The knitwear from Saint James has remained much the same since 1848. The colors, patterns and materials all draw directly back to what the company was doing over a century ago. It’s the French brand’s consistency that is the allure. This week though, there’s a ripple of newness in the storied company’s seas as a special capsule collection from France’s Saint James arrives exclusively at Barneys New York. The small knitwear range consists of eight pieces that were inspired by a take on classic-American-sportswear-meets-Brittany with elements like the Ivy League shall collar and the Henley shirt mixed with traditional French design details like Breton stripes. Rest assured, all still made in the company’s factory in Normandy.
The new styles build upon the original simplicity of two favorite Saint James classics, the striped side-buttoned fisherman sweater, “Matelot”, and the ecru-navy long sleeve jersey, “Meridien” and sticks to the traditional Saint James color palate of red, navy and natural. Everything was designed by Martin Carvajal, who previously worked at Freeman’s Sporting Club. I have to say, Martin did a good job of making it different without, well, fucking it up. It’s about as adventurous as I would really want to see Saint James get, which basically says to me that this is a success. It’s like my old man says: “change is Bad.” In this case, a slight change is welcomed and even appreciated.