Duffer of St George Japan: new S/S collection


In the early ’90s, Duffer of St Geroge was probably the most influential menswear label in Britain. Favoured by post-acid house clubbers, its stripy roll necks and brilliantly branded T-shirts and sweatshirts set a modernist/casual template that still runs through many contemporary collections. At the label's height toward the end of the ’90s, Duffer had two stores in London's Covent Garden (one casual, one formal – the latter known for its excellent Vicri shirts) plus another on Savile Row. Duffer was a big deal.

And then things seemed to go wrong. Maybe it expanded too much, perhaps the rest of menswear industry caught up, but the 1984-founded label disasppeared frrom view, before reappearing a few years later as part of JD Sports. While we have no problem with this – JD does understand the brand – one of the key things about Duffer was its exclusivity. When you pulled on a sweatshirt with 'Duffer' emblazoned on the front, you were making a statement. And one that only the initiated understood.

Today, happily, things are looking a little brighter for Duffer with the launch of its upmarket Japanese-only range. Very much in keeping with the brand's original ethos (it was hugely influenced by design from the land of the rising sun), the new collections use arcane references from past popular culture to mark them out – and no more so than in the new S/S 14 range. With a mix of 90s-style fabrics (horizontal stripes play a big role), ’70s surf graphics and a touch of Ivy League shirting, it all dds up to a collection that's wearable, yet just that little bit off-kilter – exactly what Duffer should be. We say, give it a go.

Duffer can be found at www.thedufferofstgeorge.com – though there's no reference to the Japanese collection on the website. You may have to check your nearest menswear retailer for more info


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