On Global James Bond Day, N.Peal announced their latest cashmere collection, a collaboration with the James Bond franchise. How did this news go down with Bond fans, what were the highlights from the collection and is it now becoming an expensive hobby to be a Bond fan?
After I received the news I immediately called up my James Bond style correspondent (that's how he likes to be called by the way) Peter Brooker, editor of From Tailors With Love. Of course he was at the event hosted at N.Peal in Burlington Arcade.
Here are some of the exchanges we had.
Pete, talk to me about N.Peal the brand. How has N.Peal got involved with the James Bond franchise?
N.Peal first appeared in the Skyfall. When Bond returns home to his Scottish lodgings (Skyfall) he substitutes his Tom Ford suit for a Barbour Jacket and N.Peal Cashmere sweater. The costume department wanted a very visceral blue to bring out the colour of Daniels eyes.
Another 3 N.Peal sweaters turn up in Spectre. Two mock turtles, one featured on the teaser poster. He is also wearing that at the end when he's takes down an entire helicopter with his Walther PPK. The second he wears when he rocks up in Austria and tells Madeline Swann he's the best chance she has of staying alive. I don't know she's even doubting him. He's just driven a plane through a log shed to save her.
Oh and the third is that cable roll neck one he wore when he played mind-chess with Mr White.
Got it. So what's unique about this collection? Do you approve?
Adam Holdsworth, the Managing Director of N.Peal is a huge James Bond fan. Even before they got involved with the franchise. So this collection has been done with candour. It's been done with a huge heart and it's integrated some very neat outfits that span the entire series. When people think Bond they might think Roger Moore safari jackets, Daniel Craig in Tom Ford suits, or Sean Connery in a 3-piece glen check suit.
But there's been so many other great outfits worn by Bond over the years.
Haven't Orlebar Brown already covered this? Is this just EON cashing in?
Orlebar Brown released a great collection. They really got people talking and made some ballsy choices with their collection. The Piped Blouson Jacket from A View to a Kill for example. I love that jacket, I have it. But few people even talk about that movie let alone that outfit. What a stroke of genius.
But what N.Peal has done here is something completely different. For a start N.Peal only produce Cashmere products, so you're not going to see any towelling Onesies here. It might be a bit more conservative, arguably more practical, but they've covered all the Bonds. Timothy Dalton is largely considered the closest Bond to Fleming's Bond, but is never rated as one of the best. Even Dalton is recognised in this collection, so there is something for everyone.
What about the price point? You say it's for everyone but can everyone afford this?
You have to consider that these are luxury products. Much like you'd have to pay extra for a luxury fabric in a tailors. Cashmere is one of the most desired luxury fabrics in the world. N.Peal source only the best Cashmere and ethically from Inner Mongolia where it's widely recognised the best Cashmere can be sourced.
What do you recommend from the collection?
I've got the Knitted Navy Jacket, Waistcoat and Navy Tie from the Goldfinger suite. It's classy, it's really elegant and the fit on me is perfect. A classic look that has endured, perfect for our upcoming winter months.