Fashion by numbers
Saturday 14 March 1998
It has been going for only three years, sells to the best shops in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, and men (and some women) talk about stitching details, hems, plackets, and cuffs in the way they discuss the latest features on their mobile phones.
Another rumour going around is that MacKenzie is about to be offered a big job at Jil Sander or Prada, which, of course, is rubbish. "People keep saying to me that I'm going to be massive," MacKenzie says, "but I will only do what I do for my own label."
Maybe it's because what MacKenzie did two years ago, others are now doing. He did a fashion degree in Preston, and graduated in 1984. He didn't go into design straight away, instead working for Duffer of St George on their sales. He started his label very quietly in 1995, but gained instant notoriety when bigwigs at The Face and Arena magazines used and wore his clothes (initially inspired by obscure military detailing, and later by wartime German graphics) at every opportunity.
Talking to MacKenzie is refreshing. When I ask about the spring/summer collection (featured here) which has just gone into Duffer, Browns' main shop, and Liberty, he gets out a pencil and paper and sketches unseen, but all-important details. "This jacket, made from bonded cotton with a polyurethane coating, has a one-piece sleeve, three hidden pockets and a double yoke. This raincoat has a button-off hood, and a half-rib collar, and the pockets have outer stitching..." Sketch, sketch.
One of his many fans discusses MacKenzies clothes in the same way. "Last year he shortened the hem on his trousers by an inch, and widened the cuff on his jackets. They were brilliant."
These small details are the things that excite truly fashionable men today rather than big logos and branding. What's more, because it's affordable - pounds 75 for a shirt, pounds 225 for a jacket, pounds 110 for trousers - it's accessible too.
But only while stocks last.
All available from Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1 and Liberty, Regents Street, London W1 Enquiries 0181-960 4864
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