LONDON — There’s a new man at Mr Porter known as Mr P, a collection of essentials and trend-led seasonal pieces designed, sourced, manufactured and distributed exclusively by the men’s fashion site.
The collection will launch on Nov. 7 and offer more than 50 pieces, a mix of wardrobe building blocks and five themed capsule collections that are meant to complement — rather than compete with — the site’s 400-plus brands.
In an exclusive interview, Mr Porter’s managing director Toby Bateman said the Mr P product has been engineered to work as an overarching wardrobe.
“Men’s brands tend to either be casual or formal or technical, but the reality is that men don’t necessarily dress head-to-toe in one particular way. We wanted to create a brand that in one aesthetic could bring casual, smart and technical together. Creatively, this is what we’re trying to achieve.”
Essentials, including a white T-shirt, 15-gauge cashmere knitwear and water-resistant travel blazers, will be carried year-round, while the first capsule will be based around Lucian Freud and his arty London friends from the Fifties.
The capsule collections will drop every few months, and the Lucian Freud-themed one features a Breton long-sleeve T-shirt for 95 pounds, a black doubled-breasted corduroy jacket for 395 pounds and a double-breasted herringbone overcoat for 675 pounds.
Prices fall into the contemporary category and range from 55 pounds for a white T-shirt to 875 pounds for a leather aviator jacket. The Mr P launch collection includes 24 Essential styles available year-round and 29 seasonal styles within the debut capsule.
Bateman said it was the right time to launch. The Mr Porter team had already learned how to build a men’s wear collection from scratch when it launched Kingsman, which tied into the Matthew Vaughn films of the same name.
The team was also eager, Bateman said, to find a solution to customers’ see-now-buy-now needs.
“If you want to buy a decent coat in February or March, you can’t find one. It’s the whole craziness of the fashion cycle, but Mr P is ours and we can control it,” said Bateman.
He said the spring capsule will probably deliver in April, while high summer will deliver in June, “which is actually when people want to buy a pair of shorts and a linen shirt, not in December of the previous year.”
Bateman said it’s also important to have essentials that are always in stock.
“The Essentials area of the Mr Porter site has always existed — it was one of the founding principles of the site — but the items within that area were always from other brands, and it was always us buying enough stock so that we could offer them as ‘essentials.’”
Now, he said, Mr Porter will no longer be dependent on other brands’ basic items and will be able to ensure a constant pipeline of T-shirts, cashmeres and blazers.
The operation is vertical, with most of the garments made in Italy and Portugal, while the selvedge denim comes from Japan. Bateman said Mr P is working with a different set of factories than those used for the Kingsman, costume-to-collection tailored clothing collaboration.
The Mr P collection has a dedicated design team, a garment technologist and a buying team, although Bateman said he and his Mr Porter colleagues have all been contributing to the look and feel of the collection.
He declined to give first-year sales projections and there are no plans to wholesale Mr P. The pricing, he said, was entirely strategic. “We have the opportunity to create volume at that level, but you can also produce a very high quality garment, which is really important.”
The collection will have its own brand landing page on the site, a dedicated Instagram handle, @mrp, and its own campaigns, based on real men and their style.