Staff Picks: The Design Classics We Want Right Now
Illustrations by Mr Joe McKendry
At MR PORTER, it’s our job to be up-to-speed on new trends and to forecast what’s coming around the next corner. Pearl necklaces on male celebrities? We’re here for it. But there’s still a lot to be said for those staple pieces that just keep showing up time and time again. Whether it’s a vintage accessory that goes with everything, an investment jacket you’ll wear for years or even a new addition to your collection that’s just so well-crafted it deserves immediate icon status, there’s no denying that je ne sais quoi feeling when you slip on a really great piece of design. A “classic” is a different thing for everyone, of course, so we asked the team to share a few they love, or would love, to own.
Mr Olie Arnold
The Wayfarer by Ray-Ban is arguably the most iconic pair of sunglasses ever made, and for good reason. First produced in 1956, they have been the go-to for some of the coolest men throughout history, including Mr Bob Dylan and President JFK, and stole the show in classic movies such as The Blues Brothers and Risky Business. Today, thanks to the trend for vintage sunglasses, their influence continues to shine. I have several pairs on rotation, one in the glove compartment of my car, one in my desk drawer and another often found in my four-year-old’s play box. Distinctive, versatile, reasonably priced and always cool – there are very few products that tick all of those boxes.
Mr Paul Hempstead
Due to its modern silhouette and technical design, this jacket might not look or seem “traditional”, but this lightweight update on one of Arc’teryx’s core pieces is a modern classic. Having gone through many outdoor jackets in my time, testing them both up mountains and in the city, I have never loved an item as much as I do my Zeta jacket. For day-today life, I often wear it with a pair of smart trousers and sleek running shoes, switching to full climbing attire for days spent out in the mountains. This jacket is a truly versatile piece that will always remain a staple in my wardrobe.
Social Content Strategist
Ms Sophie Hay
Maybe it’s because I’ve been away from the office for 187 days and I’m missing the corporate world, but over the past few months, I’ve found myself being drawn to accessories that mean business (while my clothes have remained firmly in the world of sweats). A piece that I find myself dreaming about often is the Cartier Santos – one of the maison’s most iconic designs and a watch that (I would hope) would last me forever. The smaller 35.1mm case size is perfect for someone who wants a more understated piece (or a woman who prefers a more robust style) and the interchangeable straps are a bit of fun, too.
Ms Tiffany Richardson
For me, a bomber jacket is a classic wardrobe staple. You can never go wrong with a bomber – not only is it a practical outerwear piece, it also completes an outfit. I was immediately drawn to this beautifully executed example by TOM FORD. With its subtle colour, quilted texture, modest touches of white leather and placement of functional buttons, it covers it all. So versatile that anyone can wear it, and so well designed that it will never go out of style.
Mr Tom M Ford
It is difficult to think of anything that represents classic design better than a solid rectangle. It’s not just a classic shape, it is design that is as old as time. We’ve been making things out of rectangle structures for centuries – from houses to coffins – because of their sturdiness and consistency. Right angles and gravity, you see. We’ve known these things since the Alexandrian Greek mathematician Euclid discovered them circa 4th century BC. I mean, these facts already existed, of course – he just laid claim to them. Anyway, despite being a new arrival on our site, this bar of soap looks like something a Geordie miner might have used to wash his kitchen floor in 1815. Inescapably classic.