Monday, 15 December 2014

A Christmas Doodle

When you open your presents on Christmas morning and discover that a favourite aunt who is joining you for Christmas lunch has bought you a garish sweater, it is only polite to feign absolute delight at such a thoughtful gift and being so enamoured with it that you insist on wearing it the whole day. Whilst these novelty sweaters are currently all the rage I sense that the next day you will be putting it in the back of the cupboard never to be seen again. Of course, one of the guests much to your embarrassment is bound to post it on Facebook.

Merry Christmas,

Jeremy Hackett


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lisbon Treat

For years, whenever I met Portuguese journalists they would invariably ask me:

" And when are you going to open a shop in Lisbon?"

"One day..." was my stock reply having no notion when that might be. Finally, we have taken the plunge and opened a shop on what must be in the most beautiful boulevard in Lisbon, the tree lined Avenida da Liberdade that seems more like an intimate Champs Élysées.

Arriving in Lisbon for the first time, I was immediately captivated by this historic and romantic atmospheric city and wondered why I had never ventured there before. I was booked into a brand spanking new boutique hotel, Valverde, directly opposite our shop. Unlike most boutique hotels that tend to the kitsch, it was modern without being self consciously so. I have no doubt that this little gem will be welcoming guests for generations to come.



Strolling over to our shop the next morning for a round of interviews I noticed that stalls were opening up selling bric a brac and antiques. No sooner than I was through with my interviews than I was back out on the street browsing amongst the stalls for that elusive treasure. I rummaged through a tray of cufflinks and came across a vintage tie pin probably made in the 1960s in the shape an umbrella and bowler hat. It immediately reminded me of the Hackett logo and at five euro's it was a steal and I thought a good omen. A party was planned for that evening and I duly arrived by Aston Martin. Despite the torrential rain the shop was mobbed. My PR gleefully informed me that another brand had organised a party for the same evening which they postponed when they realised everyone was attending the Hackett party, my apologies to that brand.



I had very little time to explore the city but what was apparent to me was that that Lisbon appeared to be paved with tiles. There was tiling everywhere I looked, the promenade was intricately tiled, the pavements made up of broken pieces and the cafe fronts decorated too.  If the writer Samuel Johnson had been Japanese he may have been tempted to say of Lisbon, "When a man is tiled of Lisbon he is tiled of life" To foster good relationships with the locals we had commissioned our own Portuguese made tiles and had them laid on our shop floor. It could be said that I spent a night on the tiles.



Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 24 November 2014

Down Under & Other Travels

Just back from Australia, can't sleep so thought I would write my blog, which is sure to send me to sleep if not you.

I have been travelling a fair bit these last few weeks. It kicked off with a Eurostar trip to Le Touquet, a charming seaside resort popular in the 1930s with the likes of Noël Coward, HG Wells and Cecil Beaton. The reason I was in Le Touquet was to celebrate the opening of a new Hackett shop close to the five star Westminster hotel, a grand hotel in the traditional style with an almost untouched Art Deco interior and where I spent a comfortable night after our opening party. We were privileged with a visit from The Lord Mayor who conferred on me the honour of the freedom of the Town and presented me with a gold medal with the words that Tony Blair had been the last person to have had the honour bestowed on him so depending on your politics, I was in good company. In Paris, the next day, I took the opportunity to check out our shops and it being Saturday I was pleased to see that they were buzzing.

Interior of the Westminster hotel Le Touquet


Lunch at Sumers General Store




 I then flew to Madrid for the Spanish GQ awards where I was to be presented with Man of Style award, they obviously have never seen me on a Sunday morning the worst for wear after a night on the town. At the event I sat next to David Gandy,  who picked up Man of the Year award, I barely recognised him with his clothes on.

Needing a break from all the glamour of the awards I headed to Australia to visit family in Melbourne. Now, this is the thing with the fashion business you never really switch off. I arranged to have dinner with a long standing customer Henry Bucks, the best Menswear business in Melbourne followed by a visit to their Collins  St store and the Hackett department; I still find it  a bit odd to travel thousands of miles and to be confronted with Hackett products. I then looked up my friends who have a shoe business called Double Monk and probably have the most comprehensive selection of English shoes in Australia.

Somers General Store on the Mornington Peninsular


View from the beach house towards Philips Island.

My office in London had very kindly organised a telephone interview with The Financial Times, because of the time difference it was scheduled for 11.30pm, which after drinks with dinner with Henry Bucks (and still feeling jet lagged) I only hoped I didn't  slur my words. I then received an urgent email requesting my answers to a number of questions for a London magazine. Determined to make the most of my short holiday I travelled down to the family beach house on the Mornington Penninsular for the day before making the long trek home. And if you are not sleepy after reading that, I am and I'm going back to bed, sweet dreams.



 Jeremy Hackett

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Legless

Last weekend my house was crowded with models, there to be photographed in my garden by the fashion photographer Garda Tang. 

