The 5th Anniversary Collection

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The 5th Anniversary Collection

Photography by Mr Charles Nègre | Styling by Ms Sophie Hardcastle

18 February 2016

New and exclusive: 20 wardrobe staples reinvented for MR PORTER by some of our favourite brands.

We’ve received some truly awful birthday presents over the years. Take, for example, that second-hand electric toothbrush that one staffer received from an older sibling. (“It works fine,” they said. “You'll just need to replace the head.”) Or that *NSYNC calendar from 2002 (received 2004). The conclusion we’ve come to is that sometimes it’s easier just to write your own birthday wish list.

That’s why, in advance of our fifth anniversary, we spoke to 18 of our most beloved menswear brands – many of which we’ve worked with since the very beginning – and asked them each to recreate one of our all-time favourite pieces in a smart, stylish and very MR PORTER colour scheme of black, white and grey. And boy, did they deliver.

Based on The Essentials, MR PORTER’s definitive list of everyday wardrobe staples that never go out of style, the fifth anniversary collection includes sneakers from Common Projects, a sweater from Maison Margiela, a shirt from Gitman Vintage, sunglasses from Cutler And Gross and selvedge denim jeans from Jean Shop – and that’s just the things beginning with “s”.

As Managing Director Mr Toby Bateman puts it, this is a way to “celebrate both our origins and our future”. Staying true to the blueprints for masculine, timeless style we laid out five years ago, we expect this MR PORTER-ised collection of monochrome essentials to be just as relevant in another five years, too.

A fifth birthday is something that must seem like a mere triviality to a long-established company such as Cutler And Gross, of course. Messrs Graham Cutler and Tony Gross have been in the eyewear business for more than 40 years, so it was very considerate of them to design these smart tortoiseshell frames, above – which come with either dark or clear lenses. In the foreground, a luxuriously soft elbow-patched cashmere sweater from Maison Margiela. Our go-to brand for classics with a twist, Maison Margiela has been available at MR PORTER since year one. We couldn’t not include it in our anniversary collection, could we?

While you might not be able to spot them in the photograph above, Gitman Vintage’s white Oxford shirt, Mackintosh’s black raincoat and Jean Shop’s black denim jeans all come with subtle added details that elevate them above the ordinary. The shirt has a black grosgrain trim running along the placket, the jeans are finished with a black-and-white selvedge seam and the raincoat has a polka-dot lining under the collar in – you guessed it – black and white. We’re really running with this monochrome thing.

We’re big fans of US designer Todd Snyder’s collaboration with the iconic sportswear brand Champion, so naturally we’re delighted that they’ve made us our very own sweatshirt. It’s an eye-catching piece that comes with contrasting black stitching at the seams. In the foreground, you can see a black polo shirt bearing the famous crocodile logo of Lacoste, and just visible on top of that is a long-sleeved black and white Breton T-shirt from Mr Jean Touitou’s Parisian casualwear label, A.P.C. – a brand that has been with us since launch.

Now, this is our kind of gallery. The plinth in the foreground exhibits a pair of shoes made by the illustrious cobbler John Lobb. It’s not a brand known for its unnecessary embellishments, and that’s exactly what we like about it. Whether it’s an Oxford, a Derby, or, as in this case, a penny loafer, you know what you’re getting with John Lobb: a classic shoe made incredibly well. This version of the brand’s Lopez penny loafer comes with the subtle addition of a stylish white footbed. And the bowler hat? More on this later.

Long-time followers of MR PORTER will be well aware of the love we have for A.P.C., Common Projects and Incotex, our holy trinity of casual brands. A.P.C.’s Breton T-shirts are without parallel, Incotex makes hands-down the best chinos, and in the Achilles low-top, Common Projects has created what are perhaps the quintessential designer sneakers. Each exclusive comes with a subtle nod to our monochrome colour scheme. Throw them all together for a very MR PORTER weekend look.

Berluti’s long-awaited expansion into clothes and accessories after more than a century of focusing exclusively on handmade shoes was one of our favourite moments of the last five years. Any concerns that the family-owned Parisian brand might abandon the dedication to craftsmanship that made its shoes so popular over the generations were ill-founded: the belts, bags and blazers that now bear the name Berluti are every bit the equal of its beautifully burnished leather Oxfords. This black-and-white leather backpack, above, is a highlight in a collection full of highlights.

The bowler hat above was made for us by Lock & Co Hatters, the historic London milliner that lays claim to having invented the style back in 1849. As a central element of the image of the traditional British businessman, the bowler hat is as much a piece of iconography as it is millinery. And as the adopted emblem of MR PORTER, it seems only fitting that it gets the nod and tops off our birthday collection.