Swinging in Style

Fast Lane

Henry Cotton’s brings sporty sophistication to Prague

Golfers aren’t known for their fashion sense; and most people don’t spot new trends on the golf course. But for those who appreciate well-made, classically tailored casual wear, a new brand has arrived in Prague. Henry Cotton’s opened their first boutique in the Czech Republic on Široká Street last September. The real Henry Cotton was a well-known British golfer back in the 1930’s and 40’s. The founders of the clothing line decided to adopt Cotton’s style of informal elegance, sport and “the pleasure of a typically British way of life.” Company representatives believe the brand will appeal to Prague shoppers.

“The values behind Henry Cotton’s brand and the concept presented by the collections are globally recognized,” says Stefano Straforini, international sales manager for Henry Cotton’s. “We believe it matches with the tradition and shopping trends of Prague shoppers, who are sophisticated and will easily understand Henry Cotton’s strength.”

Henry Cotton’s has both a men’s and women’s line; offering contemporary casual wear; perfect for a weekend away but sophisticated enough to wear to the office. Skirts, trousers and blouses for the women; jackets, sweaters and trousers for men are just some of the components that combine to create Henry Cotton’s elegant outfits. Italian designer Remo Ruffini is Henry Cotton’s chief designer.

Straforini describes what he thinks makes the brand distinctive.

“It’s an Italian approach to a sportswear product,” he explains. “The level of detail, the fittings, the fabrics and manufacturing is quite higher than other sportswear brands on the market.”

If the word “sportswear” has you envisioning sweatpants and sports bras, never fear. Straforini says the project has a European feel to it, even though historically sportswear comes from the United States. The brand pushes an individual look geared towards an outdoor lifestyle.

The Spring Summer 2009 collections for both men and women are made for people who appreciate a sporty looking outfit; but don’t actually plan to break a sweat. The company describes its women’s collection as targeted to “the woman (who) loves men’s sports but never at the expense of her elegance and graceful approach to life.” The collection combines floral prints with neutral tones; while incorporating functuality and style. The three themes are Racing and Society; Garden Therapy and Glam Rider.

Glam Rider integrates the best of biker style with leather bomber jackets in two tone ecru and brown suede along with t-shirts bedecked with sequins and studs. Garden Therapy meanwhile promotes the great outdoors with explosions of flowers and colors. Lightness and freshness is emphasized through blousy dresses and colors like peacock green and coral. The Racing and Society line is for those looking to make a statement. Bold colors like pink and purple dominate in the t-shirts, belts, skirts and trousers.

“Simple lines and elegant dimensions” is how Henry Cotton’s defines their Spring Summer menswear collection. With five themes, M.U.C.; Spirit of Cricket; Marine Atmosphere; Khaki HC 78 and College Time, the spirit of outdoor life is accentuated.

M.U.C. stands for Middle-class Urban Cyclist and reflects a classic urban style with sporting details. The highlight is their jackets; where technologically advanced fabrics meet traditional cotton for a noble street culture look. The Spirit of Cricket showcases true British style with its emphasis on that oh so British sport. Like on the field; these “uniforms” are all white with touches of blue, yellow or perhaps fuchsia. Yachting and the open sea serve as inspiration for the Marine Atmosphere theme. Classic blue and white are paired with stripes, spots and other patterns that bring the line’s trousers, sailing shorts and polo shirts to life.

Khaki HC 78 takes its name from the material traditionally used to make military uniforms. Strong clothing, with a slightly “used” look and in shades of white, beige and tobacco evoke a sense of ruggedness and strength. Finally, College Time harkens one back to the free time of school days; and the casual wear that went with it. Polo shirts and light nylon jackets in classic sporting colors treat the wearer to a relaxed and cultured style.

Straforini sums up the brand’s look nicely.

“Henry Cotton’s offers a total look in sophisticated sportswear,” he believes. “It’s where British spirit and heritage matches the Italian taste and way of making garments.”