For today’s post I would like to push for the tie-less look for the ongoing summer season. Try to throw away the tie sometimes for a more relaxing and cooler look in the hot summer weather. When wearing an outfit without the tie, try focus on materials such as cotton or linen for the jacket, and sneakers in suede or leather for a even more leisure look.
Earlier this spring, we looked at the unique accessories collaboration between Blugiallo x R.Culturi. At a meeting with the founders of Blugiallo, I also had the opportunity to meet one of the founders behind R.Culturi, Anthony Brovchenko, that were visiting Stockholm to launch their new collection.
Hi Anthony, tell me about yourself and how you ended up working with accessories and fashion.
Hi Robin. Well the whole thing started as kind of an experiment really. I spent a few years living in Europe and my wife and I made it a point to travel as much as possible. Being the menswear enthusiast that I am, I always made sure to check out the shops in any city we visited and purchase some kind of accessory as a memento of the trip. After a while I realized that regardless of where I bought them, most of these things looked fundamentally the same. There was nothing radically different about a pocket square purchased in Madrid from one purchased in Vienna. Most of them had the same familiar patterns that we’re all accustomed to. This is when I had an idea to contact artists from places we’d visited and ask them to create a pocket square design. Once the first few designs were finished, I had them printed by a custom fabric printer in the U.S. I was surprised by how well the designs worked as pocket squares and I would often wear them and remember certain trips my wife and I had taken together. That’s when we thought that this could be a real business and spent the next two years learning about textile production, searching for a full-scale manufacturer, finding artists, and perfecting the designs.
What is the story behind R.Culturi?
As I mentioned, it spawned as a natural extension of two of my biggest interests. I realized that I had lots of neckties and pocket squares in my closet but many of them looked more or less the same. The designs and patterns didn’t have much significance to me. Then I thought about the illustrations and drawings I saw in galleries and on the streets in places like Yerevan, Kiev, and Barcelona. So, the idea came to me to seek out these kinds of artists and create wearable accessories around their work. Of course, design is half of the puzzle. The other half is having it made into a physical product. That’s why after extensive research and testing we chose Italian craftsmanship for our collection.
What makes R.Culturi different compared to other brands in the business?
What makes us different, and what some people may not realize, is that we never just take an artist’s existing work and print it onto a pocket square, scarf, etc. We actually collaborate with artists over several months to come up with the designs in our collection. Each one of them is a completely original work and only available through R. Culturi. Our philosophy is to also promote the artists as much as possible. That’s why we publish interviews about them on our blog, have information about them on our website, and always credit them whenever possible. We hope to bring increased exposure to the very talented individuals who shape our collection.
Where do you see the brand in the upcoming years?
My vision is for R. Culturi to be a global brand, not only in terms of consumer awareness but also in terms of the artwork. I want to collaborate with talented, creative people from all over the world and to be able to give them a voice through our “platform”, if you will. No matter how large R. Culturi grows though, I want to make sure we never stray from our core philosophy – to be true to the artist, to be true to the customer, and to never compromise on quality.
Recently, you announced the collaboration with the Swedish made to measure company Blugiallo. How did you end up creating this collaboration?
Initially, Alexander, one of the founders of Blugiallo, purchased a pocket square from us after Manolo published an article about our brand. Shortly after the purchase, I emailed him as I do all of our customers with a personal thank you note. That sparked up a conversation between the two of us, which developed into a friendship and eventually into a collaboration between our brands. It happened very organically and it was a natural fit. The collection came out beautifully and we couldn’t be happier.
Last but not least, are there any new and interesting collection or collaboration that you can announce for us?
I can’t say too much at the moment but we are indeed working on a couple of new collections for this year. I can tell you that they will be unlike anything you’ve seen from us in the past. We will be collaborating with artists from Bucharest in Romania, Iloilo City in the Philippines, and Philadelphia in the US. I’m very excited to unveil more in the next couple of months!
For today’s collage we take inspiration from the unique color with many names, some call it cobalt blue, other Napoli blue. The summer season allows brighter shades of blue to be worn instead of the more formal and laid back color navy. Wear the brighter colored suit with a pair of loafers to achieve the perfect summer look.
A few weeks ago, we took a closer look at the re-branded Engelska Herr in Malmö and its promising future online. In today’s article, we will look at the different alternatives that are available for the made to measure service Baltzar Sartorial, and of course the end result of my double breasted suit.
