Still less than a year old, Batten Sportswear may be a fresh name for some in the audience, but you best believe it’s a good ‘un. Founded by New York surfer and ex-Woolrich Woolen Mills designer Shinya Hasegawa, Batten Sportswear is a sartorial milkshake made using the key ingredients of classic surf-design, vintage sportswear and a generous helping of 70’s outdoor garb. Throw it all together and you’d be right in thinking it’s a fairly tasty affair.
As a keen surfer in the less than ideal conditions of New York, Shinya is no stranger to freezing cold weather and it’s fair to say it shows in Batten Sportswear’s first foray into what’s known in the menswear world as Autumn/Winter. Fleeces, flannel and three-layer vests all making dignified appearances alongside a wool four-pocket parka which has already been touted as a hot contender for the ‘best frosty morning canal-path dog-walking jacket’ award.
Whilst most of this stuff may look fairly simple to the untrained eye, there’s a lot of deceptive detail going on under the surface that only a true man of the outdoors could conjure. How many times have you wished you had extra-reach arms on a sweatshirt for when you’re trying to grasp the top shelf of the spice-rack? Or trouser pockets that cut down on sofa-related coin-loss? Well don’t worry, Shinya’s already thought of it.