Jacket Required (26-27 July) tradeshow, held yet again in east London’s The Truman Brewery, concluded its SS18 edition on Thursday afternoon. This outing saw womenswear introduced for the first time. In typical Jacket Required mixed-format style, it was done in a relaxed way, with no separate sections. In most cases, brands that have exhibited menswear before simply added women’s products to their stands, meaning that the new direction appeared very subtle. Event director Alice Elliot explained in a previous statement that the inclusion of womenswear had been under discussion with brands and buyers for some time. “We have a number of labels that are extremely relevant to the women’s market as they stand, and we are keen to provide them with a platform to showcase a strong womenswear edit to targeted retailers,” she explained.
Speaking to brand representatives on the day of our visit, an agent, who asked not to be named, commented: “We’ve always wanted to show our women’s range but there hasn’t been anywhere suitable to do so in the UK until now. It might take a couple of seasons before the womenswear buyers start coming through as the show is known as a menswear platform, but we’re really pleased that the Jacket Required team has taken this decision.”
As for the mood in the halls, designers and brand representatives were positive, noting that the fair has become a good networking spot, attracting key buyers from the UK and beyond. On the day of our visit, the ground floor halls were busy, with slightly less activity in the upstairs areas.
Here, a few highlights from this season’s edition – across men’s and women’s:
Belgian menswear brand Eat Dust brought its new women’s line Girls of Dust to Jacket Required this season. Inspired by workwear and designed in keeping with its brother line, the SS18 collection encompasses heavy denim garments such as cropped jean jackets and coats – both of which come in raw, black and vanilla-hued natural bull denim.
Portland, Oregon based footwear brand Danner has recently been introduced to the UK market, finding its way into stores such as Oi Polloi and End Clothing. This urban hiking boot has been crafted from a one-piece upper. It’s a Danner classic incidentally immortalised on the feet of Reese Witherspoon in the 2014 film Wilde. It comes in a men’s version, too.
“Concrete jungle” is the name of Danish label Han Kjøbenhavn’s SS18 collection, which draws on the tribal outfits worn on the streets by Copenhagen youths in decades past. The velvet tracksuits certainly had an air of urban uniform about them, complete with large logo-adorned embroideries that appear almost like coats of arms.
Coinciding with the show and held next door to the fair, Jacket Required took the opportunity to highlight the good old football shirt and its many iterations in an exhibit called The Art of the Football Shirt. Curated by culture historian Neal Heard, all manner of archive shirts were lined up – from actual team garments worn on the pitch to those making appearances on the catwalks.