The Adret store: Full-blown beauty
This is the first of three articles celebrating menswear stores in London, following our call to arms earlier in the week urging readers to support the shops they love.
We’re starting with Adret, the achingly beautiful shop opened by Adam and Seto late last year (just in time for the November lockdown here in England). Two other pieces will follow on Monday and Wednesday.
I know some readers find the Adret style doesn’t work for them, being quite loose and drapey, and the clothes do tend to look best with others from the collection.
But even if the style doesn’t work for you, it’s hard to deny the taste level in the materials, the textures and the colours. Every fabric seems to have something interesting in the weave or finish that makes it distinct: slubby, hand-spun cottons, vintage ikat prints.
And while the colour palette could seem narrow, that's just because everything is so soft: the greens, blues and yellows are washed-out, the browns and blacks decidedly dusty.
I adore this aesthetic. Even though I, as mentioned previously, find the cut of some of the clothes isn’t for me, everything else about them is just beautiful.
And the best thing about the new shop is seeing this beauty fully blown.
Where there were slubby cottons in the shirts, there is rope weaving in the carpet. The vintage feel of the fabrics is matched by the patina on the vintage furniture. Everything is tactile.
I’d even go as far as to say the easy, flowing feel of the clothes is reflected in the atmosphere of the store. You feel like slipping your sandals off and sinking into one of the low mid-century armchairs. You’re surrounded by soft light and warm panelling.
My favourite space is downstairs, because it’s essentially one large fitting room. Long linen curtains are drawn across the seating area at the back, and when you’re changed, part so you can walk the length of the room to the mahogany-framed mirror on the far wall.
None of this, of course, can be replicated online. It’s one more demonstration of what good retail gives us. You need to feel Adret clothing to appreciate it, to have the point of the cut carefully explained, and to see it in this context of every other design aspect.
When I posted an image on Instagram yesterday of Adret, five different readers asked me whether Adret did e-commerce, and if not, why not.
I understand it must be frustrating if you’re not in London, and can’t see all this first hand. But in a way it is also wonderful that such an analogue approach still exists. It makes physical retail truly special.
To be honest, I was expecting all this when I visited. I remember when Adam first launched his collection, at our Savile Row pop-up back in February 2019.
His space was by far the most curated. The handkerchiefs had their own rattan tray, the scarves were clasped on the wall by little brass hands. This was someone who clearly already knew what their shop would look like.
One thing I didn’t expect, actually, was for the Indonesian link to come across so strongly.
Adret produces all its clothes in Indonesia, and Adam’s partner Seto is based there. In the past couple of years they have done amazing things there to build their own atelier, and moved in seven local artisans to do everything from cobble loafers to hand-dye fabrics.
I've included some images of the recent building work below.
Being in the store, you realise how much of this south-east Asian craft informs the Adret style.
Obvious things are the bamboo frames on the mirrors, the blue-China plant pots and rattan trays. But there is also, more subtly, the Indonesian incense in the air, even the ginger sweets offered at the till.
The clothes are loose and flowing not just because that’s how Adam dresses, but because it's the style worn in Indonesia. Many of the textures of the materials come from local crafts, like the hand-spun cotton. The washed-out colours all fit with the wax-resist dying done by the local batik artists.
This brand is a mix of many things, including mid-century design, musicians and Adam’s art background. But Indonesia is fundamental to it as well.
Which of course makes a mockery of the suggestion that the clothes are made in Asia because it's cheap.
One other point Adam made, late in our visit, made me think.
A reason he said he wanted to make in Indonesia, and draw on local expertise, was that he wanted to avoid the menswear habit of making everything at the same factories in Italy.
By making elsewhere, the clothes would always have a different flavour. They would be distinct and original.
I’d never thought about that before, but it is true that many of the brands in high-end menswear use the same factories, whether in Scotland, Naples or Northampton. This is always going to place some kind of limit on the possibilities.
There are some Adret clothes I love.
They tend to be the ones with slightly neater silhouettes - like the single-pleat wide trousers, rather than the double-pleat ultra-wides. And they tend to have a strong collar or neckline, which helps a lot when there is little shape in the rest of the body.
But I won’t go through a full rundown on the collection here. It is large and rapidly expanding (there are even boxer shorts now) but Adam is working on a catalogue that will set it all out better than I would. I’ll wait for that before I point out which pieces I like best.
It also has to be said that the clothes are very expensive. The cream Riviera shirt shown at the top of this piece is £795 and the Jack green-linen jacket above £1255. The linen trousers are £655.
I won't get into whether the original materials, the shop and the atelier make these prices worth it, but it’s certainly something readers should be aware of as it will make them less accessible.
