Amidst the festivities of LCM in London earlier this month, a small but perfectly formed menswear brand was showcasing its own collection for the first time – and making waves.
Blood Brother belongs to creative directors Nick Biela and James Waller, LCF alumni, with stints at Jean Pierre Braganza, Diesel, CSM Design Lab and J. Lindeberg under their belts.
The vision is sartorial sportswear that pays homage to a utilitarian visual language, its garment construction and technical outerwear. Fabric innovation is key; this season, they created shirts made from recycled bottle tops. The work is lent a sense of romance by the brand’s distinctly British preoccupations.
Whatever the separate parts, the whole works. Sleek, contemporary, broodingly sexy, Blood Brother has amassed over ninety stockists worldwide as well as a flagship store in the heart of Shoreditch.
At LCM, the SS17 collection, ‘Homesick’, offered a response to Brits’ conflicted attitudes to relaxing in the sun. ‘The vision is a guy who has just finished work late and is scrambling to leave the city, but still wearing his work attire – in a more relaxed style, no tie, no belt,’ says Nick. ‘We look at things that feel as though they have a connection to us as a British brand. It’s nice to export some of our history and re-imagine it to a new audience,’ he adds.
Models, including the jaw-droppingly beautiful Logan Flatte, wore double-breasted jackets over matching shorts; oversized trench coats, light for summer but weatherproofed for sudden showers; sweats decorated with raw applique patch and text. A fisherman gilet with multiple pockets looked anything but geeky when paired with a suede jacket. The vivid royal red leather bomber was class.
Blue collar fabrics such as light wool and pinstripe and summer checks were fused with relaxed silhouettes such as zipped lightweight bombers. Tailored trousers were re-imagined for warmer weather: classically cut or wide in the leg, drawn together at waist and ankle.
The flowering of menswear is a source of momentum for the brand. ‘Menswear is flourishing and more and more brands are emerging so it’s extremely competitive,’ says Nick. ‘But we enjoy that competition. It brings the best out in us, and we have been happy to develop in that tough environment.