In the first article about Engelska Herr, we talked about the stores total makeover and how they are breaking new ground online with the multi channel concept Baltzar. The entrepreneurs Axel Persson and Wilhem Sturesson have created something unique by combining the heritage of the over 100 years old store, and delivered something new and exciting with their new look in store and online. At the same time, they launched a new made to measure concept called Baltzar Sartorial with the same design language. Is this service holding up to the same standard as the renewal of the store? Let us find out!
A classic made to measure service, that is what Engelska Herr have hidden under the name Baltzar Sartorial. The first thing that catches your eye about this service is the interesting start price point at 8495 SEK which also includes a full canvas construction. This price also includes a good selection of business fabrics, but there are many more fabrics and price ranges to choose from depending on your preferences.
I ended up choosing a lightweight summer fabric from the Italian mill Fratelli Tallia di Delfino. The fabric is available in the Baltzar Sartorial Tropical Wool book and weight approximately 270-300 grams. The combination of the weight and weave makes it a perfect companion for warmer days of summer, and wrinkle resistance for your travels.
The amount of selectable details are up to standard to other services and they offer the most common choices such as different styles for the jacket and trousers, lapels types and sizes, interlinings and pockets. They also offer a handmade construction for a premium for those who are interested and seeks the benefits of a handmade construction. It is a good selection, and will be enough for most customers.
In my case, I decided to go for a double breasted style with the widest lapels available at that time. I also choose the jetted pockets for a bit more formal look and a half lining to make it more suitable for the warmer months of the year. As an addition to this, I also tried the handmade construction alternative.
Engelska Herr normally offers a delivery time at 4-5 weeks for their made to measure service. My suit was delivered on time, but I picked it up at a later time during a weekend trip to Malmö last summer.
During my second meeting with Max Söderberg, we did some smaller adjustments for the trousers and jacket. We decided to make the trousers a bit slimmer to follow my natural silhouette, and we shortened the length of the arms for the perfect fit. During the pickup later that summer, Engelska Herr hosted a trunk with Fabio Attanasio from The Bespoke Dudes, presenting his new project, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear.
The result was excellent at the pickup and when the smaller adjustments were made. Already during the first fitting, the double breasted jacket had a great fit which in my experience are hard to achieve from the first measurements. Max was right about the adjustments about the trousers, and even that they became slimmer, they highlighted my narrower body silhouette in a more pleasant way.
With a total price of 9995 SEK, which includes a handmade construction and details, I can highly recommend Engelska Herr and their made to measure service Baltzar Sartorial if you are in the neighborhood and are planning to order suit for approximately the same price range.
One of many benefits of a sport coat is the versatility to wear it with different garments from your wardrobe. Combine it with a pair of formal wool trousers for the office, or denims for the walk in the city. For today’s collage, I would like to show how to wear the later.
There have never been so many alternatives to choose from when it comes to tailored made to measure garments. That means that newly created actors needs to offer something unique. It could be that their products stands out from the crowd in terms of quality, options, the amount of fabrics or even quicker delivery options. One new player that are filling one important gap on the market is Blugiallo, a company that offers a new digital experience for the Swedish customers.
Everything began in late December 2013 in a small restaurant located in the central parts of Bologna, Italy. The two friends, Alexander and Daniel, were having a dinner conversation whereupon an elder gentleman entered the resturant. The lively discussion about the ongoing Champions League stopped and the focused changed to this flawlessly dressed gentleman, wearing a double breasted suit tailored to perfection. The elder man leaves the restaurant, leaving the friends to their own thoughts and both agreed on that they had a long way to reach the same level of elegance.
The conversation continued and they started to discuss the unjustified focus on quick fashion, the respect of craftsmanship, tradition and the quality for clothing. Looking back at the elder gentleman, who was clearly wearing a suit made by his local tailor, showed something out of the ordinary. Both continued and agreed on that it could not be that convenient, or economically for the wallet to run to your tailor to sew new clothing in this traditional way. Why not combine this fantastic and traditional craftsmanship in a modern and digital service with focus on flexibility and the customer?
And so, the idea was born in in the track of the love that the two friends have for Italy and its traditional craftsmanship. It was decided, the best of Italian and Sweden created the brand Blugiallo with one promise, a made to measure service fit for the 21st century.
21st Century made to measure
Made to measure should not be complicated, and Blugiallo’s vision is to simplify the process and offer a service fit for the present. With a core focus on a digital and customer experience, its a leap to take the made to measure service to another level.
Instead of presenting just another made to measure service, Blugiallo wants to offer a simplified and complete packages for its customers. The first step to take a part Blugiallo’s service is to book an appointment with them, either by visiting their showroom in Borås, one of their trunk shows or to book a private meeting for their corporate service.
