Thursday, July 16, 2009


July 3rd, 2009

Airport Berlin-Tempelhof,


Words, Judith Ecochard

Bread & Butter, a massive urban and streetwear tradeshow served up hundreds of exhibitors showing their Spring 2010 collections.

We were particularly keen on discovering worthy European brands that are practically unheard in the USA…because of lack of distribution, or in these times, maybe capital to jump the Pond into the lower 48- with a big splash.

We got a tip on Strellson, a handsome, line of Sportswear –including the Swiss Cross collection--- and Premium urbane separates, denim, knitwear, leather goods, kickers, eyewear, hosiery, swimwear… etc for modern “confidant, successful, trustworthy” guys, ages 25-40ish--- with style.

Strellson is distributed in forty countries…including Canada- so we were a bit embarrassed as to why we never heard of the brand. Especially since they outfit the Real Madrid football (soccer ) players and we are MAJOR FANS of that team!

Right off, we were reminded of Hugo Boss…that makes sense as we learned the label was founded by former HB owners, Uwe und Jochen 1984. It is currently owned by the Holy Fashion Group that manufacturers plenty of well known labels.

We got educated on the Strellson Swiss Cross collection first. This affordably priced line is inspired by technical sportswear design elements- but is produced for casual, everyday wear…with cosmopolitan flair.

The quality of fabrics (a leather/latex used in a jacket for example) and finishing details, like button holes, contrast stitching, seams well finished…bump this collection head over heels above other similarly targeted menswear lines…similarly priced.

And the styles were en vogue without being ridiculous, avoiding the worse elements of sloppy casual wear (like ridiculous low waist, baggy pants, shapeless shirts) etc.

And so NOT old school looks better suited for an older generation.

There was plenty to like in this lifestyle brand. Wearable and comfy, oversized knit cardigan sweaters and vests in handsome argyle prints (hello 60’s), 100% cotton polos, trim button downs, and a cool dark denim blazer caught our attention.

Retailers were really responding to the 100% cotton, crew neck stripped sweaters- cleverly printed on the inside…

… and the look for Fall…done for Spring too…a black biker jacket, done in washed leather.

This was also a waterproof active jacket with details like inner pockets and taped seams, and fun tees…part of the “Music Is My Radar” collection.

A real bummer for us- that no pictures were allowed ANYWHERE. We don’t get this as we always take pics at tradeshows in the States…in fact, exhibitors send us jpegs before we can photoshop anything.

But we digress.

We also took in the Premium line …

There’s a different color story each month, for this urban, upscale collection that has business worthy separates- that can be effortlessly mixed and matched. Or idiot proof clothes as we like to call it.

This collection is well thought out…with a look that “creates tension” between matt and shiny fabrics like nylon, formal details on casual pieces, and balanced proportions…like a slim fitting blazer with looser fit trousers.

Blood red, a grayish blue, as well as basic colors like black…start off the hues for Spring 2010.

An attractive green (kinda a mashup between army green and gray) is set for attire delivered later on. We saw a super leather jacket in this shade.

Pale peach and brown shades---as seen on nappa leather- and versatile, lightweight washed linen jackets (lined in dark gray)…are work friendly, dapper cover-ups for cooler temps or heat waves.

Deliberately, these colors mesh well with each other…solid separates to build a wardrobe.


What’s new is the jacket length…74 cm versus 78cm. But not to worry for the metric system clueless (us). This is not a dumb shrunken schoolboy length. With the slim cut--- the jacket totally works.