Adret: 15c Clifford Street, @adret_official
Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt
It’s very refreshing to see a description of a different approach to clothes, one that fuses both Eastern and Western elements. I was born in Colonial Malaya and lived there for many years, so I am familiar with some of the Southeast Asian styles. I have also found that there is a lot of experimentation with styles and materials in my old country, India. A suit coat or a sports jacket has been adapted with various collar styles, so that they retain some of the basic compositional elements while changing the collar structure, pockets, and quarters of the jacket, for instance. Adret also reflects this experimental approach to styles.
The basic Western suit has changed very little in the last 100 years or so, and its principal incarnations — single or DB jacket, narrow, medium or wide lapels, high or low scye, two or three button front, single or double vent — are cycled through every twenty years or so. We regard this as a virtue. Consistency and continuity has its advantages, but the Western suit is rigid to the point of ossification, perhaps because formal clothing is so strongly conservative in this hemisphere and designers eschew experimentation unless the changes made are very small. Bruce Boyer has often said that a change of an inch in some feature of a suit is akin to a revolution! I find it exhilarating that approaches like the one Adret takes are catching on.
Adam is such a nice chap as well, a good guy. It is seriously spenny though
i love this aesthetic. sadly its way out of reach and perhaps a bit unsuitable for UK weather.
Looks very nice… Not exactly my style or colour palette, but still very interesting
What Adam and Seto have created is in its own league. It is rare to see a brand that accepts no compromise in not only the product, but the branding, photography and retail space. I feel what sets them apart is not only the fabric and design, but the one of a kind retail experience – I don’t think I have ever walked into a shop to have the designer / art director talk me through every piece. I agree that the prices make some of the pieces a little inaccessible for some, but in my opinion this is justified when you take into account the priceless decades of experience Adam and Seto share between them and what they have built from the ground up. Truly refreshing to see a range of products completely different to everything else out there
Adret is the most interesting brand I have discovered in ages. Love everything about it, and hope to be able to visit their store when I am in London next time.
Great article Simon.
Purchasing quality clothing has been a challenge for me during lockdown. The feeling of interacting with artisans and real craftmanship is often lost when your only choice is whether you should “add to cart” or not.
As someone who doesnt live in London and wont be able to support most shops physically, I can say that Adret provided me with absolutely stellar service. Adam even invited me to a personal video call to help me “browse” his clothes. How often can you really say that the artistic director of a brand personally helped you like that based on a simple digital interaction?
As for style, I think Adret provides a great contrast to many of the “usual suspects” here on Permanent Style. That is not meant to be a criticism of the kind of tailoring you cover Simon, I love the craftmanship and stories involved in the making of those suits. I just feel that Adret approaches elegance in its own, less dramatic, way.
Thank you Rune, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the last point. There are many ways to elegance, but few of them on display in the world.
“Adret produces all its clothes in Indonesia… It also has to be said that the clothes are very expensive. The cream Riviera shirt shown at the top of this piece is £795 and the Jack green-linen jacket above £1255. The linen trousers are £655.”
Those prices are both incredible and obscene to put it mildly. It’s impossible to see how anyone could justify them. Frankly, they just give capitalism a bad name.
Such sweeping statements aren’t that useful or, to be honest, interesting Kenny. Yes, they’re clearly expensive. No, it has nothing to do with the modern state of capitalism.
Much more interesting to ask what Adam or customers say about the pricing – how one calculates them, why the other thinks they’re worth it.
I apologise for picking out your comment, but it’s basically just a knee jerk, and the kind of thing we’ve always tried to dissuade on PS. Let’s try to be more interesting.
I´d agree that sweeping statements are of little help, but really Adret´s pricing seems more in line with fashion/designer brands than with the brands normally covered here. I find their pricing truly perplexing.
I wouldn´t say that their prices are obscene in a world where people pay thousands of dollars for ugly, industrially-made, poor-quality designer sneakers. From all indications, Adret´s products are well-made —even if in a lower cost country— and have great design and superb taste. Nonetheless, these prices are very difficult to swallow even for people who, like me, spend a considerably large percentage of a not insubstantial income in clothing and who don´t mind paying top dollar for quality. I mean, when I read that they charge £795 for a ready-made shirt I had to go over that paragraph again to see if my eyes had betrayed me.
It might well be that Adam´s target audience is just the very top of the top of the market, people with near unlimited clothing budgets. But these people, for the most part and sadly, usually pursue the flashy and not the understated. Or maybe it is for customers such as Michael Browne´s or Will Whiting´s. But in both those cases, I´d argue the hand-made, bespoke component better justifies the stratospheric pricing.