A grey backdrop was erected and the models had all been asked to wear their own clothes. There was no styling, make up or lighting, relying purely on the overcast light of the day. I was struck by the ambition of these young people, three of them were at University, amongst the others was an artist,  an actor and another studying photography. None of them saw modelling as a career.




My role on the day was to keep them fed and watered, I was surprised how much food they consumed and yet they were stick thin.  Although not wishing to intrude on the shoot I shot a couple of pictures which reminded me of the photographer  Larry Clark and no, I wasn't legless at the time.

Jeremy Hackett

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Suited and Booted


The other week I drove down to the Chelsea football team training ground in Surrey for a photo session with the squad and to issue them with their new off pitch kit. It consisted of a three piece suit made from a English worsted cloth in a subtle navy glen check with a Chelsea blue over check, teamed with a pale blue shirt, knitted striped tie, and brown suede chukka boots. Having just written that last sentence it suddenly occurred to me that next season they should be wearing Chelsea boots.


The team photo was duly taken and as Jose Mourinho hurried away I managed to snap a quick photo. To me he is football's answer to George Clooney. 

I considered asking Jose if he'd do up his tie but then I thought he would probably tell me to get knotted.

Jeremy Hackett

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Perfect Trousers

I'm on a bit of a roll having previously written about the perfect waistcoat and I have now discovered the perfect trousers.

The other day I dropped into our Regent St shop just to browse around and chat to the staff. It's very illuminating what you hear on the shop floor that never gets relayed to the office. Between you and me, I have recently put on a few pounds so I decided to invest in some new trousers.

Now, I like my strides to be narrow but not skinny. A well informed member of staff immediately suggested to me a style called Sanderson and casting his eye over my waistline gauged exactly the right size, which shall remain a secret. The whole rigmarole of trying on clothes is testing for a lot of gents so it was with some relief that the first pair of khaki cotton chinos I tried fitted perfectly. Nick, who was taking care of me, quickly and efficiently turned up the trousers and explained that the alteration could be done whilst I waited.




I decided to take advantage of our in house monogramming service and thought it would be fun to have my trousers monogrammed. Nick suggested I take a seat at our Beefeater bar and have a gin and tonic, whilst  the tailor turned up my trousers and stitched on my initials J.P.H. Well, it was past midday so to hell with the waistline.

Jeremy Hackett

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Perfect Waistcoat

When I see an item of clothing that I really like I tend to buy several pieces.



So it was when I was wandering around our Sloane St shop I came across a cashmere and lambswool mix sleeveless waistcoat that fitted perfectly. It was not too heavy and not so light as to be flimsy.






What I like about it is it's flexibility it can as easily be worn under a suit, a tweed jacket or a blazer when a long sleeve pullover is too bulky and it looks great worn over just  a shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Throwing my credit card to the wind  I immediately bought one in every colour, three that is. No sooner than I had started to wear them that I noticed an article in the Times dedicated to the Paris Fashion shows and can you believe it, Jil Sander had sent her models down the catwalk wearing tank tops over shirts with the sleeves rolled up.




Never one to say I am at the cutting edge of fashion it was nice to think that for a brief moment I was ahead of the curve.

Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 29 September 2014

Winter Blues


I find it very odd that during the Summer friends are always asking me if I am having a good Summer and yet throughout Winter nobody ever asks me if I am having a good Winter. I happen to really like Winter because it gives me the opportunity to wear proper clothes such as my double breasted tweed coat, my grey flannel three piece suit, my navy flannel blazer, I can enjoy wearing a tie and knotting a woollen scarf and pulling on knitted gloves. Ah Winter, bring it on.



Jeremy Hackett

PS Actually I have enjoyed a rather good Summer

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Horse Power

A couple of weeks ago I was in Beijing ostensibly to support British Polo day at the Tang Polo Club on the outskirts of the city when at the last minute I was fortunate to blag a couple of tickets to the very first Formula E Grand Prix. A smart move by the organisers to stage it in Beijing with its reputation for pollution and smog. Ironically, it was a beautiful day with clear blue skies.


Alain Prost who's son Nicolas was racing


Birds Nest Stadium


Neil Bugler enjoying a quiet moment

Accompanied by my sponsorship manager Neil Bugler, we headed off to the Olympic stadium where the race was to take place, we were ferried to the hospitality suite by golf cart passing the magnificent Birds Nest stadium looking to me as though a ball of knitting wool had been unravelled. The day passed quietly with more noise coming from the marquees than the race track. Socially, it was a very enjoyable day but I did miss the roaring engines and petrol fumes, the battery powered race cars glided by emitting less noise than my vacuum cleaner.

The following day I spent at The Tang Polo Club where to be honest, I found the horse power to be far more exhilarating. After a weekend of socialising, I was more than ready to slump into my seat for the flight home with a glass of champagne and the opportunity to recharge my batteries.
 
