‘In a world where fashion is fast and indiscreetly disposable, it’s always reassuring to find a haven of luxury and quality. And even more so when it’s accompanied by a modest price tag.’ – and we couldn’t agree more!
We have been looking rigorously for exactly this, and it seems that in PinCollarShirts.co.uk we’ve found just that. The leap between affordable high-street and luxury tailoring is massive for all formal wear, and is certainly no secret to the men who find themselves in the gulf, that is the marketplace between, luxury tailor and high-street mass production.
Schon! recently interviewed Carl Thompson, the founder of the new affordable luxury brand, PinCollarShirts.co.uk by Hawkins and Shepherd. Carl discusses his desire to bring affordable luxury to the public through Pin Collar Shirts online store, in response to consumer dissatisfaction with High St quality and poor value for money. Here’s an excerpt of the interview:
What was the plan when starting out Pin Collar Shirts?
We wanted to create a unique brand, a mix of contemporary and classic styles. We also wanted to embrace our British-ness. I’ve always admired the particular individualism and character of the great British eccentric and wanted to bring back some of this to the workplace.
I always knew that I wanted to get into menswear. Even though I didn’t train formally in fashion or art I’ve always had an eye for formalwear. I was always one to take pride in my appearance and over the years began to learn about tailoring and fashion. I took a liking to formal pin collar shirts, began modelling them around the office and received a lot of very positive feedback.
Why did you start Pin Collar Shirts online, as opposed to opening a shop?
Our research before launching had shown a distinct growing trend of men shopping for clothes online. I think it’s fair to say that clothes shopping hasn’t always been the most cherished activity for many men, so if some of this can be done from a sofa instead of in a mall, so much the better.
It must be hard competing against the high street. What sets you apart?
In my view the high street has focused on quantity at the expense of quality for too long. In some ways, due to escalating rents for retailers, this is understandable. However this has left the door open for smaller, niche brands like ours to enter the market.
Firstly, we have pitched ourselves as affordable luxury. Our shirts compare well with luxury brands with regards to fabric, tailoring and attention to detail at less than half the cost. For us that means a smaller profit margin but that’s literally the price we’re willing to pay to be a leader in our particular market niche.
We also focus on exceptional customer care. In an online world it often feels as if customer service has fallen drastically behind. Too often I think we seem to accept bad service as the norm and it shouldn’t be that way. I challenge our customers to demand excellent customer service and it is our job to exceed their expectations every time.
The editorial pairs Pin Collar Shirts with high fashion, including the likes of Dior Homme and Just Cavalli. Here are two of our favourite picks from the editorial, showing the versatility of luxury tailoring in two contrasting shots; formal and casual.
Head over to Schon! for the full interview and definitely be sure to check out the editorial, put together by Marika Page, and puts Pin Collar Shirts in some pretty high fashion collaborations, namely Dior Homme.