A hotly discussed event on the LCM calendar was the addition of high-street giant Superdry amongst the ranks of designer brands showcasing their AW14 collections in full catwalk shows (Superdry previously showcased their SS13 Timothy Everest collection in a smaller static presentation). The event divided opinion with people debating the presence of commercialised, high street fashion at LCM. Now Topman does have a presence at LCM, as does M&S albeit off schedule. But the difference was both present above the usual price-point collections – Topman with Topman Design and M&S with the Best of British collection. So could Superdry’s latest effort stand toe-to-toe with the big boys of LCM? Rather than make any prior judgment I decided to wait until after the presentation.
James Holder, Superdry’s co-founder, said: “As a British brand, we are extremely proud to be part of London Collections: Men. The sheer scale and diversity of the collections surprised everyone at The Event, while the show’s energy and impact reflected the passion that runs deeply through the Superdry brand.”
We were welcomed into a large space in the Old Sorting Office where a huge Superdry metal logo sat above a bar. On arrival there was a line of model/waiters, ready to offer us a cheeky cocktail. Alcohol flowing, excitement builds. While we waited for the 600 guests to arrive we were also provided with light bites, including the most amazing truffle sauce (with chips) I have ever tasted, staff were super attentive and fun. So far Superdry were showing they could roll with the big boys on how to throw a party at least. Then it was time for the clothes.
The presentation was huge, with over 100 looks shown – a progressive collection that featured a mix of men’s and women’s looks. The looks travelled through the style tribes of Superdry , form leather looks to military-inspired and the more sugar-pop styles, all with bold twists and modern interpretations. The signature attention to details was celebrated throughout the offering, from stitched turn-ups, small pops of Superdry’s signature orange hue trimming coat linings and shoe soles.
One of the refreshing aspects, for me, of the collection was to see the Superdry logo take a back seat to style. I have always been a fan of Superdry, it isn’t hard to see why they are so popular – the clothes are good and the clothes are fashionable. But for me, items like their beautiful faux-fur trimmed parkers are often taking over by over-the-top logo appliqué along the sleeves etc. This is a personal style preference, but some people love it. So for me, to see the logo appearing smaller, more tonal and as an accent rather than a feature was a refreshing and welcomed progression.
The looks were simple but impressive, Superdry firmly sits at the top end of the high street, it doesn’t merely sell clothing, it sells a fashionable lifestyle, and one that encourages its consumer to try harder, try new things and step outside of the fashion box. Like a gateway drug to high end – and this is why brands like Superdry deserve their spot and why they are important. There were definitely more than a couple looks I plan on buying right of the model.
There was an impressive FROW too with LCM returnee Samuel L Jackson making an appearance as well as Grimmers, actor Luke Evans (who looked great, btw) and some other folk what are famous from reality TV shows I don’t watch. But more importantly, the key industry influencers had come in droves to see what Superdry was made of including fromer BFC chairman Harold Tilman, as well as some of the UK and world’s best bloggers and fashion journos.
In short, yes I do think they could have done with a smaller edit, some looks were too much of a ‘variant-on-a-theme’, or they could have done a bespoke premium collection, but that’s something for the future. For now, Superdry offered us endless options on looking good every day and they presented it in the biggest and most impressive way possible. Superdry wants our attention and they got it.