Last Wednesday and Thursday (July 29-30), Britain’s casual menswear buyers, sellers, distributors and brand makers once again gathered in East London’s Truman Brewery for another edition of Jacket Required. As usual the show had a pleasantly relaxed and family-like vibe to it. Compared to the previous season, the show grew by ca. 40 brands to 250 exhibitors, making it necessary to provisionally extend the exhibition space on the ground/entrance floor and move the fair’s entrance to Hanbury Street.
Jacket Required presented a comprehensive picture of international menswear trends for spring/summer ’16 with its typical UK-own twist to it. The show not only featured a high number of true British apparel and accessory brands (Baracuta, Ben Sherman, Hunter, Clarks, Chatham footwear, Hancock raincoats etc.) but also a broader range of original sportswear/athleticwear brands (Umbro Heritage, Fila, Le Coq Sportif, Elesse Heritage etc.) than any comparable other European shows. Here’s our list of the most interesting findings at Jacket Required – in no specific order.

The main movement: Real retro sportswear
The likes of Umbro Heritage, Elesse Heritage or Fila (its UK-only licensee) all played around with signature branding and retro looks in a very cool way.  Also Russel l Athletic presented a new, more vintage-inspired collection picture under its new distributor Northern Lights Agency.

Retro shorts by Ellesse Heritage
Retro shorts by Ellesse Heritage

The trend item: Cycling shirts
Cycling continues to be a big collection inspiration, not only for classic sports brands such as Le Coq Sportif (who showed the most stylish cycling shirts around), but also for younger brands such as Rascals or the first output of brand-new British sportswear line Alphalab.

Knitted cycling shirt by Le Coq Sportif
Knitted cycling shirt by Le Coq Sportif

Best of footwear: Innovation
The more unusual, the better it seemed in the gangways of Jacket Required this time. Colorful foot-shaped models by Danish brand Nature Footwear, super lightweight micro fibre sneakers by Native Shoes or the broad range of fashionable pool slides by newcomer brand Slydes – innovation proved to be key in men’s footwear this  season.

Foot-shaped shoes by Nature Footwear
Foot-shaped shoes by Nature Footwear

Hype brand around: Been Trill
Risen from the #Been #Trill New York underground movement with members such as Off-White’s Virgil Abloh,  the label celebrated its UK launch at Jacket Required this season and instantly met the interest of buyers from high-profile stores such as Selfidges or End Clothing with its logo-fueled black-and-white sportswear aesthetics.

Hype from New York: Been Trill
Hype from New York: Been Trill

Best newcomer collection: Bethnals
In its fourth season, the London-based brand run by ex-Topshop denim officer Melissa Clement showed a unique unisex denim collection, including some cool loose-fit workers’ pants and striped heavy denim shirts.

Unisex denim by Bethnals
Unisex denim by Bethnals

Up-and-coming color: Baby pink
For instance manifesting in the fun light pink denim jackets at Waven.

Baby pink denim jacket by Waven
Baby pink denim jacket by Waven
Coolest girl’s item: Summer dungarees by Fila
Overalls + patchwork + retro branding = ultimate trend piece.

Retro dungarees by Fila
Retro dungarees by Fila

Accessory in demand: ‘P’ cap by Palace Skateboards
Worn by every fifth male visitor (at least that’s what it felt like).

Most special denim: Flying Horse’s super heavy denim

Potentially the next style icon: The men’s apron
Skate brand Satta presented an earth-colored version (originally supposed to go with the label’s hand crafted wooden slats) that had a cool and new look to it.

Pool slides galore: Slydes
Pool slides galore: Slydes