What do you remember about 2008? The orchestral pop and pomp of Coldplay’s chart-topping ‘Viva La Vida’? The homespun, homegrown Lotus Evora first roaring to life in Norfolk? Perhaps Danny Boyle’s UK-made Slumdog Millionaire — spell-binding critics and sweeping the board for Britain at the Oscars?
Here at Gentleman’s Journal, we remember 2008 by another British triumph. And if — like us — you also mark the passing years by the changing face of fashion, you probably remember the launch of Aubin & Wills, too.
Opening on Oxford Street, the British brand was unveiled to acclaim in 2008; smartly launched in the menswear market as an elder sibling to preppy powerhouse Jack Wills. And it swiftly became a firm favourite in the capital’s sartorial circles. Branching out beyond fashion, Aubin & Wills even partnered with projects in the art, music and film worlds — memorably establishing a cinema in collaboration with Soho House.
Over a decade later, and the brand is back — relaunching, rebranding and repositioning itself for a brand new generation of clothing connoisseurs. And much has been learnt during its nine-year hiatus. Perhaps most importantly, founder Pete Williams has recognised the urgent need for sustainable fashion — and guarantees that the newly, slightly shorter-named ‘Aubin’ will epitomise the eco-friendly idea of ‘quality over quantity’.
“Aubin has always been rooted in slow fashion,” Williams says of his brand’s key tenet. “But it was first launched at the peak of the fast fashion revolution that changed the market totally. Fast forward to today and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental consequences of their shopping habits and our core principle of “Better is Greater than More” now resonates with a far wider audience.”
It’s a smart move; and one that resonates through every stitch and seam of the brand’s new AW21 collection. Core pieces in the modern Aubin range include the ‘Lysaghts’ wool shirt — inspired by the traditional, hardy utility shirts of Lincolnshire steel workers, and the ‘Union Wax’ jacket, a classic British piece in both cut and colour — crafted from British ‘Millerain’ fabric and guaranteed to last for years if properly cared for.
“Aubin has always been rooted in slow fashion…”
These garments are as far from fast fashion as modern menswear gets. Available in-store, at JohnLewis.com and other select stores — as well as online — they’re built to last, built to live and built to exemplify the strong British values of authenticity and reliability. The ‘Portloe’ submariner jumper is equal parts comfortable and practical, the ‘Ramsden’ overcoat is woven using hardy Abraham Moons & Sons wool from Yorkshire, and the ‘Aldridge’ shirt puts a premium, modern spin on the classic Oxford.
From the gilets to the jumpers — the sweaters to the socks — everything in Aubin’s 58-strong capsule is considered and created with real men’s needs in mind. And, furthering the practical identity the brand established in 2008, Aubin has re-emerged at the perfect time; when utilitarian fashions, tough twill workshirts and durable jeans are at the forefront of resilient, resistant style.
To spearhead the stand against throwaway culture this September, Aubin has opened a new store at 15 Newburgh Street in Carnaby’s Newburgh Quarter — and has transformed an iconic pub in the heart of Carnaby, into The Aubin Arms. The two-week takeover will consist of an array of unique programming, including a Soho Radio Takeover on Wednesday 15th September, with a special performance by singer-songwriter Joel Culpepper and DJ sets from the likes of Primal Scream.
We’d recommend heading down to discover the traditional styles and tactile quality for yourself. Among our favourite pieces, the ‘Brumby’ jacket is plucked straight from the Aubin archives — based on a 1960s vintage British Railway jacket made by Arthur Miller. The ‘Portloe’ jumper, mentioned above, is another must-have for autumn; a piece of heritage knitwear traditionally woven with coarse British wool, but here reimagined in the finest merino. And, finally, the corduroy ‘Brigg’ shirt — patch-pocketed and perfect for the colder months ahead.
So take a look below, and reacquaint yourself with the sustainably-minded, enduringly-crafted, triumphant return of Aubin…
Aubin ‘Brumby’ Jacket
Aubin ‘Portloe’ Submariner Jumper
Aubin ‘Brigg’ Relaxed Cord Shirt
To be in with the chance of winning an exclusive space at The Aubin Arms, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit the brand’s social pages where Aubin will be giving away drinks tabs across the duration of the pop up.
Aubin AW21 Launch Collection
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