After the initial meeting, your garment will be delivered to your home address or nearest pick-up point within 4-6 weeks along with details for your own personal profile online. With this profile, you will be able to order made to measure and made to order garments and accessories online without attending any meetings or trunk shows.
Their customer service team will always be able to assist you with updating your measurements, giving you style tips or discussing your next order through live chat and e-mail.
Instead of presenting an ordinary made to measure service, with numerous of collections and choices, Blugiallo have simplified the process and put together different offers from the start. Blugiallo’s vision is to offer handpicked collections, with different styles, fabric selections and details to make it easier for the customer.
Blugiallo offers the following categories as of today: Business 365, Four Season, Eminent, Spotlight. Each category are divided into smaller collections, where every collection represent different constructions, fabrics and silhouettes. The reason behind having different collections for the categories is to make it easier for the customers to find what they want, without having too many alternatives to choose from. This could be one of the key items to achieve a successful made to measure service based online.
Business 365 – Basic and minimalistic
Business 365 is the entry-level category which consists of three collections to choose from. These collections are highly recommended to choose if you never tried made to measure clothing before as the lower entry price gives it them an excellent price and quality ratio.
Stockholm is the most basic collection to choose from and is characterized by its minimalist style and colors. It is affordable and an excellent first choice for new and inexperienced customers.
Amsterdam focus instead on a more exclusive construction and fabrics compared to Stockholm. This collection offers the widest selections of fabrics to choose from, but still considered to offer a very good price, construction and quality ratio.
Wien is the most exclusive choice among the Business 365 collections. Wien focuses on luxurious fabrics and the more costly full canvas construction in an affordable fashion. This is the choice for the connoisseur that only wants the best, but with a limited budget.
Prices: Suits 5490 – 7290SEK, Shirt 1290-1490SEK, Trousers 1990-2290SEK, Overcoats 6890-7290SEK.
Four Season – Seasonal favorites
Four Season is Blugiallo’s most interesting category with focus on seasonal favorites and constructions. Compared to Business 365, this collection changes the spotlight to light constructions, colors and patterns consisting of two collections, Bologna and Bordeaux.
Bologna are the foundation of the Four Season collections and offers seasonal fabrics with a lighter canvas construction and unconstructed shoulders. If you are after a leisure and more sport influenced suit or sport coat, this is the choice.
Bordeaux is similar to Wien from the Business 365 collections, but instead with a focus on seasonal fabrics.
Prices: Suits 7290-7890SEK, Shirt 1490-2190SEK, Trousers starting at 2290SEK, Overcoats starting at 7290SEK.
Eminent – The connoisseurs choice
Eminent is a statement from Blugiallo that they are able to make the finest tailoring to date. With garments made carefully by hand in the heart of Italy, this is the collection for the connoisseur.
Geneve is Blugiallo’s answer for luxury at its best and offers handmade details, a full canvas construction and the best fabric to date.
The Blugiallo collection is the brands own way of expressing their passion for Italian craftsmanship. Sit down with a coffee and take a look at their finest fabric bunches and let the fun begin. This is what Italian tailoring is about.
Prices: Suits 10490-12490SEK.
Spotlight – Black tie party
The spotlight line and collection is where you are able to find Blugiallo’s offers for your next black tie event. Here we are able to find tuxedos and fabrics in all the different fabrics that you ever will need for the parties.
The Tailor Room
After you have been provided with credentials after your first order, you will be able to retrieve full access to the The Tailor Room. This is an easy navigated and designed area and one of Blugiallo’s core ideas of changing the made to measure industry. Blugiallo will present personalized outfits from their collections to match the preference of your last order or personal style. These outfits will be presented in the way of a suit, jacket or even a full outfit with additions accessories such as shirts, ties and pocket square. Instead of seeing hundres of different fabrics and options, the focus will instead be on fewer and well thought through outfits to make it easier for the customers for their next purchase.
In the made to measure section, your personalized outfits will be presented and after choosing an outfit you will be forwarded to finalization page. You do not need to think about your measurements, as these are already saved since before by the Blugiallo team. The only thing that you need to think about is your preference for you tailored garment. A good amount of options will be presented which are carefully optimized for the new customer, but also the more experienced (customized alterations and details can always be discussed with Blugiallo via chat or e-mail). After choosing your specific details, its off to the payment step and that is it! Now you only need to wait 5-6 weeks for your garment to be delivered home to your doorstep or nearest pickup point.
