LIFESTYLE EVENT: Rich London: Fashion Heritage, Protein Studios, Shoreditch 28/4/16

We don’t really need a reason to go to Shoreditch, but when we got invited to Rich London’s, Fashion Heritage event, it was the perfect excuse. Situated quite far out of the hipster eye, it was held in an open warehouse at the very hip Protein Studios. Exhibiting a brand history and first look AW16 collections, if you like fashion and are the type to go to Crepe City or own an oversized vintage sportswear jacket, this is the place for you.

An open bar was a definite highlight, and helped warm the cockles in the sub zero temperatures of the open warehouse. It made all of the vintage display jackets feel a little taunting, as we just wanted to put them on to stop the hypothermia! The moment you walk in you won’t really feel like you’re in an exhibition, but more like a trendy, exclusive pop up shop. There are rows of shoes and classic style jackets from a variety of sportswear brands such as, Kappa, Fila, Hummel and our favourite Schott NYC. If you looked beyond the jumble sale displays and shoe protector demo stall and the many over enthused promo people, there were some interesting parts.

The vintage vibe overpowered (of course it does, it’s Shoreditch), but unlike every other 1000 vintage shops dotted around here, there was a purpose for it (other than to flog the old clothes); a feel of heritage and a celebration of the history of the featured brands and their rise to fashion from sports.

The Fila display was very meticulously and cleanly laid out and shows the chronological rise of the brand’s popularity as sportswear, from tennis, to basketball, and even wrestling. There were frames dotted around the walls, boasting the celebs that have been sponsored by the brand, whose influence helped make comfort and sportswear into a fashion style.

We then moved on to the very artsy and pretentious display from Kappa, complete with an audio feature, focused on one of their designers, explaining their brand rise into the fashion world. Kappa interested us slightly more, with part of its history involving pop culture and music. Damon Albarn, frontman of indie sensations, Blur, hung in a frame, in his iconic blue Kappa trackie jacket. Undoubtedly, this is a huge reason why the brand earned its place in the sportswear vs fashion world and why rocking up in trackies is now socially acceptable (and not just on the Jezza Kyle show).

It’s not a shock that music and fashion go hand in hand, even in 2016. With Kayne West’s Yeezy collection and Oli Syke’s Drop Dead setting the trend, the list is endless. But one of the brand originators of this genius pairing, who clocked on to the art of selling clothes through using celebrity endorsement in the 50s, is Schott NYC. They did this through one item, the iconic leather jacket. The Schott NYC display is by far the most aesthetically pleasing and interesting to us as it was littered with iconic musicians and cool cats in their statement leather jackets, from James Dean to the Ramones. There was even a time line that showed how the one off Schott NYC leather jacket evolved into a baseball/basketball-like sports piece, that made them a competitor to the other 3 rivals on display. Any brand that provided the Ramones leathers is winner to us and it was hands down the coolest display and where we chose to sip our prosecco and beer for most of the night!

Hummel was the last stand and it looked a little lost. With a 70s theme it was obviously the exhibition newcomer and the brand are mainly a sports trainer distributer. We won’t lie, we mainly used this display to vote on the ‘ugliest trainer’.

The AW16 collections were central to the room and looked like a celebrity’s donation to a charity shop. Deluxe, vintage heaven. The baseball jackets seemed to be the same regurgitated pattern in different colour variations, but all were desirable and a massive focal point. There were definite gems amongst the dirt but you had to rummage. Our favourite piece was a signature grey leather jacket that would rival Patti Smith’s.

Overall the event had a bit of a snobby vibe to those that don’t live or die the sportswear trend or polish their trainers with their own tears, but although we felt a bit unwelcome (and quite literally got given the beady eye of disapproval by a girl in a bright yellow fur, mismatched socks and Nike airs), we had a good time!


Written by: Charly Phillips