get in touch or come in to the store for a fitting. We will require a deposit for them but we then sort the rest out and you pay the balance on receipt of a pair of made to order shoes.
Let us know what you think.We understand that this is a crazy increase but the times we are in at the moment are pretty crazy and sadly out of our hands. If Albam were doing things then I think they would be like our products, honest, solid and dependable with enough individuality to make them worth it!
The new Pursuit jacket has just arrived along with the latest issue of Monocle. Perfect crisp weather at the moment for a spot of outdoor pursuiting!
The latest Monocle is great but as always going quick so if you haven't got a copy and are passing then drop in for your fix of Global briefings.
Monday, 26 January 2009
There is something amazing about early mountaineers. We are outdoor fanatics, well used to be until we moved to London! Modern movements are great but I was searching out images of early climbers, mountaineers and explorers and came across these two images of "Sandy" Irvine and Bentley Beetham. The former was Mallory's climbing partner and BB was also one of the team. These guys were tough and pretty cool. Before Gore Tex and the latest kit, they were up the mountains getting the jobs done. Legends for what they have done and what they might have achieved.
The backpacks are pretty special aswell!
Saturday, 24 January 2009
Last October I headed over to Tokyo to meet up with some buyers and stores over there. Some of you may remember I picked up a book called "Hunting Jacket Research". The function and fitness for purpose these jackets have is unbelievable, some date back to the 20's and they are a major inspiration for outerwear design today and certainly for us. So these are some of the first images from the book. I am trying to get a few copies for the store and online site as it is a major bit of jacket titilation for like minded people!
A couple of new styles for Spring 09, the first one is the cinch back chino, we have recut out chino's to create a new style with an articulated knee to give some 3d shape with a clean patch pocket on the back and a cinch for some extra detail. This is really an Autumn 09 development but we are going to try some to refine the fit and get some more trousers on the go for the times when you want an alternative to Albam Selvedge Denim.
The second style is a zip bomber jacket which we call our zip jerkin. Technically a "jerkin" is a sleeveless jacket but I grew up with it in my head that it is a lightweight bomber style. Technicality to one side, the Albam jerking has a double layer front to give more wind resistance when on our bikes. Being released in two fabrications the Spinker Drill from an amazing mill in Italy and a lightweight ripstop nylon. We did this so we have something to wear on our bikes but they are great little pieces to layer under or over our cotton work jackets or zip hoody being released in March.
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Tomorrow we get a top up of some of our denims and also a new style. Not for everybody but it does look great when worn in. Basically it is our Taper Chino fit in the Japanese denim. Slightly stiff to start with but when these break down they are that trouser/jean thing that sometimes there is a great need for.
Give them a go, break them in and enjoy!
There was also a great bike just loitering in the yard of the factory. No seat and no padlock but a great specimen of the old Made in England.
New styles are coming in and we have been having a bit of banter with one of our customers and he pointed out the similarities with our Scout Jacket and the jacket Dustin Hoffman wore in The Graduate. Must say I can't remember the jacket but the film is quality.
Thursday, 8 January 2009
Now I'm not into football but Alastair, Ray and Tom are, so when I went up to see Ray the other day after Notts Forests outstanding victory it was like a non stop football chat, then his phone goes off and there is not a standard ringtone but the sound of the Forest supporters at home!
Anyway back to work! We are in the process of tidying up this place so we can get some more styles worked up, it is like a tardis in there! The people that Ray has worked with in design terms is crazy! People we used to look up to and now he is working with us on sampling and getting things sorted before they go for full production. I wish you could meet all these people, maybe one day we can organise a get together so you can meet the people behind the clothes and the pictures. A logistical nightmare as they have things like reading the football reviews before they get their tea but we can dream.
There is more to come from our factories, I am starting a series of photography expeditions with a close Albam friend John Spinks who will be documenting in film the factories and the cities that made Great Britain. Spending so much time travelling around them and speaking to people it is something that I am passionate about and just for three little words: Made in England, that is not to knock our friends in Portugal, the USA and Italy because they can do things that we can't but until I get over there with my camera we will have to leave it at that!
We have had a lot of people wanting some new denim styles and we are working away. The first to come through is being laid up here. A slightly smarter style in that it is based on a chino in our Japanese denim. Tonal stitching so more like a workmans pant than a classic 5 pocket jean. With the denim breaking in in the way it does they will look pretty good.
For the 5 pocket fans, we are working on a couple of new styles, one based on our straight leg jean with a slightly slimmer leg and then a looser style again for a few months time. Let us know what you think, what your favourite styles are, what you would like to see and we can see what we can do. But these things do take time to get sorted so if they don't come out after a couple of weeks, it is not that we have forgotten! I wish there were more hours in the day to get these things done.
Well, another year gone and we are in 2009 and back up to the factories! Just a quick welcome back to all those making Albam products in 2009. More jeans being cut, more cagoules on the way and the start of the fabric deliveries for Spring styles which should be arriving at the beginning of March in store and online.