Bespoke, it seems, has taken a new turn. What started in suiting has been translated to subscription services, with an ever increasing demand for the specialised, the specific and the carefully selected. Almost a decade ago, ca. the birth of the modern noughties gentleman and the Savile Row revival, we all went cray for the bespoke suit, forming a backlash against the off-the-rack ill-fitting easiness of Giorgio Armani’s 80s and the intransigent casualness of the 90s.
But now it’s old news. We get it, if you can afford bespoke tailoring, then you’re pretty much guaranteed quality, good fit and excellent service. Recently, the tailored service has migrated to the level of lifestyle. Brands like Glossybox and Svbscription fuse the concept of the traditional magazine subscription and a curated range of products. In the case of Glossybox for Men, it’s grooming products; a well-selected package of seven moisturisers, hair products and after-shaves in sample sizes is boxed beautifully and shipped to you each quarter for your delectation. I’ve trialled the service and readily admit that it’s probably fun for anyone interested in trying out several different products but as an unapolgetic cosmetic conservative, having stuck to a pretty stringent grooming regimen since my teens, it’s not for me.
^ Svbscription releases Version 2, ‘Study’
NYC-based Svbscription steps it up a notch, offering a quarterly shipment of anything from grooming products to Loden Dager to literature. The keyword here is ‘luxury’, with the service operating on the basis of limited membership and coming at a price that I wouldn’t personally describe as accessible ($330 per quarter). Then again, it’s a premium service; if everyone bagged a Birkin, we’d be using them to cart the cans of tuna back from LIDL.
The debut shipment took its inspiration from the theme of ‘Travel’, while Version 2 (just released) focuses on ‘Study’ and comprises an exclusive Loden Dager navy suede folio, Nicola Barker’s The Yips (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012), a metal travel tube by boutique perfumery Le Labo (engraved with each of Svbscription member’s initials) and a Kawaco AL Sport Fountain pen.
As something in the vein of now immensely successful Visionaire, Svbscription seems like a start-up worth saving for.
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