Hentsch Man, now into its 5th collection was launched in 2008 by childhood friends Alexia and Max and offers the modern day gentleman classic and highly wearable pieces from staples such as a classic white shirt to a few more quirky pieces as you will see from the photos below. I wanted to feature this brand on ‘The Bespoke Gentleman’ as I wanted to showcase a brand that offers clothing that is a little more relaxed and has an air of effortlessness…as readers of this blog will know that this blog does have a penchant for tailoring. Hentsch Man offers clothing where it’s the subtle details that show that you understand how to dress but without looking like you’re a walking fashion advertisement. I love the way Hentsch Man has such simplicity that seems to run through the core of the brand from the look books, the logo to the retail environment. Hentsch Man offers gentleman clean, simple and elegant clothing in such a stripped down and refined manner I believe many gentleman will appreciate the qualities of this brand. So to get a better understanding of the brand and to have a look at some of my favourite pieces from the SS12 collection I have done a little interview with the creative force behind the brand, Alexia.
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(look - 3)So having launched in 2008 your into your 4th year and 5th collection how has the Hentsch Man collection grown since its inception?
The company started off just concentrating on ‘the perfect white shirt’. Since then, our collections have grown to include shirting, trousers, jackets, outerwear, knitwear, jersey and just recently we added accessories. So I suppose the collections have grown significantly since inception.
I really like your logo with its striking simplicity what was the inspiration behind it? I’m a real advocate of simple typography – I tend to choose Helvetica or Arial over any other font (to the point of being boring!). So this was obviously a big factor in choosing the typeface for the logo. In terms of the icon, the 3-quarter button alludes to the fact that this is a clothing company – but it is subtle enough that it’s not ‘in your face’. Which was definitively the idea behind the logo.
So looking at the new SS12 collection what inspired your collection from fabric choices, colour palette and any other general creative inspirations? The SS12 collection was specifically inspired by French Atlantic coast living. Like Brittany living. The previous SS11 collection drew very much from American preppy coastal towns – using lots of pastel colours and seersucker fabrics. So for this collection, I wanted to evolve into stronger colours and bolder pieces. Like yellow rubber jackets, stripe boat t-shirts, red trousers, etc.
Are you currently working on anything exciting for AW12 yet?
Yes, I’ve just sent the AW12 to be sampled. Hopefully the first set of samples will be back before Christmas in time to photograph. I think the new collection is really exciting. We’ve introduced all sorts of new outerwear and accessories – and it’s definitely the biggest collection yet.
Who is your typical Hentsch Man customer…if you have one?
I don’t think there’s a typical customer – that’s kind of the beauty of the brand. It’s simple and ‘brandless’ enough to appeal to a wide spectrum of guys. But if there were a target audience, I would say that the ideal Hentsch Man is in his 30s, he’s unfussy about his clothing but likes good thing when he sees it.
I like the way you say on your website that ‘we want our Hentsch Men to look chic, but not like they’ve fallen out of a catalogue’ I get a feeling that some of the collection draws inspiration from the Parisians with its elegant simplicity would you agree?
Yes absolutely. Parisian café culture is a big inspiration for me. I spend a lot of time in Paris for work (fairs, etc) and really enjoy walking around and watching people. Parisian, both men and woman, are very aesthetic and have an innate sense of style. There are elements of this style that I ‘borrow’ for my collections.
It looks like you have fully embraced the ‘pop-up’ shop, how have you found the experience of setting up pop-up Hentsch Man shops?
Pop-ups have been a really good way to suss out our market and customers. By popping up in different neighbourhoods in London, we get to test the waters and do the appropriate research for when we decided to open a permanent space. It also permits us to meet our customers and understand what they like and want from Hentsch Man.
How would you sum up Hentsch Man in one sentence?
Well-made, simple and quirky.
What three staple items of clothing do you believe every gentleman should own? A perfect white shirt,
A beat up pair of tennis shoes,
A good hat. Everyone should own and wear hats.
Any parting words or thoughts?
Come along and check us out!
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My favorite look here, the balancing of the colour palette really draws my eye to this look and I envisage gentleman walking around Paris in the summertime looking like this..
Also, having viewed the collection I noticed a beautiful pair of rounded sunglasses and wondered where they got them from…and funnily enough I find out that Hentsch Man have now added eyewear to the brand, brilliant!
I would like to thank Alexia for the interview, and I wish Hentsch Man the best of luck and I look forward to seeing your future collections. If you would like to find out more about the brand then you can visit Hentsch Man’s online store at: www.hentschman.com or visit there store on Newburgh Street (just around the corner from Carnaby Street in London).