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River Island Goes Back to its Roots


Any brand with a proud history knows that it’s an entirely priceless commodity, one that can prove to be a potential well of reinvention. River Island is the latest brand to dig down deep into its heritage, returning to brandish the ‘Holloway Road’ imprint — a new in-house-designed menswear line.

It was Bernard Lewis who founded what would later become River Island, first with a wool shop based in a lock-up garage in the East End, and then later opening sturdier premises on Holloway Road in north London in 1948, trading under the name Lewis Separates selling high-quality working menswear. By 1955, Lewis had embarked on the more ambitious project of becoming a label, designing and selling its own ranges.

This ethos (and of course the address) has travelled through to ‘Holloway Road’, a range of classic rugged, yet comfortable and casual, menswear with a contemporary edge.

We’re talking about earthy, blue collar-style workwear, but with a definitively modern twist. Camel browns and rust reds make up the muted but stylishly understated colour palette, complemented by distressed-look denim. The sweatshirts and T-shirts, starting at £18, are also given a faded, washed-out look.

Also making up the collection will be a selection of loose denim shirts, chunky zip-up hoodies and padded gilets (or body-warmers as they’re known this side of the pond), featuring stylish leather and suede detailing on the shoulders and elbow patches.

And the good news is, you don’t necessarily have to inhabit a workshop or know how to handle welding equipment to carry off the look, either.

The Holloway Road collection is in River Island stores now.



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