MR PORTER might be one of the biggest sellers of menswear around the world with their global audience but the online retailer is asking their customers to take a small world approach when it comes to their choices for fashion and design. Literally. The luxury portal has just launched the second edition of their Small World series. First launched back in 2021, the Small World initiative is a permanent collection that expands upon MR PORTER’s Craftsmanship Code and celebrates brands, designers and creators that embody one of the six pillars that make the Code’s blueprint: Heritage Craft, Future Craft, Made Locally, Made To Last, Made With High Standards Of Animal Welfare and Made From Considered Materials.

MR PORTER launches their second Small World capsule. Image: MR PORTER.

Fashion, homewares and design – Small World is a window into a world of creativity that exists outside of mainstream or major commercial markets. Where the unique, rather than overt branding or celebrity collaboration, takes centre place.

According to Sam Kershaw, MR PORTER’s Buying Director, the products selected for the Small World initiative are “a curated selection of products made by brands who make a positive contribution to their communities whilst operating with environmental and social considerations in their design and business decisions.”

“These brands are also able to maintain their regional authenticity and artisanal heritage. We choose the brands and designs based on their philosophy and aesthetics. We value storytelling through designs, choices of fabrics, production techniques, to incorporate brands with different styles in a capsule so we could cater to different types of customers. For example, in this capsule, we featured formal blazers from Japanese brand Karu Research and New York brand Stòffa, and at the same time we have streetstyle pieces from Los Angeles brand King Kennedy Rugs. We aim to have something for everyone.”

Designs will range from fashion to homewares and object. Image: MR PORTER

Speaking to ICON about the new curation of designers and makers, Kershaw says that the demand for design that has clear provenance and meaning for the maker and strong strong sustainability methods. “Consumers have been craving more considered products in recent years due social and environmental changes in consumption behaviours, which provided this Small World capsule with a deeper purpose and values. Also, we have included a lot of homeware products that showcased the craftsmanship and aesthetics of the brands, and they were very popular among our clients who love decorating their living spaces in which they have spent more time in.”

It also seeks to satisfy the growing hunger for designs and details that haven’t appeared in endless posts on social media. It speaks back to a time when fashion was less about mass numbers and more about self expression. Something that Small World offers is a chance to buy small in another sense – small batch, small make, limited numbers of each that ensures you won’t see it en masse when you walk down the street. It comes from looking further afield for designs than the familiar demographics of France, Italy, Sweden etc. Kershaw says that the chance to open up the world to the creative powerhouses within other countries and cultures that may not usually be represented in mainstream retail is one of the most exciting elements of the Small World venture.

Small World will also highlight the talent of designers from a broader diversity of countries and cultures.

“We have featured brands from Indonesia, Nigeria and Brazil to the UK, France, Portugal and Japan. Whilst many of the items exclusive to MR PORTER have already sold out since our launch in mid-May due to their limited nature, our mission is to always provide men with everything that they need to look their best at all times.”

ICON asked Kershaw his three stand-out pieces from the new capsule to help give you an insight on what to keep an eye out for.

Carleen.

The Quilted Patchwork Upcycled Cotton Gilet from Carleen caught my eye immediately when I first saw the collection from the brand. The fabrics that make up the patchwork were all upcycled in Los Angeles, making each piece one-of-a-kind. The simple shape keeps focus on the vintage prints and it is perfect to be worn over a white t-shirt on a breezy summer night.

Adish

The Logo-Embroidered Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt from Tel Aviv streetwear label Adish has Tatreez embroideries at the chest and sleeves. Each piece is made locally by different craftswomen and is sewn with the location and name of the group that produced the embroidery. I’m very excited about this label as infusing Middle Eastern culture into streetwear is a great way to honour their label’s roots.

Clothcurgeon.

The Leather-Trimmed Wool-Blend Bouclé Slippers from Clothcurgeon in collaboration with Kvadrat and Arthur Sleep is also a very playful piece. This locally-made pair of slippers from the UK features a blue and white wool-blend bouclé surface, which is a quite uncommon fabric to use on a pair of men’s shoes. The fabric adds a bit of femininity to the shoes and it would be nice to be paired with a more fitting suit.

 

thoughts?