How often do men comment on each other’s apparel? It doesn’t happen often, does it. But over the past few weeks, it has happened to me twice. And I have to be honest, I was rather chuffed! Once a comment on my wallet when I was paying for coffee (beautiful burgundy snakeskin bi-fold, thank you Aspinal of London!). And then just before Christmas, returning from my job in the City one evening and approaching the train station back home, another chap, middle of age, Brompton bicycle in hand, turned to me and said simply: “That’s an amazing coat”. I explained, grateful that someone else had noticed that yes, it is an amazing coat! That it was my new Mackintosh. And the icing on the cake: he told me he had studied fashion manufacturing at university – so he clearly appreciated the workmanship and craft of the rubberised material!
I had had my eye on a Mackintosh ever since walking past one of their Mayfair stores one day a year or two ago. I could see how handsome they were from the window, and it made me want to research the brand. Then I started seeing them advertised in all the fashion magazines and journals. And cropping up on Mr Porter. So clearly this was an uber brand – the definitive Mackintosh. Scottish by heritage, the first manufacturer to use rubberised material circa 1860’s (too complex for me to get my head around to be honest. I once watched a BBC documentary on the history and development of rubber – natural and man made – and it’s incredible stuff). And I note – and I think this is perhaps one of the better features of globalisation – that the company fell on hard times during the last century, and is now owned by a Japanese company who clearly have a talent for marketing given how well the brand is doing now.