Ah Jack Wills… home of the grey marl sweat and the brand renowned for making hoodies acceptable attire for non-teens. And who doesn’t love a good hoodie? Well, this week sees the launch of their first ever men’s sportswear collection, featuring international model and fitness coach Roger Frampton – whose abs are another level of inspiring! Think quality gym vests, crew-neck sweaters and long sleeved running tops all in a subtle colour palette that whispers sophisticated sportswear.
Roger Frampton in the Jack Wills Sporting Goods campaign.
Whilst this may not be a huge departure from their usual heritage casualwear, it marks a decisive move into athleisurewear with a range of pieces made from high-performance technical fabrics. Designed in London, and created in Portugal by the same factory that produces products for Olympic athletes, the fabrication ticks all the specialist boxes – quick-drying, breathable, antibacterial and with added sunblock. This follows the successful launch of their women’s sportswear range in January (note their stylish two-tone running leggings and cropped hooded sweaters) and taps into the current fashion obsession with sports-luxe and the booming fitness market.
Jack Wills women’s sporting range includes two-tone sports bras and running leggings
The new men’s sporting range features crew-neck sweaters and training shorts
At this week’s launch I caught up with founder and CEO Peter Williams, who talked about the new direction for the brand and his old love of baseball caps. After founding the company in 1999 aged just 23 , Peter (now 42) has watched Jack Wills evolve with age. He states that he wears the label every day, adding that with menswear it is ‘all about the basics and getting the quality just right. If men find a T-shirt they like they will buy it in every colour and so we ensure that the fit, shape and the weight of the cotton is perfect.’ He also mentioned that one of their current bestselling items is his-and-hers matching baseball caps, a product that they brought back to stores in the last few years. And whilst teens and early 20-somethings buy into the bold branded logo garments, the original customers who have grown up with the label are looking for more understated branding. Hence why the logo on the new sporting range features a more discreet boxed Jack Wills emblem.
The clothing as seen in the Kingly Street London store
Healthy snacks by Protein Haus at the press launch, including their fabulously named Muscle Snickers and Health Balls
Currently the range features approximately 16 pieces, with prices starting at £24.95, but by autumn there will be additional accessories and further garments added to the collection. Oh, and if you happen to see a pair of branded Jack Wills boxing gloves come September, you can credit that idea to me.
Products are available from the Jack Wills London stores in Covent Garden and Soho, Heathrow Terminal 3 or online. To shop the collection go to: http://www.jackwills.com/sporting-goods
For more information about Roger Frampton visit: http://www.roger.coach