Style File: A crafty idea from ASOS

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There’s more to ASOS than meets the eye, as proven by its latest Crafted In collection, which takes wardrobe classics back to their roots, says Lee Holmes

It is often forgotten that the original mission of the online retail giant ASOS was to provide us mere mortals with affordable copies of the clothes worn by celebrities. Hence its acronym: As Seen on Screen.

Customers fell for this simple concept hook, line and sinker, proving that they had an unquenchable thirst for celebrity-endorsed fashion, and ASOS reaped the rewards. Their pre-tax profit for 2012 was more than £30 million.

Nowadays the site, aimed at early 20 somethings, is driven more by trend than celebrity. You only need take a cursory look at the website to realise this. If  your life’s aim is to look like a Rockabilly, or it’s imperative you accessorise your outfit with the latest skate board, then look no further. The solutions to these pressing issues are a few clicks away. This is clearly where the (youngish) male population looks for a masterclass in the fashions and how to wear them.

But what if you’re a little older, a little wiser and looking to wear something a smidgen more sophisticated? Well, thankfully, ASOS isn’t totally blind to this, as the latest incarnation of its Crafted In collection testifies.

Using premium fabrics, the mix of tailoring, knits, denim and footwear has a heritage feel. The Harris Tweed  is from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, while the Italian wool for the blazers is woven in the town of Biella, famous for its wool and textiles. The wool for the knitwear originates from hearty Lancashire, the shoes are made in Northamptonshire and the denim is salvaged from Japan.

It’s a tad more refined and yes, a little bit more expensive than what we’ve usually come to expect from ASOS, but these essentials, made from quality fabrics, are more covetable than the usual throwaway fashion. And creating a one-off small collection to sit apart from the rest of the brand is a sure-fire way of catching the eye of a new audience.

Crafted In feels a little less frantic about what it has to offer the customer. It’s a balanced capsule collection that will appeal to a gentleman with a more refined palate.

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