Mr Porter reveals his new baby
Call him Mr P
Having long set the benchmark for luxury e-tailing in terms of service and curation, Mr Porter's latest creation - Mr P - is a standalone menswear brand that rivals anything else on its virtual shelves. On November 7, it drops 53 items created by a team of in-house designers and here's the smart part: 24 will be basic styles available year round while the remainder are seasonal. With a further four capsules launched over the course of the year. We're particularly keen on the Japan-sourced selvedge denim and immaculate suiting but like anything else Mr Porter turns its hand to, it straddles myriad categories.
Buro 24/7 sat down with Olie Arnold, Mr Porter's Style Director, to get the lowdown on the new collection.
Mr Porter is known for its luxury brands, how will the new range sit in terms of pricing?
Olie Arnold: Mr P. will sit between the contemporary and casual departments on Mr Porter as we're confident it will appeal to a wide range of customers. It's competitively priced and is great value for money, especially when you take into account the fantastic fabrics and production values we've adopted when creating each garment.
What are your favourite items in the first drop?
OA: The black leather aviator jacket (above) with detachable shearling collar is incredible. The leather is so buttery and will only get better with age. It's classic style, but one that I feel we have made feel and look very contemporary.
Why now? Is this strictly a savvy commercial move or did Mr Porter see elements missing in the contemporary men's market and move to close that gap?
OA: Why not! Seriously though, it's been something we have been talking about for a while now as deep down, we are all product nerds and felt that we could genuinely create something really great and relevant to a lot of men. Which I truly think we have. We believe that our brand mix is almost perfect, but there are always small gaps that we felt needed filling. Once you add all of those up, it simply validated our decision to start something. Of course, we want it to be a commercial success, but we also feel we understand our customer and also men who maybe don't shop with us yet, and that they would all like Mr P.
How did you decide on the mix between essential and seasonal items?
OA: When you start to write down the core pillars of a man's wardrobe, you quickly work out what's essential. Every man has a great white tee, an oxford shirt and a quality pair of denim jeans, so we took these items and worked tirelessly on making them even better. When we looked at the seasonal drops, we kept to similar shapes and silhouettes so that our customer will have confidence in fit and then we had some fun!
Each drop is focused around a style icon or collective, so we decide on the mood and then we scour the finest mills and vintage stores for inspiration. We also operate a buy now, wear now policy so that you're buying the pieces when you need them. For example, at launch we focused on knitwear and outerwear as we were going to market in November when it's getting chilly [in the Northern Hemisphere].
Can we look forward to the same amount of seasonal items going forward?
OA: We're currently between 22 and 30 pieces per drop, depending on the time of year, which is about right for the moment. We want the brand to grow so watch this space.
You could have set up a manufacturing base anywhere, why did Italy get the nod?
Italy is still one of the best manufacturers in the world and their experience and craftsmanship is incredible. We also believe that customers understand it means quality and gives them confidence in the brand.
Mr P is available on mrporter.com from November 7.
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