The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Sam Waller •

2011 has been a busy year for us at Oi Polloi. The major website updates, riots, jetsetting and several new members of staff have been just some of the highlights. We thought we’d round off the year with a little review.

January

Once the sale bargains had finally run out it was time for the new stuff to arrive. But typically, just as the early Spring / Summer stuff began to land we were off in search of Autumn / Winter booty in both Florence and Paris. Florence was a busy few days but impressive as ever. Look at us mixing with menswear royalty.

Despite an early start and a four hour delay, the highlights of the French trip were some brilliant knitwear from Howlin' by Morrison and a meal with the Our Legacy chaps (we had the steak / giggles). Steve also momentarily fell head over heels in love with the Orangina giraffe ("She's fit isn't she?"). You probably had to be there.

February

The buying continued with intermittent trips to London. By the time we'd finished we were walking about like Pearly Kings and using rhyming slang.

Meanwhile back in the shop, our new mascot/nuisance Claude got his first taste of what we've come to call "The Daiki Factor", as Engineered Garments arrived in the stockroom.

March

The first issue of our in-house publication Pica~Post #1 appeared in March. It features the best bits of seasonal clobber and some extra-special deck outs, plus some ace illustrations from www.blamb.co.uk

Also in March was our long-awaited trip to Japan. We feasted our eyes on some great new stuff and loved the place, but our timing was impeccable. We left the country just hours before that pretty horrific disaster struck.

April

Oi Polloi appeared in Playboy.

No really, we did. Look.

See, told you.

May

May was spent planning yet another office move. There's probably a saying about not letting the grass grow under your feet but the imminent arrival of lots of big padded jackets meant some reorganisation was needed and another couple of floors in our building were taken on. Once Claude had mastered yet another two flights of stairs we were all set.

May also saw the first drop of new Cottonopolis stock.

June

The Oi Polloi jetset club headed on buying / spying missions to London, Florence and Paris. Again. You'll see the fruits of those trips in the coming weeks.

July

Pica~Post #2 arrived, bigger and better. Rather than us tell you about it, you can read it here.

Also in July, the desert boot pioneer, Nathan Clark left us for the a massive suede and crepe cloud in the sky. RIP.

August

Pre-empting a chill in the air or perhaps a Nazi invasion, WW2 style we got our heads together with Norse Projects to create the Kirk Knit. Based on the character played by Kirk Douglas in Heroes of Telemark, it came in two colours. It's sold out now though. Gutted? You should be.

Another thing that was gutted was half of Manchester city centre. Apparently, the annual Salford Morris Dancing Championships got a bit out of hand and spilled over into neighbouring Manchester. Shops were looted though thankfully our little corner of town escaped with a close shave. We barricaded ourselves in for 72 hours with only amazing knitwear, chocolate digestives and YouTube to sustain us.

September

Hot on the heels of the Kirk knit, our second seasonal collabo with Norse Projects came in the form of the Kaare Jacket. Rory was the first to sport one. It went well with his Action Man beard.

October

The Indian summer we experienced gave way to a rather mad mindset. The arrival of Sunny Sports, Sierra Designs and Yuketen all in the same week led to us coining the phrase 'Masculine meets mescaline'. We're not quite sure what it meant but since when did that matter? A mixture of USA outdoorsy style with some mad colours altered our mind just that bit more than normal.

October also saw the reformation of a little-known local fourpiece called the Stone Roses. Our cynicism about the whole thing strangely faded when we spotted both Mounfield and Squire sporting Cabourn, Engineered Garments and LVC. Fickle? Us? Never.

November

A rush of sales in the lead up to Bonfire Night proved the local fireworks display is still the place to be seen in a nice new winter jacket. Waste Twice turned up looking all nice. NB - This is the first time we've mentioned this brand without saying "So good they named it Twice". We've rinsed that one now.

Also in November, James Van Doren, one of the founders of Vans died. What is it with 2011 and ace shoe inventor people passing away?

December

The annual Christmas party was celebrated at a local restaurant. Everyone got a bit drunk, as is the custom.

The shop was rammed with bargain hunters and we rounded off a pretty ace year by all holding hands and singing Christmas carols. We didn't really.

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