There’s fast fashion, and then there’s Slowear. The idea that men can fill their wardrobes with highly affordable, on-trend pieces ripped from the runways is no secret. It’s been the dominant force in the industry for years. But there’s been a subtle yet increasingly desperate desire to escape from the clutches of warp-speed couture in favor of something just a bit more relaxed.
Enter the Italian brand redefining the men’s fashion scene. Slowear is the brainchild of brothers Roberto and Marzio Compagno, whose parents founded Incotex in 1951. Synonymous with luxurious trousers – some say the brand invented the world-famous chino – Incotex was more than just the family business for the two. It also served as inspiration for something greater.
The brothers believed there was a significant gap in the market. Crowded with brands vying to outdo one another with the quickest examples of mass-produced garb imaginable, the men’s fashion world was overwhelmed with a sense of disposability. The tangible garments – those that were tried, true, and honorably crafted with meticulous attention to detail, fabric, and size – were rarities.
And so the Compagnos were compelled to submit to their higher calling and develop a brand that embraced the essence of what they felt men’s clothing ought truly to be: thoughtful and slow.
And so the Compagnos were compelled to submit to their higher calling and develop a brand that embraced the essence of what they felt men’s clothing ought truly to be: thoughtful and slow. The company was built on the foundations of years of dedication. Incotex originally specialized in military uniforms before it transitioned to the trouser market. Eventually the brothers realized they could apply the same principles to other garments.
Adding Incotex to the Slowear fold was only the first step. The company acquired several other brands that fit their preferred developmental model. They were specialists in their own rights, which a deeper understanding of why and how clothing could be meaningful if it was designed the right way. Eventually, Slowear parented Montedoro outerwear, Zanone knitwear, and Glanshirt tops. It also produced its own new collection of footwear and accessories, Officina Slowear.
All in the Name
If ever a brand lived up to its reputation, it’s Slowear. “Slow” is symbolic. In a fast-paced, often cutthroat industry, slow represents a change of pace. It’s emblematic of attention to detail. It’s deliberate, respectful, and mindful. It’s contradictory of these turbo-charged times when everything seems to be a race to the finish.
Yet fashion was never meant to be fast. If, today, it enjoys that title, it’s merely a symptom of the increased appetite for high style at low prices. But with that dubious honor also comes a distinct lack of attention. Select brands have become benchmarks for the fast movement, producing some thousands upon thousands of units annually, and often churning them out in a matter of weeks.
Slowear’s concept is markedly different. There are no middle men. The company owns all of its factories outright. They are dependent solely on themselves and select partners to produce and conceptualize its fabrics and yarns. Materials pass through few hands during the process. The idea is deeply rooted in family tradition and a sincere code of ethics that focuses largely on longevity and timelessness.
The Little Things
It’s often the little things that make the most significant difference in a garment’s creation. This is particularly true of Slowear’s methodology, which centers most specifically around fabrication. Materials are highly innovative, offering features like water-repellence and anti-wrinkle finishes. Strength and resilience are the cornerstones of every piece under the Slowear umbrella.
Materials are highly innovative, offering features like water-repellence and anti-wrinkle finishes.
Production values matter, too. While Slowear takes a gentle and methodical approach to design, its collections are swift to arrive. The brand doesn’t believe in curating ranges by the season. Instead, it delivers fresh products routinely. Yet company never sacrifices quality in its endeavor to bring only the highest quality pieces to the fray.
This is precisely why every shirt in the Glanshirt range is triple-washed to help lock in color and achieve a softer finish. It’s why the company doesn’t use dyed fabric from scratch, but instead applies the color directly to the finished product instead. The result: richer, truer, and more lasting hues.
Yet for all its rich history and dependability, the company doesn’t shun technological advancements in the name of tradition. In fact, Slowear embraces innovative mechanisms and machines that allow them to produce garments that are even stronger and more resilient. Their mission is, quite simply, to make clothing that fits and lasts. With the right materials and design techniques at their disposal, bringing consumers what they want is a straightforward and reliable process.
In the Stores
Slowear’s brick and mortar enterprises are peppered throughout Italy, Korea, Japan, England, Austria, Germany, and Lebanon. The sole location in the United States is situated in Lower Manhattan. The fashionable Soho haunt mimics the same scaled-back style as its sister stores around the world.