I´d second your suggestion to ask Adam and, perhaps more importantly, his customers, about this. I´m genuinely intrigued.
On a separate but related note, I´ve noticed that Drake´s has recently (within the last year) increased their prices quite markedly. For example, their cashmere shawl collar cardigan, which in the U.S. retailed for $1,000, is now $1,400. Their MTO shirts used to start at $275 and are now $375. I´m really put off by this. Any thoughts?
Thanks JH. These are good points, and it is something we should go into more with Adam in the future. I just didn’t want to dive into it all in this piece.
Drake’s is harder. They’ve obviously taken on new things like the Savile Row store, but beyond that it’s hard to say, particularly given you’re working with established products.
Drake’s pricing was wrong to begin with (too cheap). They are now charging more in line with what they need to survive (not thrive, but survive). No one can survive running losses consistently (this is public information).
If you like the brand and the product, go and support them.
Simon – while I feel Kenny’s words might be too strong, I would be very interested to hear the answers to the questions you suggest, as the pricing seems to bear more similarity to that prevalent amongst various designer brands where price and value have an almost inverse relationship.
I’m also afraid that the reasons given for wanting to manufacture in Indonesia seem somewhat reminiscent of various Formula One drivers claiming their residence in Monaco was purely due to the good weather.
Thanks Alex, and yes absolutely I would like to talk about those answers too.
I think you’re a little off on the Indonesian manufacture though. My whole point is that this is not a London brand making in Indonesia. It’s an Indonesian brand. That’s everywhere in the craft and the style.
I have been following Adret for a while now, and this piece confirms the feeling I have been carrying for a while, which is that it might best be viewed as an art project than a regular clothing line. The prices, as well as the extraordinarily tasteful showroom and a refreshing disinterestedness indicate this. Although the prices are high, I would imagine their costs to also be high and I doubt that they are selling any large volumes. Thus, my question is for how long they can do this before running out of funds (given that none of them would have inherited enormous wealth, which I would know nothing about).
Yes, there are no external funds or private money, no. They’ve been building it up themselves slowly over six years now at least.
It will be interesting how sustainable the model is. But I do like how different it is, and I do hope the finances are understood well and it therefore survives.
Couldn’t agree more! And there is hope, much of Loro Piana’s ready to wear is also very expensive and informal/lounge-y and they seem to be doing fine (although different in almost every other aspect). And I am sure whatever they decide to do for the next project will be equally interesting.
The photography in this article is truly beautiful .
In the absence of a website one certainly gets an appreciation of the beauty of the garments.
It strikes me as rather like the Saman Amel … beautiful light clothing in striking and subtle colours .
BUT ……… the pricing stops one dead in their tracks … so don’t be too harsh.
Although I take your point, I would love to understand who buys it at those prices and why ?
Interestingly, there are some of those people in the comments above. Perhaps they might be encouraged to expand on their reasoning, and feeling about the prices?
I agree that such strong language is not appropriate in this context. In terms of capitalism, no one is forcing you to buy from Adret and there are plenty of other options where we can clothe ourselves; they are simply another one. That being said, there does seem to have been a hike since when I visited the pop up in Princes Arcade and I’m not entirely sure that’s wise from a business point of view, particularly for a young brand. But hey, it’s up to them in the end.
I very much agree with you Kenny, it’s what Thorstein Veblen termed ‘conspicuous consumption ‘ it refers to consumers who buy expensive items to display wealth and income rather than to cover the real needs of the consumer.
With Adret? I’m not sure that’s a great comparison, given no one will know the brand, it doesn’t look expensive, and there is no visible branding or logo. How would anyone know it was expensive?
agree. it’s also neocolonial exploitation. how much of the £1255 went to the indonesian ‘artisans’?
The Indonesian staff are full employees, with a great place to work, more security than the piece work they had before, and new skills training.
It’s pretty lazy to use a label like exploitation without any information to base it on.
Adret’s aesthetic is really beautiful. I love everything about this brand. The casual, yet smart elegance, the beautiful quarters they’ve built in Indonesia and the exquisite customer care I’ve experienced even though I ended up buying nothing. However, in my case at least, the pricing puts it out if my league
Loved the article. It felt very honest and not just an “Ad” article. I’ve been following the brand on Instagram for some time and I have to say its clothes are amazing. I’d wear every single one of them. The clothes are a good indication of the prices you mentioned and I didn’t expect anything less. We have to understand that some brands are just made for a certain “wallet size” and not for everyone as much as it hurts me to say because unfortunately I can’t afford any of them. Still I find this brand very inspiring and refreshing. This brand but also articles like yours just shows us how quality can come from everywhere and not just from two countries, it opens a whole new world of ideas.
