For more than two hundred and fifty years, Wolsey have outfitted all manner of modern gentleman in search of adventure and last week joined Stone Island and Jack Spade by opting to open their London flagship store in Soho's Brewer Street. Despite its illustrious past, from early pioneers of the Industrial Revolution, the invention of 'unshrinkable wool' to a Royal Warrant, as Wolsey flung open its doors, this was my introduction to the British label. What kind of menswear blogger am I!?
Now, having finally made its acquaintance, it is clear that this humble label is something of a (quiet) national institution. It has clothed some of its bravest and most inspirational men including arctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott to Britain's solders in both World Wars. Fast forward to today and the label continues to craft exceptional clothing for men of exploration and adventure - but climbing mountains and conquering far flung lands is not a prerequisite to wearing the label.
A quick look at key moments in Wolsey's past thanks to its AW12 look book.
Finding its new home in Central London's new menswear retail haven, the space itself takes inspiration from the brand’s original Leicester factory, still the location of its brand operations, References from Wolsey's past, consideration for material sourcing and attention to the smallest of details can be seen in the brick walls, brushed steel beams and wooden fixtures. Salvaged, prismatic pendants light the windows and low hanging 1940s British industrial pendant light fixtures give an industrial edge to the interiors. Contrasting with this are cut and sewn Persian rugs and original draper’s cabinets. This distinguished contrast gives a welcoming, relaxed and contemporary feel that reflects Wolsey’s commitment to celebrating its history and crafting contemporary design. A commitment that is obvious throughout its offering for SS12, as described to me by Wolsey's very own Richard Bengtsson during my tour of the store.
"Wolsey has always been at the forefront of producing quality menswear and the goal is to honour this heritage whilst looking forward. We're very proud of our history but we look forward. Ultimately we have always been a modern lifestyle brand."
Wolsey's Creative Director Richard Bengtsson
Inspired by its unrivalled history, Wolsey’s SS12 collection is a contemporary range influenced by iconic menswear classics. By drawing from the company's extensive archive of original military, labour, sport and expedition clothing, the new Wolsey and Wolsey 1755 collections reinterpret these classics for a new generation. The result is an array of staples which exude the essence of timeless design to fit nicely in any man's wardrobe. Having been introduced to the label, let me take you on a tour of its new home whilst showing off a few highlights from the collection...
Having finally made the acquaintance of the label and had the opportunity to have a good nose around its new home, I'm keen to watch Wolsey continue to reinterpret real British classics for a new generation.