We are continuing our regular “Brand Focus”, and this month see us focusing on a company we’ve really grown to admire over the past few months. Not just for the unique high-quality clothes they are producing, but also for the start-up mentality the owner has had to exhibit and the brand ethos which was developed from scratch. The brand in question is Sørensen.
Men’s fashion has lagged behind women’s in many ways. For example, up until recently, there has been less of an emphasis on an identity through menswear. This is changing and men’s fashion is becoming the new norm, although the majority of men rarely adapt their style around a brand’s latest collection and prefer function over form. Functional items are often not the most pleasing in terms of visual aesthetics.
Enter Sørensen, a clothing brand which is seeking to go against the norm by launching issues versus collections, inspired by archetypes which adopt titles from various professions. Each archetype is associated with certain designs, features, materials and a finish that is based on the root of the profession and driven by function to create clothing which men (and women) can be comfortable in and, as a bonus, know that they will look good in high-quality materials.
If a designer can create timeless classics that look as good today as they should five years from now, you know you’re on the right trajectory. That’s an ethos that Sørensen instilled in his designs from the get-go.
Wayne Sørensen, formerly Design Director at Orlebar Brown, created his brand to instil confidence in men who have no purpose when they get dressed in the morning. Sørensen was launched to guide men in dressing and help re-establish their confidence. Building this confidence in the way most men dress has also been the greatest challenge for Wayne in starting up the brand. Wayne explained to us that the idea was “to rebuild confidence in people’s ability to identify their own sense of style whilst creating the idea of an archetypal framework of pieces rooted in specific values and virtues”.
Another challenge facing new businesses is the sheer scale of the work. Whilst Wayne had the creative vision from the brand from launch, there is a wide range of requirements that are necessary when starting a new business, such as handling sales, production, marketing and finance. All these areas have to be handled by one person. But if you love what you do and the creative process, it makes it much easier. As Wayne explains: “I enjoy those moments where I get to direct my focus back to the creative – as that is what fuels the other elements of the brand.”
Wayne has also demonstrated complete commitment to the process of creating his brand. Relocating to Portugal to be close to where his pieces are being produced and will often be found helping package a lot of the clothes you order from his brand, making sure you receive his goods in the best packing we’ve seen to date. If you’re lucky, you may receive a beautiful handwritten note for supporting his exciting brand when you place your order.
There are currently 7 archetypes making up the foundation of the company. The Driver, Dancer, Officer, Painter, Butcher, Engineer and Seafarer. All of which are supplied with distinct features and are all great for different purposes and people.
The Driver is grounded in an unerring sense of precision, it symbolises cool control, decisive agility and a satisfying command of power. The shirt from the Driver archetype represents this through streamlining of the design components, by removing the standard yoke across the shoulders it creates a seamless and smooth fitting back and giving a total freedom of movement while keeping a tailored fit. The Driver chino is also one of our personal favourites, with a neat taper and woven in Italy with elastane so it offers flexible movement and comfort whilst you walk.
The Dancer is based on fluidity and pays homage to dancing and its need for discipline, focus and professional rigour.
The Dancer features one of our favourite t-shirts. High-quality cotton intentionally oversized to allow movements that you would need, with side seam vents and an exaggerated neckline.
The Officer is the most classic ‘work’ archetype, based on composure and naturally, the shirt is a close fit, with a narrow collar, in order to stay aligned to the work theme, but signalling self-assurance, poise and leadership.
The Officer shirt is ideal for work or where more formal attire may be required.
The Engineer is designed to be sturdy, based on the profession’s need for practicality while remaining innovative. The tee’s feature a cotton slub material exclusively developed for Sørensen, based on 1960’s vintage, and has a subtle textured feel. The archetype signature piece is the overall which is produced in a short and long-sleeve variation. Although the romper has been given a negative press recently, this is not the case with the Sørensen overall, which features heavy-wearing fabric, with button down shirt pockets and is a great fit. A true standout item.
The most relaxed of the archetypes is the Painter. It features the long-sleeve bib polo shirt, which is based on a bib-front evening shirt and is oversized.
It is truly a unique piece, which we’ve enjoyed wearing, it adds flair to any pair of shorts. The other item in the range is the Painter trouser, which is a more relaxed cut with a slightly elasticated waistband.
The Butcher is currently a single piece and features a shirt based on a French abattoir butcher, which is an apron style, longer in length and featuring side vents with mid-chest pockets for tools.
We believe this could be an interesting piece for an aspiring artist.
The last addition to the archetypes is the Seafarer.
Based on adventure and life at sea, the shirts and t-shirts from this archetype feature extra room below the arms to allow ease of movement and a drawstring through the hem. We’re keen to get hold of one of the Seafarer shirts, which we’d partner with a pair of shorts.
Summarising, Sørensen is a truly unique brand with issues rather than seasons and archetypes all based on utility. What is fascinating is Wayne’s dedication to the brand and his determination to create something truly individualistic.
The story of Sørensen has taught us that if you set your mind to something you can achieve it, but the main block to failure is yourself. Or as Wayne Sørensen himself described it to us: “I have had to learn that fear invariably holds most of us back from realising our dreams”. Very wise words from a wise man.
Head to the Sørensen website for more information about the brand. Sørensen products are additionally available from matchesfashion.com, shipping to the UK and USA, Takashimaya in Japan, Barneys and, from early 2018, Ron Herman in Los Angeles.