It’s two weeks ago now, but when last in London, I popped into the latest Oliver Sweeney store in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden.
The brand has come a long way in a few years. Now co-owned and partnered by one of my former bosses (Michael Bennett), the brand has six stores and a burgeoning online website business devoted to the best in menswear.
Starting out as a shoe brand in the 1980s, Oliver Sweeney stood for the best in modern hand crafted brogues and loafers. A modern equivalent of Church’s with a twist. Now, the range of menswear is expansive but the label still prides itself on its range of traditional English shoes which carry a nod to Mediterranean styling (and are made in Italy). There’s even an option for a Sweeney tattoo which personalises shoes using a real tattoo machine and ink. The art of individuality, indeed.
But it was the menswear range that impressed in sheer quality as well as quantity. Here were herringbone tweeds, subtle tan suede gilets and fine wool blazers. The expansive range of menswear accessories strewn about the store complemented the range. Just the right amount of attention to detail and discreet styling were evident throughout.
On the launch evening, the store was filled with menswear journos, stylists, bloggers and celebs including Alex Clare (who performed an exclusive live acoustic performance), singer/rapper Mikill Pane, Sir Matthew Pinsent, model Chris Perceval, BBC Sports presenter Dan Walker and a number of Saracens rugby players.