So this week we’ve sat down with Bob Douglas who’s one of our talented store managers, to discuss what he thinks of this seasons collections and what are the essential pieces you shouldn’t miss out on.
Q. WHAT’S YOUR ROLE AT JA?
A. That’s a big question! I’ve been employed at the Bournemouth branch of John Anthony for just under 15 years. I walked in as a customer after relocating from the suburbs of London and immediately fell in love with all the beautifully merchandised clothing on display. After years of learning the business process and finding myself rising up through the ranks it soon became apparent that my position would become more than just managing a clothes store. Over the last few years I’ve found another side to my role at JA, that to my delight has incorporated my artistic background by discovering new ways of marketing the shop’s image. The great thing about working for independent company is that you’re able to expand your understanding of the whole process that makes the company operate.Therefore I now involve myself where I can in any buying appointments and trips to trade shows to seek out new brands, select from their range, watch the stock come into store then merchandise it, promote it and educate our customer on what makes it special enough to have been chosen for John Anthony.
Q. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
A. At school (when everything was black and white) I noticed one of the Sixth Form boys sporting a dark jean jacket with a bleached star pattern that I had seen one of the ‘Bros’ boys wearing on Top Of The Pops. I wanted to look like a pop star, even if I sound like an X-Factor reject so after finding out who made this amazing jacket, I popped on a train into town and found myself standing outside the iconic World’s End Shop on Kings Road. So this is how it all began, with Vivienne Westwood‘s quirky little shop with wonky wooden flooring and a denim jacket worn on Top Of The Pops. Folk that know me well will safely say I like my clothes, my second bedroom is my wardrobe and for those who have witnessed it will probably say I’ve got an unhealthy obsession. My dress style is a laid back approach to what’s current at the time, my ideal wardrobe would consist of attire for all occasions whether it be formal, casual, sporty or fashion. For the most part I like to dress very purposeful/utilitarian, depending on the day’s events and at other times I like to pay extreme attention to detail and would rather be slightly overdressed for an occasion.
Q. WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU DIDN’T WORK AT JA?
A. I studied photography at quite a high level and did embark on it as a career. If I hadn’t walked into JA then I guess I would have found a career within something that satisfied my artistic needs, which would have been either photographic or graphics based.
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 WARDROBE ESSENTIALS?
No.2 – Denim, when it comes to what we wear on our legs we’ve been heavily influenced by the European market for the past few years which is why the cotton trouser or chino has been extremely prevalent. However denim can only be secluded for a short while as it is an iconic, timeless classic and this season it’s back.
No.3 – either a functional or statement outerwear piece.
No.4 – Hats, I just can’t seem to get enough of headwear (folk will probably argue it’s due the face I’m bald). It’s an essential piece of fashion which shouldn’t be overlooked, we can wear hats, caps or beanies no matter what time of the year and teamed correctly with your outfit, it can make either a smart or street setup look cool.
No.5 – The Blazer. They should play an essential part in your wardrobe whether they’re deconstructed, tailored, patterned, plain, doubled-breasted or cropped, it’s an adaptable item that we add to our attire that instantly smartens the look.
Q. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS SEASON AT JA?
A. Exciting! We have received a good 75% of new Autumn/Winter stock and already some of the pieces are selling out, which only indicates to me that we’ve bought the right stock for our customers. We’ve had the Skyfall Commander Jacket in from Barbour and guys have gone nuts for it, and why not it’s a fantastic item to own! We’ve introduced some new brands this season, footwear brand Adidas SLVR is one which is a great concept on a top tier trainer with an affordable price point. Sinnett t-shirt brand which has been exclusively launched at John Anthony by our very own former staff member Paul – we’re so proud of him for creating this unique and stylish range. And I have to mention We-Wood watches which in my mind make such an attractive time piece model but with a real ecological ethos behind the brand. So there’s a few examples as to why my enthusiasm is running so high for this season….
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP PICKS FOR THIS AW?
J Lindeberg: This award winning brand is all about the layered look for me. What draws me to the collection is the simplicity of the product, the palette and how all pieces can be assembled together to create a look that flows without effort. Admittedly as I have taken golf up this year J Lindeberg has become even more attractive to me, the Lindeberg Golf Collection is both ‘trendy’ and functional. Check out Camilo Villegas who now fronts the campaign for the brand, you can see how they have brought golf wear out of the dark ages and into the modern.
Penfield: This is a favourite of mine as I feel it combines functionality with fashion within a great price bracket. Penfield challenge themselves each season to out do the last, with forwarding thinking design which is current and sets a new level for others to follow. The Penfield stock has just dropped last week and we only buy a small volume to keep it exclusive, so be sure to check it out before it’s all gone!
Q. IF YOU COULD ONLY BUY ONE THING THIS WINTER, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
A. The navy poka dot Eska jacket from Penfield for all the reasons above! I saw this back in February at Pitti Uomo on their trade stand and instantly wanted to take it! I’m a summer person which is why I moved down to sunny Bournemouth but if we are to have such awful winters we might as well embrace it and wrap up in style!
Q. ONE LAST QUESTIONS, IF I GAVE YOU £1 MILLION WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?
A. Build a bigger wardrobe?!!! And give the rest to the RSPCA!