May I also endorse what Rune has said above.
I have purchased some of Adrets products.
The quality and style of their offerings are very unique.
And the service from Adam was nothing short of exemplary.
I know when I get the chance to get back to London Adret will be one of the places I will look forward to visiting.
Hi Joe! I was wondering if you could share with me brief details about the pieces you have bought from Adret and how they have aged over time. Would love to chat with you via email or Instagram as I am extremely intrigued by this brand and am interested to pick up some pieces. Look forward to hearing back from you
Enoch, just in case you haven’t seen the other articles on Adret, you can see my jacket review here, also the thermal here
Thank you for the reply Simon. I have seen both of the articles and they look great on you. It really shows that Adret is able to retain its aesthetic without having to be too slouchy, appealing to your preference at the same time. However, I am a big fan of the boxier, slouchier silhouettes that some of the other Adret pieces provide and would like to see more of those. Pieces like the Riviera shirt or the Connery popover or even their drapey polos are a few personal favourites of mine that I have seen on their Instagram page. I crave more content and shots of these beautiful pieces that I may just fly to London to see them in person soon
Understood Enoch – sounds like you’ll wear it in a style more similar to Adam’s than my own. I do have the Riviera shirt though and can post an image of that sometime
Would love to see that on you! Thanks once again for your reply
I find it ironic that your last article was about supporting stores and this article is about a store that makes it unduly difficult for people to support them. I’d love to support Adret, but, when you don’t have an online store it’s hard to do that. I appreciate that they may want people to come into the store for the ideal experience, but that’s just not possible for most people.
I remember when Frasi went out of business. People like George Wang at Brio were frustrated that a store that was so influential could go out of business and that people didn’t support them. But Frasi, by not having e-commerce, made it unnecessarily difficult for people to do that. If a store is struggling and they don’t have a website, I can only have so much sympathy for them.
I suggest Adret get a website. If you still want to be able to talk to your customers, you can make it so that customers have to contact you to buy something a la Mercer & Sons. Alternatively, you can just explain your product well on your website.
It’s a very good point about Italian shops like Frasi. I guess the only difference here is that Adret are very conscious of the fact they don’t have e-commerce, what it can give, and make that decision with self-awareness. That doesn’t mean they won’t need it in the long run of course, but it’s a different kind of decision.
I can understand the decision to forego e-commerce, but as they have a website of sorts, it would be nice if they included their address somewhere on there rather than assuming potential customers will find it through Instagram. It may also be helpful to list their address on this article, Simon.
Good point Alex, both of them. I’ll add the address at the end
Agreed that there is something almost humorous and gently absurd about this article when put in context of the one before it. Both very well-written and evocative pieces, but to go from “support your shops, they need it” to “this shop sells £795 RTW shirts and also doesn’t have a website” is jarring to say the least.
Though clearly the fixation on price can often get silly on here – this is a luxury and optional purchase, not lifesaving medicine. If their customers can afford it and they can stay in business selling it at that price, then more power to them.
It might be good to include the address of shops in articles like this? I’ve Googled them and are none the wiser as to where the shop actually is.
Thanks Sam, and yes good point – address added now
Although adret doesn’t have an e-commerce platform, Adam has been very accommodating in the past and sent items in the post, payment was made via PayPal and this worked well. However, I don’t know if this was because I am London based and it was also before the Clifford street store, so might not be something they’d do now but it’s always worth asking Adam.
I might be wrong but I’m sure that the shirt, now mentioned many times used to around £500. There does appear be a substantial increase in price but that coincides with the showroom and Mayfair rents are expensive. The fact that they have chosen to locate in Mayfair also tells you about their target clientele.
A comment was made by someone “ if you like the brand, their product then support them” I.e. pay up. However, this type of comment irks me as I have supported brands such drakes for many years and have seen the prices go significantly. Now the prices are at a point where I sometimes can’t justify spending that much on an item anymore. So as much I love brands like adret & drakes for what they produce and would love to continue supporting them I’m probably now priced out of their market.
Nice article – really like what I’ve seen of Adret online – unfortunately, they never seem to have my size and so have not been able to try any pieces.
Love their aesthetic – very high taste level which I hope to try at some point.
I found this article interesting in describing the aesthetic of the brand. Especially how the clothing, shop and ambiance appear cohesive and thought through. On that basis and in keeping with highlighting smaller independent retailers, it was a worthwhile read and thank you for it.
