To Mayfair and the launch of a new designer brand. Chess London started selling good quality clothes with good fabrics at the end of last week. For the moment it’s online only, and the first howler is that they don’t appear to have reserved the chesslondon.co.uk domain alongside chesslondon.com – anytime they want a seminar on online presence I’ve written books on the subject…
No matter. The clothes look very good and with prices like £130 a shirt they’d better; clearly this is good in comparison to the top-end designer labels but when online tailors will make something to measure exactly for a similar price the quality had better sing out.
For the most part it does. Designer Ali Riaz told me about the quality, about the detailing (and a lot of work has clearly gone into the lining of the jackets) and the fabrics. He cited Holland and Sherry as one of the top-end fabric suppliers the company uses (although once again I have to point out that two of my suits are tailored from fabrics from exactly that company put together by King and Allen, for similar prices to the off-the-peg stuff available here). His view was that every supplier has a basic range and a luxury range and Chess London sells only the top; if I’m honest I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.
He was also a little bemused when I asked whether there was a full floating canvas in the jackets, not fully understanding what I meant (here’s where I explain it in a previous post). From what I could gather the facing is indeed sewn into place so your jacket won’t pucker up if it gets rained on.
And the jackets did look pretty damned good, as did the trousers. Some of the knitwear was a bit young (see the post on mid-life crisis) – if you’re reading this blog because you’re actually over 35 I’d be a bit careful of some of that.
But if I can find room I might well be in the market for a jacket and couple of shirts sometime soon. It’s good to see a British brand starting up to compete with the international set. It’s all online at the moment and at last week’s launch they were hoping some retailers would turn up. There’s every reason to wish Chess London well for the future.