The Tailor Room also offers a smaller selection of accessories and made to order garments. Here we are able to find ties from R.Culturi, pocket squares from the limited collaboration between Blugiallo x R.Culturi and made to order garments such as leisure pique shirts.
I also had the opportunity to met Alexander and Daniel in Stockholm earlier this spring and took some measurements for an army green cotton suit for the upcoming summer season. In the next part of this article, we will take a closer look at the final results and details for my order.
For today’s collage, I would like to like pay a tribute to the iconic waxed jacket. The waxed jacket is a flexible companion no matter the task. It does not matter if you are planning a hunting trip the forest, or if you are planning for a walk in the city. What all waxed jackets have in common are that they will get nicer the longer your wear them as they will develop a beautiful patina over the years.
Engelska Herr has provided the people in southern Sweden with tailored clothing for the latest 100 years. With two new owners in the lead, the store have during the latest years being revitalized, with focus on keeping the heritage and delivering a completely new in-store and online experience.
The store was originally founded by the two ladies Lena and Margareta in 1906 under the name Engelska Kravatt. At that time period, the store presented cravates inspired by British fashion. It was later sold on to Sven Nilsson during 1957 where they moved to the current address at Djäknegatan 22 in the central parts of Malmö. Engelska Herr was founded where focus changed to sell men’s clothing and presentend native brands and later on presented international brands such as Mulberry and Yves Saint Laurent.
In December 2013, two young entrepreneurs by the name Wilhelm Sturesson and Axel Persson bought the store and started a total makeover and a new strategy for the digital sphere. The duo renovated the store with the heritage of the brand in mind, and added a completely new presentation for the assortment. They kept the earthy color schema of blue, grey and beige of the assortment that were hanging on the walls, and replaced stiff and padded jackets with unconstruced shoulders and softer materials.
The old Swedish, German and English brands are now sharing shelves with fashion and tailored clothing from Italy. Instead of just adding big and well known brands, the company have changed its focus to find brands with their own specialty. A few of these added brands are Frank Clegg, Eidos, The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear and Buttero which gifts perfectly with their new vision.
We wanted to re-new and rejuvenate the store – Wilhelm Sturesson
The basement of store, where the old storage was located, have been renovated to give room for the new made to measure initiative under the name of Baltzar Sartorial. The room itself is decorated to offer the customer a secluded area where they have the opportunity to be alone, take a coffee or just look through their collection of fabric swatches.
Engelska Herr is still a haberdashery for men’s clothing, but also an institution for fashion with events and trunk shows from interesting brands. A customer should still be able to fetch the navy suit and a crisp white shirt for the office, but also smaller and specialized brands and unique offerings in store and online. The online part of Engelska Herr is the new core in the company and is located on the newly founded webshop Baltzar. The name Engelska Herr has lived on since the take over in 2013, but changes will be made during 2017. Later this year, the name will be changed to deliver the full experience of their new vision under the Baltzar branding. In addition to this, another store will be merged into the Baltzar concept. The store Richard Gelding is located on the famous streets of Mayfair, 27 North Audley Street in London. This store will tie together the concept internationall
Made to measure – Baltzar Sartorial
I had the opportunity to visit the newly renovated store last summer and decided to commission a suit through their new made to measure service, Baltzar Sartorial. During my visit, I had the honor to meet Max Söderberg which is Engelska Herr’s made to measure specialist. Max have worked with tailored clothing since long and belongs to one of the most experienced specialist within this area in Sweden. With that said, my expectations became a bit higher due to his long experience and knowledge.
I had a vision to create a grey four season double breasted suit, and something that was formal enough to wear at the office, but also light enough for warmer summer days. My decision fell for a tropical wool fabric from Fratelli Tallia di Delfino with a weight around approx 260-280 grams. It was not too heavy, or too light but it was still a bit more orientated for spring and summer. The final result of the suit will be presented in part two of this article that will be posted in the upcoming weeks. Until then, feel free to browse around on Baltzar for some spring and summer inspiration.
The grey suit is a wardrobe staple, but are sometimes presented as a boring and formal choice. That may not always be true, and there are many ways to make the grey suit more interesting only by combining the right accessories. For today’s post, I wanted to go for a classic outfit in a seasonal touch with the cotton and linen suit from Boglioli.
A blazer may feel too formal for some, but there are other alternatives to begin with. A knitted blazer is the perfect combination of formality and sportswear. It is leisure, comfortable and easier to wear with everything you throw at it such as a pair of jeans or chinos. Today’s collage flirt with the early days of summer, where you will be able to wear your knitted blazer with the classic and elegant panama hat and a pair of tassel loafers.