A great-grandfather who served in the British Royal Navy is at the seafaring heart of Bespoken's menswear collection recently presented at New York's Fashion Week. "The pieces in this collection were inspired by the details of these soldiers' attire, how they carried themselves through hardship and the natural wear of their tailored goods while working at sea," they explain. Nautical pieces like a reversible seaman's jacket, a sailor shirt and fisherman knits rakishly straddle the literal and the nostalgic.
Headed by the Fayeds and the Goncalves, two sets of brothers, Bespoken draws from rich sartorial tradition. The Fayed family owns the British clothier Turnbull & Asser, and the brothers take advantage of the archives at their fingertips, selecting some patterns from the Victorian era. Heritage is also an operative word for the textiles; yarns for the knitwear are from Scotland's J.C. Rennie & Co., and suiting and fabrics are supplied by Harris Tweed and British Millerain.
Bespoken, now headquartered in New York, tapped the city's revered milliner Worth & Worth for the line of seaworthy hats in the collection. However, the label remains resolutely British: "[W]e will always defer to our British heritage for foundation."