Welcome To Small World – An Exclusive, Artisanal Collection Now On MR PORTER
Last year, we made a decision to shift our focus as a business and prioritise the future of the planet while continuing to bring you long-lasting style with craft in its DNA. In addition to announcing Our Pledge and the Craftsmanship Code, we launched Small World, a capsule collection that champions artisans from around the world who approach their designs with care and purpose, honour traditional techniques or invest in clever innovations, and put their communities, their environment and their responsibility towards both first.
Before we get into the next instalment of Small World, a little refresher on our Craftsmanship Code. Built on the understanding that sustainability takes many forms, we developed a series of qualities that we look for when sourcing new brands to carry on MR PORTER. The MR PORTER Craftsmanship Code was designed to look at the various ways in which designers and creators are working towards a better future. As such, it ranges from a dedication to artisanal craftsmanship (and therefore a dedication to treating craftsmen and women with respect) to the innovative harnessing of future craft (for example the development and use inventive materials that lessen our impact on our environment) and excellently made pieces that will last. It also sets a standard and a signpost, so that you can easily identify brands that align with your own ethos and shop accordingly.
Which brings us back to the new Small World collection, which features 22 brands chosen for their character, the care they put into their products and their dedication to craft. Like last year, Small World includes homeware, clothing, accessories and shoes. It includes formal pieces that may become heirlooms and jackets that were made from heirloom rugs. This year, we’ve added fine jewellery for those of you who value – and want to invest in – accessories that will stand the test of time.
“Small World champions artisans from around the world who approach their designs with care and purpose, honour traditional techniques or invest in clever innovations”
Our team spent months travelling the world, from Los Angeles to Japan, to find brands with stories and pieces that deserve a special place in your wardrobe.
Take Adish, an Israeli-Palestinian-owned streetwear brand that champions traditional Palestinian craft techniques to create ultra-modern, ultra-wearable, ultra-cool clothes. Adish was founded by two Israeli natives, Messrs Amit Luzon and Eyal Eliyahu. The collection is an effort to bridge the rather large gap between Israel and Palestine, to change the conversation by changing the working relationship and to shine a light on the humanitarian situation in Palestine. The craft techniques employed by Adish, including embroidery, weaving, and fabric creation are all Palestinian in origin and 95 per cent of the garments emerge from workshops in the region (only its knitwear comes from Italy).
Or Stòffa, a New York-based brand run by Messrs Nicholas Ragosta and Agyesh Madan, which is doubling down on the importance of well-fitting tailoring – a bold move in a world that has decided that sweatpants are king. They believe in the concept of “relaxed elegance”, so their trousers and shirts have classic details but modern, louche touches that channel Italian summers and days in the sun. Their clothes are responsibly produced in small quantities in keeping with their mission to “replace excess with quality, individuality and sustainability”.
New Delhi-based Karu Research works with Indian artisans to create menswear that feels deeply personal. It’s luxurious in the sense that each piece has a handmade quality – shorts are hand-embroidered or shirts are hand-printed – but is designed to be worn informally, every day. Karu Research has produced pieces exclusively for MR PORTER using upcycled materials such as silk jacquards and soft cottons.
Here in London, clothsurgeon is a “bespoke streetwear” brand that approaches trends with the care of a Savile Row tailor – and is based on Savile Row. Like Stòffa, it offers a bespoke service, but its clothing is determinedly low-key and street-inspired. Think wool-blend drawstring shorts instead of wool suits and blouson jackets rather than waistcoats. The clothes are meticulously constructed yet meticulously cool at the same time. For MR PORTER, clothsurgeon has used deadstock fabrics from Raf Simons and Kvadrat to create an exclusive collection you won’t find anywhere else or ever again.
Speaking of cool, Mr Mikael Kennedy of King Kennedy Rugs has made finding the next cool thing a profession. He started out as a fashion photographer (and continues in this line of work), but discovered a passion for antique rugs and sold them from the boot of his car before investing in studio space. Now, the Los Angeles-based all-rounder creates one-off pieces of clothing as well. He respectfully repurposes old carpets (he never uses prayer rugs, Afghani War rugs or Navajo rugs) to make jackets and accessories and digitises rug prints for use on limited-edition pieces. Once he uses a print, that’s it – it’s retired, so you know your piece is as close to unique as possible.
Finally, we come to Japan. COTTLE is based in a refurbished factory in Okayama, the country’s denim capital, and uses traditional techniques to create simple, finely wrought pieces that you can wear every day. For MR PORTER, it has created an elegant fleece jacket with geometric panelling and denim pieces with modern silhouettes. The value it places on quality and textiles is apparent in every item. These clothes are built to last.
Like what you’ve seen so far? This is just a taster and we promise you will love the whole collection. Click to shop all 22 brands and keep an eye on The Journal over the next week to learn more about Small World.