As for pricing – in my opinion something is only worth what you are willing to pay for it. If it’s worth it to you then it’s worth it. I don’t think transparency of pricing is relevant in a clothing retail environment. Private White VC promoted this a few years back and I haven’t seen or heard of it recently. I for one didn’t find it relevant. After all we are not talking about something critical to our well-being: eg a vaccine for topicality.
If I like something, know I will use it and I can afford it, then I’ll likely buy it. Perhaps there is a tipping point. Is a £700 pair of shoes twice as good as a pair costing £300?. Which is my point, that it’s not really relevant, if they are worth it to you.
As a light hearted comment though, I once read something along these lines in relation to the art world. “Have you ever bought a fake painting? The more you paid for it, the less likely you are to believe it’s a fake!”
Have a good weekend.
Perhaps I missed it.
What is the address of the shop?
The pricing is high, but what price beauty? I’m not keen on the work of Damien Hirst but others will pay a fortune for half a cow in formaldehyde. What I can see from the photos and Adret’s postings on Instagram are some very stylish clothes in wonderful fabrics. If they are as good to touch and wear when I get to see them then – if I stretch my pocket – I will have bought a garment that, if it lasts, will bring me years of joy. Certainly that would mean better value than many other things in life – cars and ex wives come to mind.
So I might just be tempted – and if I’m tempted and love the first piece, I might be tempted to return again and again at affordable intervals.
No, I don’t think the range is geared just towards the wealthy – it’s geared towards a certain aesthetic and the lover of quality.
As I said, what price beauty?
This is clearly an interesting aesthetic.
Not having viewed the range and going purely from Simon’s photographs and comments, it looks like one of those brands that is a total extension of one person’s style.
For me, this can be difficult because these ventures inevitably work best when the pieces are coordinated. A practice more frequently seen in female dressing – adherence to ‘the total look’.
There is often a risk in this insomuch as it finishes up looking like a uniform. If you don’t have that look at heart or don’t have the same physical characteristics as the founder, you won’t wear it nearly so well.
Of course, one have could have had said the same about Armani back in the ‘80s and even today it could perhaps be said that the likes of C&M and Edward Sexton are selling a ‘total look’ .
That said, by comparison, the Adret aesthetic looks to be more restrictive and I would have difficulty imagining incorporating just a couple of pieces into a wardrobe. It looks like the sort of thing where you either buy the whole enchilada or you don’t.
I’ll check out my assumptions when I’m next in town but the other two barriers for me could well be price and provenance.
Simon doesn’t seem to like discussions on these points but I have to say, regardless of quality, these prices are completely ridiculous for off the shelf garments and with regard to provenance, there are certainly ethical considerations.
Nonetheless, the aesthetic does look quite beautiful so I’ll take a look.
Thanks David, good points on the total look – particularly the reference to similarities in womenswear.
Happy to talk about price, I just didn’t want the piece to be swamped by that, or go into it without adding Adam’s point of view too.
On the ethical considerations, I suggest talking to Adam about everything they’re providing for their workers out in Indonesia. Then compare that to the kind of treatment makers for fashion companies often have to deal with in the UK, such as exposed in the news for Boohoo and the like. Location often has little to do with it.
Yes, adret certainly is specific aesthetic and one that I love. However, it is somewhat an extension of Adam’s personal style in my opinion. I do own adret items, but the wide leg trousers had to go back. Being ‘one size fits all’ just doesn’t work I looked like a small child doing the sack race! My other half burst out laughing, although she does think they look good on Adam. It’s a complete aesthetic that is also very difficult to pull off for mere mortals.
I’d disagree there slightly guys – the trousers are huge, but a lot of the knitted tops and jackets I find wearable. The thermals, my Jack bomber. I think it’s a question of picking the pieces that are less oversized
From my point of view there seems to be a significant misunderstanding in this thread re clothing pricing, and the clues are in the article. For medium and large companies producing high end gentlemen’s wear, the Italian manufacturers generally have a selection of this season’s fabric which the brand owner can choose from and then brand owners use the manufacturers patterns to produce knits, shirts, trousers etc – the pattern is relatively fixed. In Adam’s case he does not use standard fabrics or patterns. He has to engage in extensive design related research, test different fabrics for each item, and then each item has to go through different iterations until he is happy with the final pattern shape – I bet that collar on the shirt in the picture went through numerous iterations and make-ups until it was right. On top of that he then has to cover transportation and retailing costs – which in his location with his store set up are not small. He then has to devote much of his own time to providing the service. All of these costs have then to be recovered over small production runs, and the price of his products reflect his requirement. I love the design, love the fabrics, love the service and get the economics. Happy to pay time and time again
Hi Steve, would you be so kind as to share with me some pictures of the clothing you have bought from Adret? I am extremely interested in Adret but being so far away from London and with nothing but social media showcasing his wonderful pieces, I have not been able to pull the trigger. I have been canvassing blogs, pinterest, tumblr for as much content on Adret as possible but I still only have a very limited gallery of closeup detail shots as well as the clothes “worn in the wild”. Thank you so much. Would appreciate it a lot
I agree, I love the Adret aesthetic although the pricing is perhaps a little high. I could stretch for one piece here and there but I do find it a stretch and I’m not entirely convinced on its value for money. I also have to say that I am not a fan of the copy they release on Instagram. It find it a bit clunky and a little off putting. I feel they would be better served letting the images do the talking
I think Steve makes a very good point about what you are paying for. I would add that Adam has an very interesting take on relaxed tailoring and they have a great style and vision for the brand, including inspiration from mid-century design and the coherent connection to Indonesia where the clothes are made.
