Suits you sir: Donegal tweed at Penneys' prices

This new menswear collection cuts a tweedy dash for fashion-conscious bargain-hunter hipsters

 

‘It was a big order for us, but a small one for them,” says Kieron Molloy of Molloy Weavers of their collaboration with Primark last year on a capsule menswear collection for the retail giant. That collection of heritage tweeds from the sixth-generation weaving company was eagerly sought after by cognoscenti aware of the attractive price points and fashion-conscious bargain-hunter hipsters.

“If we had a lot more European customers [for our fabrics] they would have been annoyed at the prices and something they would sell for say €400, on offer in Primark for a quarter of that price,” says Molloy who supplied “thousands” of metres of fabric and have repeated that this year for the new autumn/winter collection which goes on sale in November.

The new three-piece tweed suits come in a traditional brown “Barleycorn” weave while the charcoal blue two-piece in a plain weave is a modern update of familiar Donegal tweed and comes with a casual jacket and trouser. The heavier overcoat in an oversized herringbone tweed has shots of blue and grey that reflect the landscape with a modern pocket detail. Molloys supply some of the biggest names in menswear in the US and Japan, names which they will not reveal with reticence typical of the major Irish weavers. Many of their customers, however, are proud to put the Molloy label on their garments as evidence of their authenticity and Irish provenance as Primark do.

This season, Primark have added a boost to their formal menswear collection with another capsule suiting collection in Italian wool. Sourced from a long-standing woollen mill in northern Italy called Lanificio Del Fusero known for its fine and extra fine pure new wool for menswear, it has the ease that good fabric imparts with classic cut fits. Attention has been paid to linings and finishes on everything from the navy three-piece to a shadow check two-piece which can be worn together or as separates and matches well with knitwear for colder months. The overcoat, a typical car coat, comes in a grey check.

The two collections will be launched on the week beginning October 31st in selected Primark flagships in Europe and the US with prices starting at €13 for formal shirts, €35 for waistcoats, Italian wool suits – €45 for trousers and €80 for jackets – and overcoats €130. In Ireland the Italian wool collection can be found in Mary Street, Blanchardstown, O’Connell Street and Dundrum while the Molloy collection will be in three stores – Mary Street, Blanchardstown and O’Connell Street.

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