Matchless London - a heritage brand returns
Question: what do you do having revived one flagging British heritage motorcycle brand and then flogged it for a reputed €110 million?. It's a dilemma that faced Italian clothing magnates, the Malenotti brothers. The answer? Do it all again.
Having disposed of Belstaff in 2011 they've now set about recreating that brand's Lazarus-like revivification with Matchless, supposedly the oldest motorcycle marque in Britain - it was founded in 1899. And a first look at the inaugural FW 13/14 collection will delight any Belstaff fans who were somewhat dismayed to see the direction that new owners Labelux have taken the label in recent years (chasing Burberry's high end luxury aesthetic with pricing to match). Biker jackets in antiqued leather and distressed British Millerain waxed cotton fabrics, reign supreme.
In fact, despite claims to the contrary, the Malenottis seem to have picked up exactly where they left off: the website; the advertising campaign featuring Kate Moss; the use of Hollywood A-listers to promote the brand (stand up Bradley Cooper and Tom Cruise...oh); even the style names... all seem reassuringly expensive, impeccably engineered, beautifully designed and yet very familiar. A bit like their stylish jackets.