Defining Smart Casual with AquascutumWe have done it again. Last week marked an epic collaboration between luxury British fashion giant Aquascutum and forward-looking media pioneers, Entouraaj. If you had the terrible misfortune of missing one of the biggest fashion events this side of London, sit back, relax and let us take you through an evening filled with charm, fashion flair and style. If you have not heard of Aquascutum before now, get your wallets at the ready and prepare yourself for a delicious education and feast for the eyes. Dating back to the mid 19th Century, this brand was at the very forefront of craftsmanship and technological innovation. From creating the first waterproof textile (ever!) to dressing Prime Ministers and celebrities alike, we wanted to find out what the brand is bringing to the 21st Century and how it’s redefining the smart/casual look. To answer this question, we embarked on an education through intoxication–courtesy of Stovells gin and Fever-Tree tonic water. We also assembled key figures from across the Entouraaj team and Instagram glitterati. In the smart, sleek surroundings of Aquascutum’s new store, Mr. Entouraaj himself welcomed our stylish guests and audience. We were privileged to have in attendance Aquascutum’s Marketing and Retail directors Elise Hamer and John Robertshaw. More of that later! So what is smart casual look? Luckily for you, we answered just that in our bespoke presentation featuring models in Aquascutum’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection. True to the origins of the brand, this collection aims to be full of pieces that transcend all seasons. With their #takevoyage campaign, all items are intended for men all around the world. Styled by our very own Saran Kohli and Aquascutum’s Visual Merchandising Director, Paul Higgins, lets allow the clothes do the talking… @Bhan_r's look was layered with a patched pocked piece of perfection. It is easy on the eye, subtle, light and casual. Exactly what we are after. @Jattstreetstyle wore a waffle-cotton mix blazer with piquet lining and rolled up trousers. Simple, stylish and comfortable. @Jujharsdhanjal boasted an electric blue voyager packaway trench coat. Teamed with a navy polo and black trouser, it is both fun and playful. You’re definitely not going to miss this guy in a crowd. @Singhgentry wore a modern twist on Aquascutum’s traditional travel suit. It is both breathable and breathtaking! Styled with a good old classic trench coat, this look was showstopper! As our stylish crowd were mingling and admiring, we asked Mr Higgins how successful British men are at achieving the smart casual look. Rather refreshingly, he answered “some guys get it really wrong…tailoring is key”. His biggest tip: “Unstructured blazers and casual separates. We have seen a huge 30% increase for these kinds of items recently”. We also sat down for a cheeky chat with Aquascutum’s Marketing Director, Elise Hamer. We spoke about the brands heritage; it’s turbulent past and yes, the ‘B’ word – Burberry. Q: What is first thing that pops into your mind when you think of Aquascutum? A: Aquascutum is brand with a rich British history. It was first established by John Emary in 1851 who actually created and patented the first waterproof textile. A lot of people are often surprised to know our trench coats were born out of necessity during World War one and two; where the link between war trenches and trench coat comes from. 65% of your customer’s are men. Who is the Aquascutum man? There is no ‘particular’ type of man we target. We are a brand that is known for quality and are more understated compared with similar brands We need to address the elephant in the room. Burberry. How would you differentiate Aquascutum from such a well-known British brand? Burberry is great brand but quality of our products definitely sets us aside. All our trench coats are made in the UK and other key pieces in Italy and Portugal. Our pieces have longevity and our customers understand this. Aquascutum, as a business model, went through a few challenging years. How did the brand pull itself back into the mainstream fashion arena? It is true we went through some turbulent years; but we are now owned by a Chinese company. We have had to adapt to the market to be commercially viable, but our foundations are built on Aquascutum’s British heritage. Finally, how have you found partnering up with Entouraaj for this special event? I have not held events like this in the past so it is a first. The timing was great for us, especially with the opening of our newly refurbished store. It has been a great evening. Like with all fashion brands, it begins and ends with the clothes. The brand has managed to reinvent itself to a modern audience and maintained is strong roots to British heritage and design. Coupled with a dedicated team and passion for their products, Aquascutum is rising from the ashes and there is barely a tube station in London you will not see their new ad campaign. So go on, pop into their store and spoil yourself! As the CEO of Entouraaj has said many a time, ‘we are an inclusive brand; not exclusive’. So folks, if you find yourself mourning this missed opportunity, fear not – we are already working on the next one! Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to receive reports of our shenanigans and latest events. See you next time! Stay tuned through our instagram page @entouraaj and tag Sunil in your best smart/casual looks @sunilralhr.