It’s time to meet the Dutch brand designing smart menswear tailored to the body – and tethered to a nomadic spirit.
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Start-up lore goes that Jack Dorsey first came up with the idea for Twitter while standing in San Francisco’s leafy South Park. The founders of Foursquare built half of the site’s original prototypes sitting in coffee shops across New York City. Right from the start, the scions of Silicon Valley changed the world of work; now, thanks to them, offices are fitted with treadmill desks, sleeping pods and baristas. Hot-desking, webinars and wine-fridges have ushered in a spanking dynamism to stuffy corporate culture. It was inevitable that workwear would follow suit.
‘Today, luxury is about feeling independent and free, combining work with pleasure… creating that perfect balance of being on and off duty,’ says Karin Kostense, co-founder of Dutch brand WAHTS. Since 2012, the Amsterdam-based label has manufactured smart collections of elevated staples that slip neatly between luxury menswear and modern sportswear, sold online and via selected international men’s fashion stores including Lodenfrey in Munich and Brian & Barry in Milan.
Today, luxury is about feeling independent and free
In our interconnected, boundary-less world, we carry our offices in our pockets, and business is done in the queue for breakfast: ‘What we do accommodates this fast-paced, busy way of living with collections that have been made in an honest way from the best quality materials that we can find,’ Kostense says.
Counter to the vogue for bold, Instagram-friendly designer streetwear currently flooding the menswear market, WAHTS makes tailored leisurewear that’s dapper for down-time. The brand first launched as a line of underwear and combined the gloss of a mega-brand with heritage quality. Two years later, they applied the same approach to a small collection that gave a sartorial élan to the slouch of sportswear, ‘so you can travel business class in comfort – without feeling underdressed,’ explains Kostense.
It is a sophisticated, 24/7 look. A bomber is lean, made in a stretch cotton jersey with a two-way zip and chambray pocket lining; a crewneck sweatshirt is in lightweight cotton piqué, the colour of a faded sunset. Button-down collar shirts are in pure jersey with mother-of-pearl buttons; slim-fit chinos are cut in stretch cotton twill. All of the pieces are manufactured in limited quantities in ateliers in northern Portugal.
WAHTS have answered the call for a new dress code that is nomadic, independent and active. It’s tailored to the compelling, entrepreneurial spirit. You can feel in the air.