We at MenStyleFashion are always on the hunt for new interpretations of classic style. Last week I had the pleasure of learning about Niccolò P., a London-based brand which launched with a range of polo shirts in 2018.
By way of introduction, and in the words of the founder:
“The inspiration for starting Niccolò P. came in 2016 while at a barbecue with friends. Several were wearing name brand polo shirts and I noticed that most had collars which had curled up, cheap plastic buttons or a fit which was too boxy – the quality was clearly not what it should be.
I wanted to put the ‘shirt’ back in ‘polo shirt’ using the highest quality materials in the world produced responsibly in Europe. From this, Niccolò P. was born.”
First and foremost, we are always pleased to see European companies sourcing and making in Europe as we have seen so many heritage brands move to making on the other side of the world to save a few pennies here and there. Looking at the product itself it is clear that they are firmly targeting the discerning customer who might otherwise choose a polo shirt from Sunspel, John Smedley or perhaps Burberry. With no physical stores as overhead to pay for, Niccolò P. is able to put much more value into its shirts – this is evident from the price point of its Sea Island Collection of polos which retail at £120, at least 30% below the few others in the market which sell this Rolls Royce of cottons – and with arguably better make quality.
Differences and Distinctions
Launching a new brand in a highly competitive niche is not for the faint of heart – you really must offer something different to have a chance of success. The ‘twist’ in the Niccolò P. polo shirt is its ‘structured’ appearance which comes from employing flat-felled seams to sew the garment (I am told that these take around 5 times longer to sew than traditional overlock seams but they offer a structured appearance from the outside and greater comfort on the inside). What struck us is just how neat the inside of the polo looks – so well put together that it could almost be worn inside out. Certainly no corners were cut in the process.
Further adding to the structured style are stand collars (as you would find on a shirt) which mean the polo wears very well under a jacket or blazer and a placket which, rather than being simply cut into the front of the shirt, has been made from an entirely separate piece of fabric and then sewn on for a more defined appearance. We like the weight of interlining used in the collars – just enough to allow the collar points to retain shape, but not so heavy to make it look or feel stiff.
Following a successful launch year, Niccolò P. more than doubled the range of styles offered in 2019. For 2020, several new products including long sleeve polo shirts will be added (delayed due to the ongoing crisis). We are also told that an unstructured lightweight blazer jacket is in the works – it will be tailored in Naples, Italy (the home of that relaxed style of jacket) exclusively using Loro Piana fabrics. The idea, according to the founder, is to focus the brand on structured polo shirts and unstructured blazers, which he (and we for that matter!) think pair perfectly together.
So how do we see the Niccolò P. take on the classic polo shirt? Well, aside from the clear craftsmanship involved, we think a slightly more formal take on the polo shirt is ‘of its time’. With so many of us working from home and face-to-face remaining as important as ever, looking the part is crucial while you Zoom or Webex: a logo-free polo made using obvious-to-the-eye high quality fabrics and mother-of-pearl buttons and being perhaps more shirt than polo offers – we think – an ideal solution.
Discover more: https://www.niccolo-p.com/