However, I would also echo the comment above that some of the copy on the recent Instagram content is a bit off putting. Language like “Everything is right about the clothes, they’re so beautifully cut, so finely made, so very well mannered” is a bit garish.
I agree on the copy. At times it almost borders parodic imho.
It’s great that they believe in their product and the comfort and reassurance they give, but one can only toot his own horn so much.
It’d be a completely different thing of they were actual customer testimonials.
Agreed again. The copy is rather off putting. Its funny that a brand that seems to get some much right and clearly has a very high level of taste can get this aspect so wrong.
I have a few pieces from Adret and can perhaps contribute to the discussion.
About the price: As has been mentioned here several times, it is ridiculously high. It may be an Indonesian brand (or not), but that doesn’t change the cheaper production conditions there – even if they pay their workers well – which gives the prices a kind of stale taste.
On quality: The quality of workmanship is good, but not outstanding. Here and there the seams are skewed, small processing errors also occur. The workmanship of S.E.H Kelly, for example, is better – and S.E.H Kelly offers much more honest prices and you can communicate with the owners just as easily.
About the style: The style is the reason why I bought clothes from Adret and will buy again (as long as they don’t raise the price any further, which they have already done several times). As the previous speaker said, it only makes sense to buy the complete look.
Conclusion: I love Adret’s aesthetics, am moderately convinced by the workmanship and the prices are… funny. But since they serve a niche market, I sincerely hope that they will be successful – if only so that I can continue to admire their Instagram profile.
By the way, I think the aesthetic (loose clothing) will be adopted by various other brands in the near future, which will make it easier to have (kind of) the style for more reasonable money.
Very useful and interesting comment Jeldrik, thank you. Informed and considered. The opposite of knee-jerk reactions.
The cost of a piece of clothing is divided by the number of times you wear it. I have no doubt whatsoever that those who are fortunate enough to purchase Adret will absolutely cherish their piece. And probably wear it for a good number of years – if not a lifetime. The brand is audacious, progressive and detail oriented – frankly a breath of fresh air in a crowded market. I wish Adam the very best of luck with building the brand and the atelier – conceptually it’s actually very very clever. To boot Adam seems like a lovely guy
Went into Adret today.
Had slight reservations walking in as I had no idea how much the clothes were as I hadn’t read Simon’s article here before I went. Anyway, door was locked and after a moment Adam let me in – this is where what I thought might be a stuffy boutique turned out to be just me and Adam talking about clothes and art and aesthetics – not pretentiously in any way – Adam just loves what he’s doing and, honestly, out of all of Connolly, A&S and Drakes, Adam comes across as the most authentic – I don’t know why but I felt totally relaxed around him, just a guy who has thrown his life at making beautiful clothes in a beautiful shop, all of his own design, but not being right up his own backside about. He really is a lovely bloke.
I came within a cat’s whisker of forking out for a linen chore jacket and I might even go back and pick it up – as Simon says in the article, the cut and the aesthetic may not be for everyone but I would urge anyone that’s passing to drop in and just try his stuff on – it is, at the very least, great fun, and is different in a way that might open up new ways of dressing yourself.
The louche, dropped shoulders on the slightly oversized jacket I tried today – I can’t shake – it was just one of the coolest jackets I’ve ever tried on.
I noticed that Adam referenced two films when we spoke – The Talented Mr Ripley and Plein Soleil and I would suggest that there is something about his clothing that is authentically classic yet uniquely stylish somewhat like those films.
Anyway, Adam mentioned that they do low runs of clothing and that the items change about every 4 weeks so there’s lots of variety and it’s unlikely you’ll ever meet someone wearing something you’ve bought there.
