5 Labels To Get Excited About In 2014

Esquire's associate editor on the brands you should be keeping an eye out for this forthcoming season.

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Cast your mind back to late 2012. 3D televisions were the next big thing (again), cronuts (doughnut meets croissant) were being forcibly inserted into our collective cake holes and restaurants across London started refusing to take bookings, just because.

Newness for newness’ sake can be a right royal pain in the face.

The same applies to fashion. With new brands launching everyday, each promising to make you look more handsome, fitter and infinitely more fashionable than the other, sometimes it can be difficult to distill the good stuff from, well, the guff.

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Here, to try and help you shop better, are five brands – some old, some new – currently producing exciting, interesting collections, all of which are worthy of your attention. From Savile Row stalwarts embracing a much-needed sea change to avant garde designers finally getting in on the menswear game, there’s something to suit every taste.

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Best known for dressing fashion-savvy female celebrities for their red carpet appearances (Tilda Swinton and Penelope Cruz are two of his biggest fans) Columbian designer Haider Ackermann was once hailed as “the new Yves Saint Laurent”.

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Judging by Ackermann’s Spring Summer ’14 men’s collection (his first, baring a one off presentation in Florence several seasons ago), such hyperbole may be justified.

A symphony of slouchy silk bombers, perfectly cropped and tapered trousers in jewel shades, soft shouldered spotty silk overcoats and double breasted jacquard blazers teamed with perfectly louche silk scarves – it might all sound a bit scary, but Ackermann makes it all seem remarkably wearable. As close to couture as menswear gets, this.

The runway images shown are of the Spring Summer ’14 collection, available now.

Belgian born, New York-based designer Tim Coppens has been producing exemplary menswear collections for the past five years, but his SS’14 offering was by far the best yet. Not dissimilar to Korean designer Wooyoungmi’s collection from the same season (another of our favourites) the look felt modern and fresh.

Leather paneled bomber jackets and trench coats came teamed with expertly cut cigarette trousers in navy and black, while preppy paneled sweatshirts, shorts and blousons set an elegant, sporty tone. One to watch.

The runway images shown are of the Spring Summer ’14 collection, available now.

I’ve been banging on about Valentino’s new direction for a while now. Under the creative guidance of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the menswear branch of the brand is – dare I say it – the strongest it’s ever been.

The label’s bold sneakers (which pretty much started the designer trainer trend) have been around for a while, but it’s the understated tailoring that’s really caught everyone’s attention.

For Spring Summer ’14, beautiful mohair suits with horizontal paneling came teamed with luxury leather espadrilles, sparkling white shirts and leather-paneled sweatshirts. Masculine, elegant, a little bit edgy and experimental without being too challenging, Chiuri and Piccioli have placed Valentino at the centre of the men’s fashion universe, and long may it last.

The runway images shown are of the Spring Summer ’14 collection, available now.

After several, slightly unsure seasons, centuries-old Savile Row brand Gieves & Hawkes is back on top form, and it’s thanks in part to recently installed creative director Jason Basmajian (formerly of Brioni). The brand’s SS’13 collection got things going, with immaculately cut trench coats, window pane check double breasted suits and light suede bombers setting a Riviera-inspired tone.

For his Autumn Winter ’14 collection, which was unveiled at LC:M in January, Basmajian offered up one of the most sumptuously wearable collections of the season, chunky loden green duffel coats, slim line waffle knit jumpers, on trend shearling jackets and elegant leather and crocodile accessories came shown alongside more traditional tailoring.

The runway images shown are of the Autumn Winter ’14 collection, available later this year.

The early noughties weren’t all that kind to Cerruti. With several creative directors treading the floors of the brand’s design studios over the last decade or so (few of them with much success), it had all but disappeared from the consciousness of the world’s fashion press. No longer, thanks primarily to the installment of Italian designer Aldo Maria Camillo at the helm, whose Spring Summer ’14 collection – all soft, simple tailoring in natural hues - marked a welcome return to form.

The Autumn Winter ’14 collection, shown in Paris in January, was even more impressive. From flowing double faced cashmere overcoats to beautifully round shouldered bombers to cape coats with raglan sleeves and shearling collars to bulbous check bombers teamed with pleated trousers, the look was somehow both timeless and contemporary all at once.

The runway images shown are of the Spring Summer ’14 collection, available now.

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