The Original Penguin

The Original Penguin ( also just known as penguin) is an American apparel company, they started out making underwear, but in the 50 s there was a boom for casual wear, company’s like Lacoste were bringing new styles to the states & people wanted more, sensing a place in the market for an American style casual clothing brand, Munsingwear as they were known then asked a salesman to come up with a name for the brand, when he arrived he was carrying a stuffed penguin, at the meeting was Len Birnbaum, who was a director at Munsingerwear, they decide to name their shirt after the stuffed penguin, Munsingerwear made their own T-shirts already & the machines they used produced the same kind of material Lacoste used for their shirts, with having no import costs, they could make a shirt of the same quality a sell it at a lower cost but still make money, the shirt was designed for golf players, they added a under-arm action gussets, and moved the pocket to the right breast pocket, it was success, people like Bob Hope & Bing Crosby who were avid players of golf, wore the new shirt this gave it great publicity, Original Penguin became a house hold name.


Tho Original Penguin Logo

The Original Penguin is no longer owned by Musingerwear but the name still appears on the label, Penguin today make high-end casual wear for lady’s & men they specialize in polo shirts,knitwear,jackets,shirts,trousers,accessories even eye wear, their style still has a sporting feel to it, but it’s now really just a casual apparel label, which design very vibrant pieces that are very chic. their polo shirts have not changed much, the most famous of their polo shirts is the Earl, its 100 % cotton the fabric has knit print, it comes with a breast pocket , the most striking feature of the Earl is it has piping around the placket & the edges of the sleeve & the collar, all in the same color as the embroidered penguin motif.









Penguin has gone through some changes since the 50 s, they were sold to Perry Ellis in 1996, they relaunched the brand in 2003 with a brand new collection, it still gains a cult following today.they have stores all over the US & around the world, its sold in Original penguin stores but its all sold by independent stores under licence, Original Penguin also has its own online store.

Penguin is still worn by golf players, with it now owned by Perry Ellis the official PGA sponsor, they sponsor about 12 players like Aron Bradley.

I have owned a few pieces of Original Penguin over the years, they are hard wearing & very stylish, my freinds all ways complement me when I wear a Penguin piece, to me they are well worth the investment, if looked after properly they will last you a life time.


Bob Redfern


Johnny Cupcakes

In 2001 Johnny Earl was working in a music \ comic shop in Brantree, Massachusetts, his co-workers would coin a new nick name for him every week, one of these was “JOHNNY CUPCAKES” , Johnny was in a band called metalcore, one day he was screen printing some T-shirts for his band he printed a couple of with Johnny Cupcakes on them, almost immediately family & friends noticed them & asked where they could get them, seeing a market for screen printed T-shirts he started to sell them to close friends etc, in 2002 he was touring with a band called Broken Wings he took a stock of T-shirts with him, He got the other musicians on the bill to wear them, this gave him a bigger audiences the brand soon gained a cult following, the following year Earl left the band to focus on brand full-time, In 2005 Earl opened his first store in home town of Hull, it was a boat garage Earl and his farther converted it into a retail space, he made the store to resemble a bakery, to give the customers a unique shopping experience, his logo is very retro but amazing simple its a cupcake with crossbones underneath them.


Johnny Cupcakes Logo

Johnny Cupcakes is a unique label not just in their clothing but also in how their stores are set up, they sell they sell t-shirts , sweatshirts, Hats, accessories like socks & key chains, their style is very unique he does this by taking the mick out of pop culture, also replacing known symbolic icons with cupcakes, these images then are then printed on T-shirts & sweatshirts.