The jacket I tried on was about £900 and, be dammed, for what was a beautifully cut, near-unique and stunningly timeless piece, I thought it was absolutely worth it.
It all looks very beautiful and it‘s especially great to see this very upscale realisation of an Indonesian aesthetic — something that people may wrongly consider more cheap otherwise when seeing „made in asia“ clothing labels.
i feel the brand has chosen the very high prices as another argument to drive this point home. By selling a ready-made shirt for almost €1000 you immediately become interesting for the kind of person who buys a Gucci-sweater.
I think it‘s a bit much to be frank. To me, in a world where so many people struggle thanks to the pandemic I just couldn’t justify to indulge that much — still everything this brand does looks so beautiful
Great article, Simon. Not necessarily clothes that I would wear myself but beautiful. Interesting that there is so much consternation about their pricing. It’s all so relative; most people don’t even bat an eye lit when they spend a quarter of their annual income on a car – and happily pay twice as much as necessary just to get a slightly cooler and/or more luxurious one. Everyone quite eager to splash out on a massive flatscreen and state of the art kitchen appliances but 655 pounds for a pair of trousers is ridiculous. I will always remember one of the senior partners at my first fulltime job (at a big law firm) driving me to a client meeting in a brand new Maserati GT – when I proudly told him that I bought EUR400 Crockett & Jones oxfords from my first pay he loudly proclaimed that he would never pay more than EUR200 for shoes, what a waste of money etc. Just driving that Maserati (GT) home from the dealer would have burned roughly 20% of the purchase price, say around a 100 pairs of Crockett & Jones? I will only need (want) 20-25 pairs quality shoes during my entire life time.. I know you have written about these things but smells like a separate post to me!
I’ve tried to locate Adret’s shop using Google maps. The only result is Anderson and Shepard Haberdashery. Please would you provide the address.
Regarding some of the negative pricing comments, as you explained in your article, the clothes need to be seen before condemning the cost. Most Permanent Style readers are prepared to pay a premium for exceptional trophy items. Great photography and well written.
Thank you, much appreciated.
Address now included at the end of the article.
Having read this thread i confirm that i am an Adret customer so i would like to put my considerations forward. The pricing is high – yes – and within their range there are items i would not buy due to cost. The items listed in this article are examples of these but they do also carry some garments around £500 and below and the accessories are also less expensive.
I have been into clothing all of my life and more recently within the last two years or so i have been diverting more and more of my budget to made to order and/ or smaller brands. I have to sat that this has profoundly increased my enjoyment of the whole process and really adds allot more meaning to the things i have viewed, considered and the decided to invest in. My earnings are a little more than double the UK average although on the PS scale this would put me in the bottom percentage. My wife also works and therefor our living costs and montages etc are shared. I don’t earn enough to go down the full bespoke route and i am not sure i have an especially strong desire to do so. I do however spend on a MTM service at the cost of around £1200 for an Italian made sport coat of which i add one a year to my wardrobe. I have spent £350 on a 4-ply cashmere cardigan recently and buy shoes in the C&J price range maybe once every couple of years as necessary. The Adret pricing is therefor – for me – not entirely out of reach. Some saving is required for a month or two but in my opinion it is worth it when i consider i only plan to buy a handful of new garment each year. The item i have purchased from them i am totally in love with and i do not feel the price was inappropriate although i do concede it was expensive. It is also a slight shift – at least for me – that these expensive clothes air more on the informal side. This actually increases the feeling of luxury for me as they are used in more casual situations but have the same impact as a pair of razor creased flannels or a hand made shirt. The one thing i will say is the sizing is limited and large and for someone who generally takes a Size S this can be restrictive as the loose silhouette can feel somewhat oversized. i would certainly like to see some more consistent smaller sizing from them.
I hope this helps add some perspective to the discussion.
It does a lot, thank you for the first-hand view
I made a whistle-stop visit to Adret yesterday. Even though Adam (co-founder) had closed he kindly let me in to browse. I had eyes for just two items I had seen in the window and wanted to know how much they were. I’m old fashioned in that I need to know how much things cost and will always demand a receipt! Adam was what you’d want a shopkeeper to be; courteous, friendly, welcoming, even when he could have ignored me since the shop had closed for the day. I definitely will be returning to browse properly and listen to his jazz playlist which he informed me was quite eclectic. I agree with the last sentiments on pricing at Adret. I am an impulsive shopper and once I’ve had a splurge, I forget all about sartorial matters again. I most likely will move onto rare books or objets d’art, magazines, etc. But money is never an object if I feel goods are worth the trouble. Adret seems a perfect fit for me.
