Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bosideng London - Quality worth having?

I hadn’t heard of this brand until I came to…. London.  It’s not from London, but actually a Chinese brand that is famous for selling down jackets.  In China its considered a low-mid range brand, somewhere above Gap/H&M/Zara but below Banana Republic/ J. Crew. 
Bosideng London@ 28 South Molton St.
The owner decided to move upmarket, and thus spend 35 million to buy and renovate a pub in the central London into a beautiful store.  With its flat iron shape (similar to the flat iron in New York), with red panels along the side, it really is quite amazing architecture, and done quite well.  I noticed it all the time when I passed by, but really didn’t know what it was.

Then the reviews came.  GQ mentioned this brand had hired a couple of UK hot shot designers to and create a new line for the UK.  This would not be similar to the ones sold in China, but a much more upscale type- think Prada but without the price tag.  And you know what?  Surprisingly they have succeeded.  The traditional British overcoats made of tweed are finely woven, and the jackets look quite amazing.  The main centerpiece highlighted by GQ though, was this down jacket with rabbit fur trim  Made with down and an outer shell with buttons that looked like a military coat, it could be worn casually or with a suit, providing the ultimate flexibility, all going for 300-350 GBP.

So I went to the store thinking that I would only take a look.  Turns out I quite liked it- the style was good, and with down it was very light.  It also happened to be the ONLY one left in my size (they had done a run of 50 for each size), so I promptly took it, thinking that if I ever needed to return it I would have 14 days to do so for store credit.  But I never did. 
The jacket I got & recommended by GQ

After a season I can say the coat was warm, and it was extremely flexible and looks great with a suit.  I actually got a lot of compliments from people and who wondered where to buy it.  They had not heard of the brand either, but the cut and details were what they notice as it is really more like a coat that cost 2-3 times more.  Some may say it’s a Chinese brand, but you are forgetting that British designers created the collection, and no expense was spared in creating this quality item.

I don’t know if the quality will continue- I think the point was to build the brand, or perhaps provide a higher end version for Chinese customers who visit the UK, but certainly I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Bosideng London. 

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