Bryceland's Hong Kong: Classic Tailoring For The Modern Man
April 16, 2018 | BY Rosana Lai
Old-school charm mixed with modern tailoring, Bryceland's Co. is Hong Kong's latest haunt for men looking for a more relaxed take on formal dressing. Everything about the Japan-originated store puts you at ease, from the ties casually thrown over wooden dividers to the five-seater bar for when you want a break. We sat down with co-founder Ethan Newton to find out more:
Where did the name Bryceland’s come from?
The name Bryceland's is my mother's maiden name—my mother's family came to Australia through a convict named Catherine Bryceland. She had most likely been a Breslain when she left Ireland for Glasgow, and by the time she had been convicted and shipped to Tasmania in 1851, the name had been anglicised to Bryceland, and thus it stayed until the last of our family line, William Bryceland.
Catherine Bryceland had been convicted of stealing bespoke boots and boot lasts, which seemed only fitting when I decided to continue the family name through our business.
Bryceland's prides itself on being an “eco-system” between the makers and the consumers. Why is that so important to you?
We aim to be inherently un-consumerist. It is a strange approach for a retailer, but we believe in producing only what is necessary, creating only things of value, supporting the people that continue to create art through garments and the customers that allow them to keep working and training the next generation.
Our hope is that through showing fairness and equity to our partners on both sides of the transaction—the maker and the consumer—we can build a business that benefits all involved. That is the essence of 'Sampoyoshi'—that all three sides of the transaction are treated fairly and left able to continue doing what they do, be it making, selling or wearing.
How would you describe the man who likes Bryceland’s style?
The Bryceland's man appreciates clothing without being beholden to them. He wants to dress with masculinity and classicism, but doesn't want to be worn by his clothes—rather they should best represent him.
We make garments to span his wardrobe from the workday to the weekend, boardroom to ballroom to backroom, all with cuts that flatter the body, devoid of visible branding and of a quality that should benefit from wear and age. He is not fussy, but particular in how he presents himself, and wants the best value so he buys the best he can afford and takes care of his garments.
There are some unique characteristics in Bryceland’s pieces. Can you walk us through some of them and what those details were inspired by?
Bryceland's garments are simply the result of what Kenji and I want to wear, and they represent our vision of a perfect wardrobe. The tab club collar is something I like to wear as I carry a heavy beard, and I find the precision of that collar and the arch of a tie when buttoned into a collar a good balm to the haphazard appearance of my face.
Likewise, Kenji and I both have a fondness for pocket watches, so our waistcoats have a buttonhole to accommodate a watch chain. Should a customer have a particular need— be it space for pens and notebooks in a jacket, or an extra button on the back of a polo collared oxford shirt to help keep errant collar points from whipping about—we do our best to make that happen. The garments will always follow our general aesthetic, that is the value we bring, but its application should be unique to each customer's needs.
What is it about Japan that drew you and Kenji to it?
The first decision to open in Tokyo came on the consistent advice of friends in the industry in Japan, who felt that the market here needed a shake-up and new personalities that could provide a product of classicism and masculinity.
Japan is a very sophisticated market for classic menswear, and arguably one of the most educated consumer groups when it comes to classic tailoring, so we thought if we could make it in Japan amongst such illustrious contemporaries, we would know we are on the right path.
In your journey to men’s tailoring, what was a gap you saw in the market? What was something you were hoping to change?
For myself personally, I have had twenty plus years working in menswear and tailoring, so as I have seen styles progress and trends come and go, I have formed a strong opinion on how men should dress. I hate visible branding—men should always be advertising themselves, not a designer's name or brand affiliation.
The garments should speak for themselves, and make a star of the wearer, not the designer. I think it is important to be aware of who we are representing with the clothes we wear, and for us, masculinity and quiet confidence is our ultimate goal.
Bryceland's Co. Hong Kong, 7/ Floor, Luk Yu Building, Central, Hong Kong, brycelandsco.com
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