Trakke Assent rucksack
I’ve tried loads of rucksacks. I need enough space for my kit (laptop, iPad pro, headphones, two days of clothing, and assorted gubbins) and i’ve narrowed it down to the Millican Roll Pack (homeofmillican.com) and this Trakke. The Trakke wins because it’s made in the UK and is repaired for life. It’s a great pack with an internal laptop pocket, an internal valuable pocket and and external pocket for easy to reach stuff. Totally waterproof and the buckles open beer bottles. Its a beautiful pack that will last forever.
Online Here: trakke.co.uk
DKNY yellow jacket
This was a £3 TKMax bargain. I don’t usually wear this type of label but I love flamboyance. I grew up in the 70s and 80s when the pop tribes were extreme. The threat of punk - all tartan, bright hair and safety pins; the romance of the new romantics - pirates, make-up for all, studs and glitter; Ska - sharp, sharp suits, a flash of white sock, two-tone (clothes and record label); the mid 80’s Indie - pyjama tops, creepers, boot lace ties, docs; rave - colour, colour and more colour. I hate the fact that men of my age dress in blacks, blues and brown. this is the generation of the second summer of love, of ecstasy, of fashion theatre; its depressing. So this jacket is my staple. I wear it nearly every day. It’s over ten years old and I’m worried what will happen when it finally fails.
Docs for Life
I’ve worn docs since 1974. Cherry reds mainly the 1460 shoe and boot is a classic. I have over 15 pairs of docs. It was hard to chose my favourites, a toss-up between these and a pair of their Made in England bench grade chukkas in silver. But these won as they come with a lifetime warranty. When they wear out or need repairing i return them and they sort it out. Replacing them when they finally give up the ghost. I just wish they made them in silver.
Online Here: drmartensforlife.com
Take your pick - any will do as long as it charges my iPhone four times. The age of “powernoia’ that we live in and the inability of most phones to do everything and last a day means this is a an irritating necessity.
Mu folding plug
See above for the age of powernoia. Essential. Folds flat. Charges two devices. Lovely folding and unfolding mechanism and they now come in bright colours too.
Online Here: themu.co.uk
Anakin Skywalker keyring
Star Wars changed everything for me. I was 9 when the original film came out and it blew me away. My kids got me this keyring after The Phantom Menace was released in 1999 and its been on my keys since. It reminds me of them and it reminds me of me as a kid. Important. The person we were as a kid, the awkwardness, inventiveness, the dreamer, these make us what we are today. Don’t lose touch with that little person.
I do shed loads of talks and presentations. I use photographs and video. I talk about innovation, business disruption and sustainability in a funny and surprising way. This is a tool that always works. Boring but brilliant.
Online Here: kensington.com
Bose Wireless Soundlink Earphones
I always bought mid-price earphones. But on a trip to Australia recently saw these wireless headphones on offer. Whilst they look boring they sound great. I didn’t want noise reduction as i feel it messes with the sound and these do a great job. Strong, comfortable, repairable. The wireless thing is great - i can dance to the Stone Roses without fear of tying my arms up.
Online Here: bose.co.uk
Voigtlander Bessa R2
My dad was a photographer and i grew up being his assistant on shoots, developing films, and printing the photographs. I loved/hated it. Digital photography revolutionised the taking of pictures but it became less thoughtful. Moving back to film has made me a better photographer. This camera was my Dad’s. Not an old one particularly but i love the utilitarian design. It is bomb-proof and simple. Heavy and comfortable in the hand. Although it is now made in Japan Voigtlander have been making cameras since 1756. They know what they are doing.
Hiut Denim Selvedge regular fit
I’ve always loved jeans. A uniform of sorts. From my Lee and Wranglers of the mid 70s (flared obviously), to my skinny stretch 51 States of the later 70s and early 80s. To my massive preoccupation with Levi 501s (84 - the present day), and now to Hiuts. I’m biased. David and Clare who run Hiut are really good friends. But that aside I love why they do this. Why they make great jeans. Yes they want to make the best jeans in the world and take on Levis, but they also want to get their town working again, to introduce beautiful denim that gets better with age, and to make a pair of jeans that are repaired free for life. The most expensive jeans i’ve bought. The cheapest jeans i’ll own. These are 5 years old and i wore them every day for 2 years. They have been sent for repairs twice - all free of charge.
Online Here: hiutdenim.co.uk
Good socks and underwear are hard to find. I didn’t think you’d want to see my pants so i’ve included these socks. Finisterre don’t sell them any more, which is a shame. I love the colour. I love the thick wooden sole and the fit is sublime. Regularly stolen by my wife.
Online Here: finisterre.com
I’m not a fan of flashy watches and i oscillate between this and a rubber Casio digital. I’m likely to have this one longer. I bought it off my dad about 20 years ago. It originally had a white face but when i had it refurbished i changed the face to black. I love the fact that i have had it completely rebuilt. Its solid, reliable, automatic, unfussy. The new ones are even better as they are waterproof rather than water resistant.
Online Here: www.omegawatches.com
Black t-shirt - American Apparel
These have become a form of uniform. Simple and classic like a good white shirt. They look great with jeans. I wear them all the time. Sweatshop free. I buy the extra long ones as i have a longer body and shorter legs than average. They last around 5 years each and look better as they age. The company is struggling. This is sad as they have hung their hat on the “no sweatshop labour” peg. This is the right thing to do. I spoke to staff in the shop recently and they said they were trying to move to a more “fashionable” range. This worries me. I couldn’t find the t-shirts on their website. That worries me too.
Online Here: americanapparel.co.uk
Pink Goodr “wayfarers”
Great sunglasses are hard to find. Old sunglasses are best. They had the best lenses and quality frames. Modern sunglasses, even expensive ones, are mass-produced and the lenses are not great. My favourite sunglasses are a pair of 1970s pink pearlised women’s wayfarer-shaped glasses from Bridges and Brows on Redchurch Street (bridgesandbrows.com) but i lost them. These replacements are from Goodr and are polarised and non-slip. Ideal for running and cycling. They are brilliant, lightweight and cheap. Only shipping in the USA at the moment.
Online Here: playgoodr.com