Never underestimate the transformative power of accessories: the simple addition of a few carefully chosen items can take your look from bland to beguiling in a matter of seconds. With that in mind, we've rounded up a selection of our favourite men's accessory brands, with a focus on smaller scale independents that may not have crossed your radar. We're covering all bases – from belts to bags, eyewear to wristwear. These are the names to know.
Monofore is a London-based watch brand that was founded in 2019. Fusing classic looks with a contemporary edge, Monofore creates perfectly pared-back timepieces that exude understated elegance. Its signature design features a curved dial and subtly-domed glass that eliminates shadows and creates space, with an invisible crown and stitch-free leather strap. Not a single detail has been overlooked: from the embedded crown that creates an unbroken line to polished stainless steel indexes that contrast with the matt finish of the dial to create texture and highlights. The lightweight construction means ease-of-wear: you'll barely notice it on your wrist.
Instrmnt Applied Design (I–AD) is a Glasgow-based, multi-disciplinary design studio that was launched in 2014 with one product: Instrmnt 01 (since renamed the Everyday Watch), a minimalist steel watch inspired by mid-century industrial design. Over the years, it has gradually expanded its offering to include all manner of items, from a lounge chair to umbrella, with everything characterised by a clean, understated aesthetic and ultimate functionality.
British eyewear label Oscar Deen was founded by long-time friends Oscar Phillips and Sheriff-Deen Showobi, who set out to "create a brand that represents London’s best values as we see them – openness, a sense of adventure and a healthy lick of cheek." Every Oscar Deen design begins with a pair of vintage frames that are reworked and modernised to transform an old gem into a contemporary classic. Frames are made from hand-finished Mazzucchelli acetate and lenses are made from lightweight CR-39 plastic and coated for proper UV protection.
Aether was launched earlier this year with a premier collection of distinctively modern sunglasses and spectacles that are integrated with open-ear audio technology – letting you instantly access your music collection or podcasts and enjoy immaculate call clarity. At the brand's core is an appreciation for great design: one of its key principles is that audio eyewear will only really work if it looks and feels like a pair of well-made glasses. It uses Carl Zeiss lenses and acetate from renowned Italian manufacturer Mazzucchelli 1849 for its frames, which are mechanically cut and hand-finished in a 25-step process.
Since its inception in 2017, Oliver Co. has been on a mission to challenge our understanding of luxury items. With sustainability at its core, the accessories brand offers an alternative to environmentally-taxing leathers and synthetic alternatives. Its vegan wallets, cardholders, passport holders and keyrings make use of biomaterials like apple leather, wood leather, Tencel and Cupro, managing to deliver top notch construction and sleek, sophisticated design with minimal environmental impact.
Campbell Cole is the brainchild of designers Ian and Felicity Campbell Cole, whose considered and thoughtful approach to design bleeds into everything that they create – from cardholders and coin pouches to key rings and camera straps. With a commitment to craftsmanship at its heart, the label is renowned for its masterful use of Italian vegetable tanned leather, which is designed to soften beautifully with wear and develop a unique patina over time.
Troubadour specialises in bags that are minimalist in style, but made for maximum performance. Every detail has been carefully thought through — from shoulder straps engineered to eliminate pressure points, to electro-moulded panels that follow the curves of the body. Taking functionality to the next level, Troubadour has developed the world's first naturally waterproof leather — Troubadour DryFibre leather. It's a vegetable-tanned leather that performs like a waterproof fabric, resulting in highly durable waterproof layers with the soft, supple feel of leather.
Underscored by the philosophy that "simplicity is the cornerstone of purposeful design", Montreal-based travel brand WANT Les Essentiels produces streamlined and minimalist bags and travel accessories with function at their core. Expect top notch construction and only the finest materials: think premium leathers, hardwearing Italian nylon and organic cotton. The brand takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, using eco-conscious fabrics where possible and engaging in upcycling projects, re-introducing salvaged materials that would normally go to waste.
With an ‘every last detail matters’ attitude, Dalgado has become renowned for its selection of simple yet meticulously made leather goods. The German label produces the likes of watches, gloves, sneakers and even socks, but it's its bestselling belts that we can't get enough of. Choose from styles in hand-woven suede, braided wool felt or classic leather, all of which are ethically and environmentally-friendly handcrafted by expert German and Italian artisans, guaranteed to stand the test of time.
Taking its name from an iconic street in New York's vibrant Lower East Side, Allen St. draws its inspiration and energy from downtown New York, and combines it with its founder Thibault Schockert's family roots and leather crafting know-how in Normandy, France. The brand is renowned for its masterful combination of leather crafting expertise and sleek, contemporary design. Everything from its keyrings and wallets to bags and belts are made to stand the test of time – in terms of both timeless style and long-lasting durability.
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