Trunk Clothiers: international smart-casual comes to London





This article appears in the latest issue of Umbrella

The internet has shrunk the world of menswear, making the location of the stores we buy our clothes from almost irrelevant. Whether it’s Manchester (Oi Polloi), Liverpool (Weavers Door) or Newcastle (End Clothing), the best outfitters can have a beeswax-coated Nigel Cabourn jacket out to you quicker than it takes to say, “Well that’s the weekend away with the lady on the back-burner.”

While anything that brings the regions together is to be applauded (apart from competitive morris dancing), it’s nice to know that a London shop is – at last – flying the flag for style in the capital. It’s called Trunk Clothiers

What makes Trunk so unique is its take on modern gents clothing. While selling some of the classic 2014 staples – high-end trainers, great outerwear – Trunk also adds Japanese, Scandinavian and Italian influences into the mix. The result is a fabulous selection of clothing halfway between the upper-class casual of Oi Polloi/End Clothing and the relaxed elegance of Italian stores like Al Bazar in Milan. 

Located in Chiltern St, near both Baker Street Underground, and veteran Ivy League retailer, John Simons, stepping into Trunk is like entering a secret club: a place where you feel special just for having found it. While the schmutter is certainly high end, the atmosphere is friendly and inclusive – unlike some shops we could mention (but won’t because we want them to advertise with us) on Bond Street. It’s exactly what a men’s boutique should feel like.

Here, director Mats Klinberg takes us through the Trunk experience.

Hi Mats. When did Trunk start, and why? What were the big influences?
Trunk opened in September 2010, but it’s something that I’d been thinking about for quite some time. Although there was a lot to offer in terms of menswear in London I thought there was a shop missing where excellent customer service and a warm and welcoming atmosphere was of the utmost importance and where you could find a mix of clothes from all over the world: from smart to casual and at different price points. I knew a couple of shops like this in Italy and Japan, but none in London, so that’s why I started Trunk.

How would you describe the sort of clothes that people can buy there?
Smart-casual sums it up pretty well. You can find a well-edited selection of smart jackets, suits, shirts and ties to more casual chinos, jeans, sweaters and outerwear. In terms of style and design most items are fairly timeless and understated, so they will last for several seasons rather than just one.nJackets and blazers are selling the best, closely followed by trousers and shirts.

What brands should we be looking out for – and why?
Boglioli has been one of our favourite brands right from the start, but we’re now very excited to also be stocking the new Italian brand called Gigi (by the people that initially founded Boglioli), MAN 1924 from Spain and Massimo Alba from Italy. All of them offer soft tailoring in a great selection of fabrics and colours that will help you dress for any occasion, smart or casual.

You do lovely Italian suiting at Trunk. What makes your suits different to ‘regular’ ones?
Most suits at Trunk are unconstructed, making them much softer around the shoulders which gives you a less formal look while still looking very smart. Because they’re unconstructed and much softer they’re also much easier to pack and travel with. 

What trends are you seeing? 
Trunk tends not to focus too much on trends, but on beautiful pieces of men’s clothing and accessories that can be enjoyed for several seasons.

How friendly is your store?
Being friendly is at the heart of what Trunk is all about, so I hope that comes across when you visit one of our shops.

How important is online shopping for you now? Do you have customers all over the UK/world?
Our online store is becoming increasingly important. At launch I wanted to focus on the physical shop, but with customers from all over the UK and world I see our online presence as a way to serve our customers wherever they are.

What's your favourite item in the shop?
So many nice things, but this season I particularly love the light and fluffy cashmere sweaters from ESK.



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