Flower power by Banksy


Flour power by Johnny Cupcake

since Johnny Cupcakes opened his first store his business has grown to over 6 stores, 5 in the united states & 1 in London on Carnaby Street, the reason for their success it’s not just down to their clothing, it’s about the brand he’s made it exciting, some thing that people wanted to buy, first of all he calls all his stores “bakeries” not stores, as you enter one of his bakeries you are met by the smell of vanilla ( via hidden air fresheners), the store is then laid out like a bakery, antique fridges on the wall clothing is displayed out on bakery trays or inside glass pastry cases, in one store they have a cast iron stove & 1930`s mixers, they are designed to bring back childhood memories good times in your life, they even hold movie nights showing eight classics like back to the future or the goonies, Every t-shirt or sweatshirt have oven mitt shaped labels on the inside,some times they have hidden messages inside of some shirts, and some times random free goods, when they pack your purchase its put in a pastry box with the company’s logo amazing, even their online store is some thing special,  web shoppers receive random surprises, Including free overnight shipping or an extra t-shirt or hat at zero cost, Johnny Cupcakes don’t spend money on advertising they invest the money back in the company so they reward their loyal customers.


In side one of Johnny Cupcakes Bakeries


Johnny Earl inside his store


Johnny Cupcakes unique packaging

Recently Johnny Cupcakes have done collaborations, with Nickeloden, Warner Bros, & wait for it  ! “Hello kitty”, Earl still maintains 100 % equity of the company, he still guides the company him self, in the early days Earl wanted to keep the company small so he could manage it himself, but due to its success & growing fan base he is now talking with several private equity firms about branding & licensing opportunities, what ever the future holds for Johnny Cupcakes I hope they continue to grow & stay an individual,


Crossbones black-black T-Shirt


Eagle Hoodie


Crossbones Patch Beanie


Crossbones Socks Red-Black


Pin Pack

If you decide to get a garment from Johnny Cupcakes I can guarantee one thing your friends wont have any thing like it.


Bob Redfern



 In 1933 Jean Rene Lacoste who was tennis player, decide to design a practical tennis shirt, he came up with a design that had short sleeves in a light cotton with a long back known as a tennis tail so the shirt would stay in the trousers once tucked in, also a small placket with just three buttons, and a very soft collar, Lacoste had invented the first polo shirt as we know it today, It soon gained popularity, so Jean Rene Lacoste need some one to mass produce them, so with the help of Andre Gillier who owned the largest french knitwear manufacturing firm, they set about mass producing this new sport shirt but they needed a name and a logo, Lacoste decide to name it after him self, but it still needed a motif so they chose a crocodile. the reason why they chose a crocodile is because Lacoste had a big nose which looked like a crocodiles nose, the other story was he loved crocodile leather luggage, but I think it was down to the way he played tennis he played with  tenacity”I will leave it with you to make your own mind up” In the 1950s the shirt hit the US, Lacoste started to do the shirts in different colors, it became a hit at the university’s.

Jean Rene Lacoste in his first polo shirt


Jean Rene Lacoste in his classic polo shirt

Lacoste is one of the biggest fashion apparel company’s with in the world, they make high-end formal & casual clothing for men & women, They sell polo shirts,knitwear,jeans,trousers,T-shirts,footwear,accessories, even “crash helmets” yes you heard me right, their watch designs are truly a master piece of art & functionality, Lacoste even has its own range of fragrances for men & women, I would describe Lacoste style as preppy but casual with bags of panache, it was featured in the official preppy hand book in 1980 written by Lisa Birnbach`s. 


Lacoste`s polo shirts have stayed true to the original design 

Lacoste headquarters are in Troyes, France, their products are sold in over 150 countries, their stores can be found in London, New York, Milan & Paris of course, they also have a number of boutiques in places like John Lewis UK, , Saks on fifth Avenue New York, in 2010 they opened their first on-line site ,Lacoste continues to be a market leader in the fashion industry.


Lacoste famouse crocodile logo

Take a look at Lacoste`s latest collections for 2015 there are some amazing pieces to choose from, I’ve chosen a couple for you to have a look at, the watch I’ve chosen is amazing in style & color, the long sleeve polo shirt is very special super chic, then you have the classic Oxford shirt a wardrobe staple for every stylish man, what ever your taste in fashion you will find some thing at Lacoste to please your desires.   



