Modern crafted clothing is what Albam stands for. Founded by James Shaw and Alastair Rae in 2006, the brand prides itself on its simple values of creating a high quality product from beautiful fabrics, using British factories for the majority of its production.
Six years on, the brand has grown and evolved to provide the perfect capsule wardrobe for a man who believes in well-made, honest clothes. Although the brand draws its inspiration from classic menswear, it is by no means stuck in the past. Traditional garments such as a reefer coat are updated with modern details including press-stud fastened patch pockets and quirky chambray linings.
As well as being up there on the form scale, they don’t do too badly at function either. Always striving to produce ‘simple, modern clothing but better’; inside every Albam garment is a hidden depth of technical wizardry. Their Weekend Explorer jacket is made from a waxed (in Scotland, naturally) cotton that has been exclusively produced for Albam. Lined with English-woven lambswool, the jacket features an articulated hood with a wired peak, leather reinforced elbow patches and throat guard, and belted cuffs. Oh yes, and it’s made in England too.
So we’ve established the fact that Albam makes pretty damn good clothes, but what of the cost? Well prepare to be pleasantly surprised: considering the level of craft that goes into each garment, they are decidedly affordable. One of their new ‘perfect’ seamless t-shirts will set you back a mere £36, while a pair of Japanese selvage denim jeans are a positively minuscule £85. The big-ticket item is the Patrick double-breasted blazer, which costs £345. The English-woven wool/cashmere blend tonal check cloth, and the subtle details that bring this traditional jacket into 2012, completely justify the price tag.
A significant aspect of Albam’s evolution is the influence of sport in the designs. Shaw is a keen climber and runner and this passion has been creeping its way into the garments season by season. I managed to sneak a peek at their Autumn/Winter 12/13 collection and it is looking to be their most sporty offering yet. Even more practical details abound, and new technical fabrics feature across the range.
Each week, Albam champions ‘legends’ on its blog, and the most recent is rock climber Chris Sharma. It’s the small personal details like this that really give the brand depth and allow its customers to feel part of it. Like a lot of menswear brands, they have a loyal following that buys into the brand as a whole. With an ever-expanding range of products, now including a furniture collaboration with Antikmodern, Albam looks set to become a complete lifestyle brand.