The new direct-to-consumer classics

Paravel luggage - direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand

No-fashion fashion; it seems the world is catching up with the ‘gentlewoman style’ set (according to the New York Times), who covet the best version of a thing that they can wear forever. This was the premise of my book, The New Garconne, which came out in 2016. The wardrobe building blocks featured in there have held up pretty well, although silhouettes have morphed slightly over time. But classics are classics, so I think we will always need a blazer, a tailored pant, a slim-heeled shoe and a decent tote.

Interestingly, some of today’s best classics don’t come from the heritage brands but from ‘direct-to-consumer’ (aka DTC) start-ups. Such as the January parka*, a ‘one style suits most’ iteration of the padded jacket, sold at an accessible price point in a contemporary style. These brands start with Just One Thing, get the customer and media interested, before slowly branching out into other things, tracking consumer feedback as they go.

So here’s my wee round up of today’s no-fashion-fashion classics…

Naadam knitwear.  These eco-cashmere basics are ethically made and well priced. How so? They buy directly from the goat herders, cutting out the costs of the middlemen and passing the saving to the customer. The Naadam $75 unisex sweaters are the hero item and get the Thingtesting stamp of approval, which is like the direct-to-consumer equivalent of the GHI tried-tested-and-trusted seal. Buy it here*.

Veja sneakers. The do-it-all sneaker that will take you from casual desk job to weekday date, Veja sneakers started off as an eco alternative to Adidas Stan Smiths and their ilk. Now they’re dipping a toe into performance shoes.

Re/done jeans. 90s-style 501s modified for today’s consumer, what a genius move. Re/done started out by bulk buying old 501s, deconstructing them, then stitching them back together. They were so popular that rather than being threatened, Levi’s decided to work with them than against. Now they’ve branched into designing their own jeans from scratch (along with other classic staples), but the modified old-to-new jean* is still its cult item.

La Bouche Rouge lipstick. I feel like I’ve written about these guys a lot. Their branding (all created by Self Service’s Ezra Petronio) is beautifully minimalist and the product is simple – a lipstick that’s micro-plastic free and designed to be refillable thus reducing waste. Founder Nicolas Gerlier honed his beauty chops during ten years at L’Oréal and SS20 sees more lip products joining the essential bullets. Buy it here and here*.

For Days circular tees. This tee company bills itself as the original closed-loop clothing company, meaning that nothing goes to waste. It has every possibly iteration you could want for your capsule tee wardrobe – from pocket to Breton stripes –  and when your tee is worn out, you simply return it for another, thus ‘closing the loop’.

Homme Girls shirts and blazers. Thakoon’s new jam, Homme Girls is part editorial platform, part print mag, part product. It’s started with shirts and blazers in limited quantities. These Italian-made shirts look perfect in every way.

Paravel luggage. With Away out of favour for the moment, could Paravel* (above) be ready to step into their luggage-to-lifestyle shoes?  These wheelie cases and accompanying organiser pochettes came to my notice via Keep it Chic and I like them for their easy functionality and classic styling. There’s a whiff of L’Uniform but with better prices. Buy it here* and here*


WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Paravel luggage
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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