Martin Bartle launches Quiet Man, a timeless, circular collection – WWD
Bartle, who has worked behind the scenes for years, among other things Net-a-porterMatchesfashion and Farfetch and brands like Paul Smith and advise Margaret Howelllaunches Quiet Man, a collection of timeless, tailored clothing just like him, suited to men in the creative industries.
Made entirely in London with fabrics sourced from Italian, Spanish and Portuguese mills, the collection has military flair but nothing heavy or jagged. Instead, it’s soft and roomy, with roomy cuts and plenty of drape.
Patch pockets adorn the front of an oversized white shirt, while wide-leg pants have cummerbund-like gurkha waistbands that fasten with buttons.
A flowy frock coat style coat has a certain ‘wheeling’ charm, while its oversized silhouette and dark pleats are reminiscent of Japanese menswear, with extreme cuts and draping.
This clothing is suitable for artists, architects, curators and writers looking for everyday pieces that make a statement but are still comfortable enough to hang paintings for a day before a private view or address book lovers at the Cheltenham Literary Festival .
Prices are in the contemporary range, with jackets ranging from £500 to £600 and coats from £800 to £1,000.
In an interview, Bartle described Quiet Man as the “highlight” of his career and said the approach was very personal.
“I’ve always been the person behind the scenes, at smaller brands or multi-brand retailers, and I’ve always felt like there was something missing in the market. And I wanted something that would fit well with my personal creative and fashion needs,” he said.
Bartle added that he wants to create a collection that is simple and not beholden to seasonal trends. Above all, he wanted it to be understated and durable.
“In this pretty brash, influencer-led world, I’m trying to make a little space for those of us who prefer something more timeless and quiet,” Bartle said.
The collections, the first of which launches this month, will be in season, with the brand planning to release capsules every two to three months. The debut collection has 12 pieces and Bartle said he hopes women will wear the clothes too.
The drop is followed by a smaller collection of basic items like sweatshirts, t-shirts and waistband pants.
Quiet Man has a sustainable, zero-waste approach and – like its competitors – a desire to engage with its community.
The business is vertical and has no offices or studios. Working virtually with his design and production teams, Bartle manufactured the collection at North London factories. He said he was “humbled” by the level of craftsmanship and know-how available in the UK today
The brand will begin direct-to-consumer sales, with plans for physical pop-up stores. Bartle plans to market the label in an appropriately understated manner with a series of events, such as dinners with like-minded people.
He said each event will be themed around the idea of stillness and explore how people can achieve a sense of peace in their daily lives.
The brand works on several fronts. There will be a bespoke offering where people can give Quiet Man an item of clothing they love or a picture of something they love and the brand will recreate it. The plan is to work with the same tailors who cut and sew for the Savile Row homes.
“The whole brand is about emotional connection and resonating with people on that level. Therefore I approach marketing from a broader perspective of music, art, fiction and aesthetics. I really want Quiet Man to be something that people integrate into their lives,” he said.
With that in mind, Quiet Man plans to take back and resell the brand’s items when customers no longer wear them or want to replace them with a newer style.
In addition, Bartle is building a Quiet Man resale platform. Customers can buy and sell designer clothing with a similar aesthetic and quality to Quiet Man.
Bartle said that while he’s starting out with small-scale production, wholesale may be part of the plan as the business expands. Physical pop-ups are planned, but the focus is on digital commerce for now.
As an e-commerce veteran, Bartle analyzed numbers, conversion rates and basket sizes from the very beginning Net-a-porter and other online retailers.
Last, He was Chief Operations Officer at the London showroom Rainbowwaveand played a crucial role in this company’s digital transition when COVID-19 hit and physical showrooms were forced to close their doors.
Bartle said that the digital retail channel is finally having its moment and that people no longer need to experience a brand in physical space before buying it.
“I think the pandemic really made it possible, especially social commerce. Before the pandemic, how many people came across and bought from a brand just on social media? I think that number was pretty small,” Bartle said.
“I think people are now willing to try new brands, even if they have only experienced their digital presence so far. And that’s a big, big change,” he said.