London – Last night (26 May) LS:N Global held its finest network evening yet, dedicated to the New Gents.
Representatives from LS:N Global members such as Louis Vuitton, Clarks and Panasonic visited LS:N Global HQ to hear six talks by six experts who are engaging with the New Gents through their interest in tradition, connoisseurship and nostalgia. A resounding theme on the night was passion.
Do simple things well
Patrick Grant, British menswear designer of the year, talked passionately about how he rescued Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, and brought defunct Savile Row tailor E Tautz back to life – by ‘doing simple things as well as we can’. The traditional, hand-made nature of his brands is key to connecting with today’s consumers. ‘Even people who have no reason to buy our products become advocates,’ he says. ‘If you have an interesting story to tell, people will tell your story for you.’
Use the past for inspiration
Michael-George Hemus gave us all a taste of his passion – by providing bottles of his Truman’s Summer Runner beer, and telling the story of how he brought the brand, founded in 1666 and closed in 1989, back to life. ‘We want to make a 21st-century Truman’s,’ he says. ‘We use the past for inspiration.’
Connect through stories
Simon Mottram helped wash away any remaining skepticism by giving out bars of Rapha soap whose fragrance was sourced from and evoked Mont Ventoux, a mountain famed for its road races, and through his description of the brand he founded in 2004. ‘We connect through stories,’ he says. ‘Every product has a story label, which explains why this product is relevant.’ He also unveiled his ultimate mission, which is not to create a cycling brand. ‘My ambition is to make road racing the most popular sport in the world,’ he says.
Shave more tomorrow
Brandon Murdock, founder of the eponymous barber, described his passion for male grooming, and the idea of resurrecting the barber shop, as Alex Glover, who runs Murdock’s barber training programme, shaved a lucky few attendees. ‘Through the shave you can connect with the male customer,’ he says. ‘You can chat with him about skincare and grooming.’ Murdock has expanded from its Shoreditch home to outlets in Mayfair, Covent Garden and at the Liberty department store. There are suggestions that the brand is set to expand to New York and Paris, and it has recently launched a series of colognes.
The aristocracy of talent
Alice Ciccolini, author of men’s fashion bible The New English Dandy, described the deep roots of the connoisseurship that is so key to the New Gents. ‘People who go to [Savile] Row are not simply the aristocracy,’ she says. ‘They are the aristocracy of talent.’
Knowledge is currency
Finally, LS:N Global’s insight editor Max Reyner and trends researcher Julian Ellerby referred to the Diffusion of Innovation curve, to show how influential the New Gents tribe will be in the 2010s. They explained how New Gents like to be connoisseurs and enjoy stories. ‘Knowledge is the new currency,’ says Reyner. And Ellerby told the story of a vintage jacket that vintage shop Out of Town was struggling to sell. A denim railway jacket from 1930s America, complete with watch and pen pockets built in, the jacket should have been easy to sell. ‘But it had no grease marks, no marks to show where the arm moved, no signs of hard work. It looked as new as the day it was made,’ says Ellerby. ‘There wasn’t enough story in it.’
The evening proved once again how useful our new HQ is for hosting exciting, content- and conversation-led events. If you would like to know more about LS:N Global’s network events, contact Alena Joyette.
LS:N Global would like to thank the speakers.