Aukland watch with striped canvas strap


Oxford cotton shirt essential for your wardrobe


T-shirt with a chest pocket


Runway Edition multicolored wool sweater


The refined cotton wool, silk long sleeve polo shirt with leather crocodile motif

I hope you have found this blog inspiring, Lacoste is a true fashion label that wont go a miss in any mans wardrobe if any thing it will give you style points.


Bob Redfern


Jack Wills

Jack Wills was founded in 1999 in Salcombe, Devon, By Peter Williams & Robert Shaw, The Brand was named after Peter Williams Grandad,  They wanted to come up with a brand that would appeal to young students at university,  They wanted to create some thing that was cool & amazing but different, they chose to base it on a private school / preppylook,  The logo they chose was a pheasant in a top hat with a walking stick,  He is known as Mr Wills, Their first store was at 22 Fore Street in Salcombe,  the lads lived above the store when they first started off.


Jack Wills Logo Mr Wills 

Jack Wills make clothing for men & women, that range from traditional formal wear to shirts, Tweed Jackets, Hooded tops, Sweatpants, T-shirts, Rugby Shirts, Accessories, their style is based on high-end casual wear based on a preppy casual feel & look, Their clothing is not made in the UK but in the far east. They have set up a second brand for sports wear, It is called J.W.R.C (Jack Wills Rowing Club) which focuses on sports wear.


Jack Wills clothing covers many styles

In 2008 Jack Wills wanted to attract more mature customers,  the over 25 + was the one area they wanted to get into, So they set up Aubin Wills but the brand was not a hit, So in 2008 they decide to close the brand down, they wanted to concentrate on their main brand.


Aubin & Wills Logo

Jack Wills has now become one of the biggest fashion clothing apparel company’s in the UK, they now own over 45 stores up & down the UK,  they also have store’s in the Hong Kong & the United States,  in 2014 they started to expand into the far east by opening stores in Singapore & macu,  they also have an online store, in 2009 they opened a Jack Wills outlet online store, this is limited to Jack Wills customers only, It’s a site for loyal Jack Wills fans, they are able to get last season’s fashions at a discounted price, but it’s a no frills service no fancy packaging etc.


Jack Wills clothing comes in many vibrant colours

Jack Wills style and look is key to their brand,  they don’t rely on TV marketing,  it’s their customers who spread the word by social media & blogging, but every seasons they bring out new amazing clothing & accessories.


Jack Wills Polo shirt


Jack wills classic cricket jumper


Jack Wills Chambray shirt


Jack Wills Anorak

Please take five minutes & have a look at Jack Wills, they have captured the hearts & minds of a generation  through amazing designs & great customer service.


Bob Redfern


Crew Clothing Co

In 1993 Alistair Parker – Swift was running a wind surfing club in Devon, he noticed a gap in the market for Luxury casual wear, for his first venture he sourced Navy & white Rugby Shirts,  with in weeks the first lot was sold, with cows sailing weekend approaching, he found some premises & stocked it quickly, the Crewe Clothing Co was born.


Ben Fogle is an ambassador for  the Crew Clothing Co

The Crew Clothing company is a unique luxury brand, with striking design’ s and vibrant colours, they sell clothing for men & women, the clothing ranges from polo shirts, Rugby Shirts, Casual shirts, t-shirts, jeans, knit wear & accessories the style & fit is very modern .


Crew Clothing Co Oxshott fleck jumper

Crew Clothing Co now have over 60 store’s nation wide,  they have a mailing list of over 3 million people, since the 90s they have sponsored some of the biggest sailing events, they even sponsor major tennis matches, on the 7th of January it was announced, they will supply the Queens tennis club, with items of clothing ahead of the GTA AEGON championships,  because of the quality of their clothing, Crew Clothing Co also supply international Polo teams with their clothing.

Crew Clothing Co classic Harris tweed blazer

Crew Clothing Co classic Harris tweed


So if your after some thing that’s different but stylish take a look at the Crew Clothing Co.



Bob Redfern