To me, no matter how special the fabric and make is, a shirt, that will be worn on the body, require constant washing, be exposed to deodorant, cologne, sweat, potential stains, cannot be justified at £795. To some extent, a shirt much like underwear, is a staple.
I’m sure some people will buy and love it, but even if I were a millionaire I don’t think I could justify that for a mere shirt.
That’s why the lack of e-commerce, while I’m sure they have their reasons, is what I find most off putting, rather than pricing. Because it forces me to take up their time, asking about a nice looking garment, only to be forced to say “I cannot afford that”. Do that a few times and the whole experience turns very negative.
In turn, this will have put me off from asking about other garments that may very well have been in a price range I can accept.
Having said that, the shop looks beautiful, and will surely be on my list of places to visit whenever I’m back in London. The imagery in this post is lovely, Simon, I’m sure having such a nice subject is very appreciated by the photographer.
The picture of the office in Indonesia look like a dream too. I’m sure if Adam and Seto wanted to they could branch out into interior design quite successfully.
I see are number of you have referred to the pricing Adret clothing. This is something I refer to as “correct pricing”.
There seems to be a train of thought to price by way of “perceived value” whereby price determines the value or luxury of an item. As a seasoned retailer it is my opinion that the buzz word in retail will be “Correct Pricing”.
Comments on this thread are rather puzzling.
Most seem to agree that the product, store and service is exceptional – and above the standard offered by other brands discussed on PS (which are already at very high standards). However, few commenters then goes on to complain about the above-average prices which are higher than other brands discussed on PS.
Exceptional items comes from an exceptional level of investment (from the retailer) which then has to be covered by higher pricing. It’s 100% justified and nobody is ripping you off here.
I spied their shop several months ago and stood in awe at the shop fit out and clothes. It all looks lovely and, as i suspected, it looks expensive. I liked the unusualness of the design – very ‘south of France’ etc!
Really the best neighbours we could wish for. Congratulations to Adam and to Seto.
I just walked across town to check Adret out for myself. This is really in a league of its own. Every piece is exquisitely thought through, every fabric with a story. I haven’t seen anything like this in a long time. What you used to find in Paris, maybe. A feel of the late 40’s perhaps. It is its own aesthetic, and hangs together very well as a collection. Adam is a deeply passionate person and very focused on creating something out of the ordinary. Some of the pieces were a little oversized feeling, a bit drapey, for me. But overall, this puts the other Clifford Street standards to shame. So much care and attention to detail. Yes, maybe a little more expensive…but these are forever clothes, not yet another chore jacket or tweed blazer. And better value, in my opinion, than many other London stores written about in these pages. This is so much the opposite of most of the retail out there.
Just visited the Adret store. Adam is charming and helpful. Ended up buying two absolutely beautiful shirts. One of the joys of this place is knowing each garment has a very limited run and is of the finest fabric. There can be few places where one can start to build a casual wardrobe of such quality – pieces that, like a bespoke Saville Row suit, will last for many years and look increasingly good with age. And the prices to my mind, bearing that in mind, are fair as they entirely reflect the uniqueness of what you’re buying.
How would you say about the ‘jack’ fit ? Is it good for casual ? I remember that you wearing it on instagram story.
Not really for casual, as in jeans, no. It’s smarter than that. Smart chinos at the most casual, but really best with linen trousers, then a shirt or knit under.
Hi Simon. How does Adret achieve this flowy look? I really like it.
Loose weave, lightweight, avoiding high twist yarn? Do the fabrics need to have body?
Actually, sometimes high twists are good, because yes it helps if the fabrics have some good body, as you say.
It’s mostly about the cuts and the fabrics. Things you wouldn’t necessarily notice immediately, like large sleeves on the jackets.
a few months ago you shared a story on Instagram where you showed a scarf from Adret (I think it was green with some white shapes on it). Could you tell me the measurements? I’m not in London much anymore so I can’t go to the shop, and I deleted my Instagram account so I can’t contact Adam myself.
I don’t own one like that, so I suspect it isn’t mine and I can’t measure it. Can you phone the store?
hmm, than I must have got it mixed up. I just noticed that the website has a somewhat hidden email address. I can try it via that. Thanks for your quick reply.
Is Adret closing, because they deleted their instagram account?
Did they? Still looks like it’s there to me?
It shows up in google search, but when I open it instagram says person not found and I can‘t look at the pictures.
Hmm. Not sure what’s going on there then I’m afraid. It seems to work for me
Hi Simon! Do you have any idea when Adam will be releasing his catalogue?
I don’t I’m afraid, you’d have to talk to Adam