Thursday March 21, 2013
Hackett London makes 'fashion invasion' in KL
By BERVIN CHEONG
In a fashion invasion of sorts, Hackett London makes its presence felt in the city of Kuala Lumpur.
IMAGINE you are busy going about your business in the daily grind called life, when you suddenly come across a bunch of bowler-hatted men carrying umbrellas convening at a landmark location in Kuala Lumpur.
“Who are they? What are they doing? Why are they here?” you may ask yourself. Well, it was the Hackett Bowler Hat Invasion.
The “fashion invasion” that took place on Feb 25 was a marketing initiative by British menswear brand Hackett London to announce its arrival in Malaysia.
It marked the recent opening of the brand’s boutiques in the city, and six male models in dapper, tailored suits made several stops at several of Kuala Lumpur’s most famous locations.
Jeremy Hackett, the fashion designer and founder of Hackett London, sees this so-called “invasion” as a celebrated arrival of the brand. As the bowler hat and umbrella are synonymous with Britain, he thinks it is a humorous way of bringing the brand to our country.
“The message is that Hackett London is truly a British brand that understands its heritage. It is this heritage that we draw upon to dress men,” Hackett further explains.
As seen in the snapshots photographed exclusively for Star2, the fanfare involved the men posing at places such as the National Mosque, Merdeka Square and Petronas Twin Towers. Not only that, they also played an impromptu game of cricket at the Royal Selangor Club, stopped for tea at the Coliseum Café and took a train ride from the city’s railway station.
However, this is not the first time such a marketing initiative has come from Hackett London. It has been carried out by the brand in various cities all over the world for other boutique openings.
Hackett says: “The last one we had was in Italy for the opening of our Milan boutique. We had about 20 models similarly dressed, and they paraded around the city – sitting in cafés, reading an English newspaper and hailing London cabs which we had hired.
“The whole idea was just something I came up with one day. I felt it would be great fun and the perfect way to announce our presence, not to mention slightly eccentric, which, of course, makes it all the more British.”
Hackett also thinks that men all over the world are generally captivated by the image of the English gentleman. More so, with Malaysia having a past connection with Britain, there is still a lingering appetite for all things British.
“The introduction of British style and fashion through Hackett London has proven to be successful in other Asian countries. I believe that it will also be relevant to Malaysian men in this regard,” he adds.
For Spring/Summer 2013, Hackett London is giving a unique modern approach to evocative style. What is observed is that the brand’s contemporary take on classic menswear conveys both authenticity and originality for the season.
The different lines of the collection each tell a story. The Roaring 20s line brings a new modernity to a nostalgic man’s style, with a nod to the elegance of that era. In the Artist, we see the brand revisiting a period when big names such as Picasso and Matisse ruled, reflecting a bohemian, more laid-back style of living.
Boathouse channels the spirit and preppy, collegiate style of a bygone era when sportsmanship and the art of dressing up went hand-in-hand, while Desert Rally is a refreshing take on the traditional “British explorer” look, with a tougher, slightly more rugged, aesthetic.
Finally, there’s the Jamaica line. James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s Jamaican residence provides the setting for the final story this season, with lightweight blazers, bright cotton trousers and garment dye knits – perfect for warmer climes.
When asked, Hackett says that he particularly likes the soft tailoring of this season: “It is elegant yet relaxed. For example, the seersucker and linen suits co-ordinated with bow ties are very smart. The white paint splattered trousers are also my favourite, which can be worn with a simple polo shirt.”
Hackett London’s iconic Mayfair line remains sleek and streamlined for the new season. A slim silhouette is evident in all the designs, with emphasis on colours and patterns, especially checks.
What’s new is the addition of innovation to its tradition. The brand’s unique “mechanical stretch” process allows pure blend luxury fabrics and gives sharp tailoring a greater degree of movement in all its garments.
Hackett says that a man need not have a particular style to find Hackett London’s pieces appealing.
Instead he thinks that if you are interested in fashion, you will appreciate the brand’s aesthetics.
“I believe we present our style in such a manner that makes it desirable for a great number of men. We are here, really, to open up the possibilities of dressing well, and not to be dictatorial about it,” he comments.
His thoughts on the reception of Malaysian men towards Hackett London?
“Judging by the initial reaction to our boutiques in Kuala Lumpur, I dare say Malaysian men are indeed very receptive.”
Hackett London boutiques are located in Suria KLCC and Pavilion KL. The brand will be having a fashion show at Pavilion KL tomorrow evening.