There are many reasons why luxury fashion is so coveted – one of the main ones being that the average man can’t afford it. But while we can’t grasp every Italian-leather-quilted-extravagantly-branded carrot dangled before us, there are in-roads to luxury in all designer collections.
Just because they’re not on the runway, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Fancy incorporating a little brand prestige without paying a visit to your local loan shark? Then get a load of these of sound investments.
Dolce & Gabbanna
Grained-Leather Billfold Wallet
Sicilian duo Dolce & Gabbana’s signature excess isn’t for everyone. But alongside the eye-popping prints, statement suiting and general opulence of their collections is an unwavering pride in Italian craftsmanship.
Testament to the fact is this grained-leather billfold wallet. A happy medium between low-key and logomania, it features D&G’s iconic branding, is crafted from 100 per cent calf skin leather and boasts a reassuring ‘Made in Italy’ stamp.
Square Shape Cufflinks
Every man should have at least one pair of cufflinks. If you’re not a nine-to-five suiter, wearing a pair of these usually signifies an important occasion – which is even more reason to invest.
Cue Lanvin. With a reputation for the very best in Parisian design (and prices to match), this house makes for an informed occasionwear choice. Dh562 might seem steep for something you only wear a handful of times a year, but with a silver-tone body and perfectly finished black rhodium (a rare metal that belongs to the platinum family) squares, these bite-sized pieces of luxury are worth it.
In recent years, Parisian label Saint Laurent has riffed on the Rolling Stone aesthetic, splicing its signature elegance with the style of 1970s rock stars – all skintight jeans, sequinned blazers and skinny scarves.
But despite Hedi Slimane’s loosening the label up, it’s still top-tier luxury – so as much as we’re fans of the new aesthetic he’s ushered in, the fact remains that it’s tricky to find anything that’s remotely affordable.
Apart from these shades, which – although not exactly pocket change – are a damn sight cheaper than other designer brands flogging styles priced north of Dh2672. If you want a quality pair that actually does its job (i.e. protect your eyes) and won’t date, then look no further.
Dh1200 is one of the cheaper items from Saint Laurent, and this versatile shape will outlast fleeting trends.
3cm Black Leather Belt
Gucci has seen something of a renaissance in the last year. Once an Italian heavyweight slowly gathering dust, the storied label has, with the help of new creative director Alessandro Michele, been steered back on track with a slew of Wes Anderson shirts, souvenir jackets and floral prints.
Still, 1970s-inspired pussy-bow blouses and rose-coloured trousers are hardly timeless men’s pieces, so it’s worth sinking your cash into something less showy – a good leather belt, for example.
Made in Italy with genuine calfskin leather, this is one accessory you’ll still be wearing come the next 1970s revival.
Tennix Leather Sneakers
Kenzo is a brand that’s instantly recognisable – from sweaters to shirting to tees, the iconic embroidered tiger is one of the most coveted motifs in recent history. Which might not, considering wardrobe classics and trends are rarely in sync, make the brand an obvious choice for long-term investment.
Sure, the tiger sweatshirt was huge, but three years on (and a couple of hundred quid down), has its popularity maintained? Arguably not.
To remedy any one-trick-pony slurs as a result, Kenzo also offers styles that show it’s in it for the long haul – like these kicks. At Dh910 – only a fraction more expensive than some major sportswear brands – this pair’s got lasting power.