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Interesting things for the modern gentleman

Style, Suits, The Professionals

Hire Power – Moss Bros

Mention Moss Bros and you’d be forgiven for automatically thinking of the word “hire”. Certainly, this is the association most of us are likely to make, and it’s hardly surprising considering the company formally began its hire service more than a hundred and seventeen years ago.

However, over the years, the company has done far more than merely hire out formal wear to those who may not have room in their wardrobe (or budget) for a tuxedo. Whether outfitting newly commissioned officers in the First World War, dressing the new Labour government when they took power in 1924, or providing the young men an affordable alternative to bespoke tailoring in the 60s, Moss Bros were quick to identify opportunities and the changing needs of their
customers.

Through the decades, by partnering with the likes of Zegna, Cerutti, DKNY, and Hugo Boss, Moss Bros has steadily outgrown its reliance on its hire service – so much so that today, Moss Bros’ hire service accounts only for about 20% of their revenue – focusing instead on creating a range of affordable, quality menswear, whilst all the while keeping an eye to the changing fashions and the economic landscape of the high street.

So, with this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Moss Bros has taken note of the change in trend for a more directional, fashion-lead style of suiting, with slimmer fits and shorter cuts. Today, there is a new, younger gentleman who wants to make a statement whilst still dressing for the occasion. This customer isn’t interested in hiring a stuffy tuxedo for a wedding. They want something modern and fresh, but that still remains stylish and fitting for the occasion.

With Moss London, Moss Bros’ new line, this customer should be adequately catered for.

Taking their influence from the city around them, Moss Bros have endeavoured to capture the artistic fashions and creative spirit of London and channel it into their new line. Where with other Moss lines the somewhat more conventional tailoring principals are held dear, with Moss London we see a definite break from the traditional. Along with the aforementioned shorter cuts and slimmer fits, with Moss London you will also find features such as heavy gauge fabrics in autumnal plaids, contrasting lapels, leatherette trim, and insert panels.

Moss Bros have even broken from tradition to the point of hiring Billy Huxley for their campaign. Huxley, along with Ricki Hall and Christopher John Millington, is one of the most well-recognised emerging British male models, whose preference for bushy beards, high fade haircuts and an abundance of body art might seem a million miles away from Moss Bros current image, but who embody and reflect the modern image of masculinity in London’s art and fashion scene.

Where for many it would be easy to dismiss this as simply an attempt to keep up with the rest of their high street competitors, Moss Bros brings to the table over 160 years of British tailoring heritage, which translates to the end product being of a surprisingly high standard for suiting at this price point. The construction, the fabrics, and the finishes are all above what you might expect from other high-street retailers aiming at this particular demographic.

It remains to be seen just how successful this move will be with Moss Bros still wanting to retain their loyal customer base whilst appealing to the younger customer.This, coupled with the fact that competitors such as Topman already eating up this share of the market, begs the question of whether can they have their cake and eat it, too. In this instance, the optimistic answer is yes, because the overall standard of the garments, the fabrics, the production, and the finish all seem
to be to superior to their competition and all at prices that belie their quality.

The Moss London collection encompasses suiting and formal jackets, shirts, trousers, and a range of shoes and accessories – the first pieces of which will be hitting the stores over the next few weeks.

Ben Williams

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