Jeremy Hackett

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Full English

Waiting in line to order breakfast at my local cafe, the man in front ordered, 'The Full English'.

Drawing inspiration from those words, I added them to my sketch of a Gentleman dressed in the English fashion. He is wearing locally sourced product; chalkstripe flannel suiting from Fox Bros in Somerset, Hackett Jermyn St shirt, London made silk tie and carrying a Brigg umbrella.



Poached eggs on toast please!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A Fish Tale



The other day, my brother and his two sons who were over from the States, happened to invite me to join them for a day’s fly fishing on the River Test in Hampshire. In the past I have been hunting and shooting but I shall be honest, I have never tried my hand at fishing. 

Of course, of great concern to me was what I should wear. In the end, I opted for a blue gingham shirt, nicely frayed at the collar, a threadbare olive lambs wool V neck pullover, khaki needle cord trousers and an old Barbour jacket that I had bought in Portobello market second hand years ago, after all I didn't want to look like the new boy on the block. 



I was particularly fond of the Barbour because it had knitted cuffs, which stopped the rain dribbling down to my elbows, a detail I think Barbour have since dispensed with (bring it back I say!) For a day in the country I took that most essential accessory - my gun dog Muffin, although she would run a mile at the sound of shooting being more adept at photo shoots.


The Test is a beautiful and crystal clear river that meanders through unspoilt water meadows not unlike a Constable painting. My first attempts at casting very quickly found me out to be a townie despite all my efforts at dressing the part.  But eventually after six hours of clumsy and awkward casting I finally caught a silverback trout. 


I was asked if I would like to take it home for supper but I demurred and slipped it back into the river. Travelling back to London with a very damp dog in the back of my now incredibly muddy Range Rover, I began to feel rather hungry and thought how delicious that trout might have been grilled, with new potatoes and petit pois. As it was, I settled for beans on toast in front of the television and watched News at Ten.

What can I say? I'm a man of simple pleasures.

 Jeremy Hackett

Regent Tweet


Last Saturday I was invited by the Regent St Association to give a speech at their Regent Tweet event that took place in the impressive Apple store on Regent Street. I had been asked to speak about Hackett to an audience of international bloggers, a daunting prospect I must admit, for they are not my usual audience. But in this modern day, I have begun to appreciate the doors an online audience can open.

 
To begin, I had the Hackett logo projected onto a screen behind me. For a bit of fun, I had asked our design department to take a bite out of the bowler hat to mimic the Apple logo.


(I hope Apple appreciate the humour!)

My closing words to the assembled bloggers were ‘What you post online should always be first class’. And with that, I hope to see us here at Hackett moving forward with my delightful audience of bloggers into the digital age.

 Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 12 May 2014

beComing


The other day I made a quick visit to Milan on the invitation of a longstanding friend of mine, Giansandro Cantori who owns a very smart lifestyle magazine called beSpoke for the launch of his beHouse concept. 



A Maserati had been arranged to pick me up from the airport, a handsome new four door model which smelt as though it had only just left the showroom. Settling into the reassuringly firm leather passenger seat, I noticed that the dashboard was clear of the usual array of dials giving a pleasing sense of simplicity and modernity with only a touchscreen visible. With that said, in contrast with the streamlined dashboard was a clock that looked as though it was better suited to be sitting on Grandma's mantelpiece. 


The Maserati eased me smoothly into the courtyard of the hotel Carlton Baglioni, a discreet hostelry behind scented jasmine hedges and boasting a 19th century mansion, with a faded and rendered facade in ochre and only a short walk to our shop on Via Manzoni. The beHouse reception was held at a townhouse in the old part of Milan and featured some of the best examples of Italian craftsmanship from bespoke shoes, handmade shirts, tailoring from Naples, (those masters of the shirt sleeve shoulder) to furnishings, perfumes and a barber. I chatted to two guys wearing matching Kilts (promoting their company, In Kilt) made from no nonsense denim and worn with industrial looking boots and workmanlike socks rolled over just so you could say they were in kilter. 

Giansandro invited me to try a wet shave, something I have never been tempted to before but the barber looked competent and experienced so I thought I’d give it a go. As I sat in the vintage chair and hot towels were applied followed by an ample brushing of almond shaving soap, I relaxed into my chair as the razor passed smoothly over my chin. I noticed their products neatly arranged and all beautifully packaged in red and cream striped boxes and made a mental note to visit their shop in Via G Morone.



Established in 1904, I wondered why I had not heard of Antica Barbiera Colla before. Tucked away off Via Manzoni, it's a traditional barber shop and the walls are plastered with photographs of famous clients. I purchased some products but was surprised they made no cologne; I was assured that it would soon be added. I managed to squeeze in a couple of magazine interviews before being whisked off to the airport by Maserati, apologies to Aston Martin but when in Italy...

Jeremy Hackett