Slowear’s brick and mortar enterprises are peppered throughout Italy, Korea, Japan, England, Austria, Germany, and Lebanon.
The shops are purposefully designed to reflect a brand whose regard for fashion extends well beyond the pomp and circumstance displayed on the catwalks. Slowear offers a refreshingly unassuming take on interior design. Interiors lack the gloss and flash you might find at other high-fashion boutiques; instead, warm hues and lighting set the tone. The focus is strictly on the attire, and less on making bold, showy statements.
What’s most impressive? The sheer volume of product. You’ll find all of Slowear’s brands in store, making it easy to mix and match and conceptualize looks for your casual and dressy moments alike. There are standouts across the board. While they exude a sense of nonchalance, make no mistake: they are all designed with great intention. The aim remains to provide clothes that appeal to understanding consumers who recognize quality at a glance.
The best designers are recognized for one or two significant pieces that set them apart from the rest. This can be said of Slowear’s collective brands, each of which specialize in different types of apparel.
Incotex Venezia 1951: Among the most revered trousers in existence is the brand’s Venezia 1951. The company’s signature pants are available in multiple neutral colors spanning from beige to grey. Cotton offers a simpler take on the everyday pant, while tropical virgin wool provides a surprisingly cool option for warm-weather wear.
Incotex IndigoChino: It takes a great deal of creativity and imagination to envision something that’s akin to denim, but at the same time feels a world away from its inspiration. Such is the case with the IndigoChino, an inarguably smart collection that marries the simplicity of the indigo pant and the refinement of the Incotex brand at large. These trousers exemplify a sort of down-to-earth-meets-modern style that fits nicely into any contemporary wardrobe.
Zanone Blazer: The average blazer is distinctive, yet not quite memorable. The same can’t be said for the Zanone blazer. Made with cotton crepe fabric, it’s a warm weather-friendly alternative to the standard edit. With its clean lines and relaxed structure, it exhibits a purposeful sense of luxury, yet also feels versatile enough to wear with jeans on an off-duty day.
Zanone Light Cashmere Reversible Sweater: You shouldn’t have to purchase staples over and over again. Zanone recognizes and capitalizes on the need for one-and-done garments that don’t skimp where longevity is concerned. The brand’s reversible cashmere sweater is at once protective and lightweight. Each side offers a slightly different take on the original hue. Beyond the fact that it offers options, it also feels desperately soft to the touch.
Montedoro Packable Unlined Jacket: Even the most casual of jackets can offer a more polished presence. Montedoro displays its best design skills on its packable unlined jacket that marries the practicalities of traditional outerwear with hints of urbanity. Sporty undertones define this low-key, travel-friendly piece that wears just as well with denim as with crisply tailored slacks.
Montedoro Padded Vest: If ever there was a piece any man needed to complete an already well-rounded wardrobe, it’s a padded vest. This no-fuss, no-frills garment fills those between-season gaps that make getting dressed for certain occasions decidedly challenging. What to wear when it’s not quite cold enough for a coat? The vest, naturally. It’s soft and sporty, adding just enough lightweight padding to any ensemble without weighing it down.
Glanshirt Cotton and Silk Shirt: The importance of high-quality corporate garb has long been hammered home. You’ll see it in the exquisite workmanship that goes into a pair of professional pants, and the immaculate cuts that make blazers so enduring. Yet there’s much to be said for the Glanshirt cotton and silk shirt, which puts a fresh and alluring spin on a longtime staple. It’s light, yet refined. A touch of silk contributes to a more luxurious feel, while discreet stripes add a sense of higher fashion to the equation.
Glanshirt Linen Slim Fit Shirt: On the hottest days of the year, few fabrics are as appropriate to wear as linen. The slim fit shirt impeccably rewrites the rules of casual summer dressing. The silhouette, while relaxed, feels remarkably pulled together. The dark blue hue is suggestive of the same understated charm of a well-worn pair of jeans. If you prefer, it’s available in lighter shades, all of which look perfect with your chinos.
The Compagno brothers bring something fresh and even a bit unexpected to the men’s fashion world: tradition. Here, it’s about warmth, a sense of home, feelings of normality and acceptance. Trends are fleeting, with nary a sense of when they may be replaced by the next big thing. Slowear looks beyond these influences, instead choosing to travel its own road in the pursuit of fashion designed to last.