Get to Know | Officine Generale AW13

The best new thing I saw at Pitti is Officine Generale, a collection that was actually launched last January. Sure, that doesn’t technically make it brand new (the SS13 collection, though, is just landing at H.W. Carter & Sons in Brooklyn, Unionmade in S.F. + more), but when thinking of clothing brands, the second season is still technically new, especially by Pitti’s standards, where things tend to move very slowly and deliberately, much like a Neapolitan dinner. In the end, Pitti’s predictability is actually what makes the show charming. Yet, it’s those unexpected discoveries, like the classic French styling of Officine Generale, that keep us coming back to Florence twice a year (the bistecca fiorentina doesn’t hurt either).

The collection is inspired by military clothing and classic tailoring, and takes elements from both without going crazy. My feeling: a little goes a long way. This collection is positioned perfectly for anyone who wants to dress comfortably and stylishly without screaming where he comes from. Wearing these clothes, you could go anywhere and be from anywhere. Options are not limited. It’s a concept that’s easy for me to embrace. Options are good.


Pierre Mahéo, the man behind Officine Generale, appreciates how powerful such influences can be, and he chooses (thankfully) to tread lightly. The result is a collection of simple, classic and highly wearable pieces. It’s basically everything I could possibly want in a collection–subtle design, nice fabrics, quality construction in an interesting color palette. He doesn’t go crazy with the military references either. The collection – entirely made in France, Italy and Portugal – is sort of A.P.C. meets Todd Snyder meets Mister Freedom. These items are made well and last for a long time, an important aspect for clothing that’s not going out of style anytime soon. [Officine Generale]




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Comments on “Get to Know | Officine Generale AW13

    B. Smith on January 18, 2013 3:20 PM:

    Really, Really Clean & Subtle Collection.

    jon on January 18, 2013 3:21 PM:


    Sam on January 18, 2013 3:53 PM:

    Great find! I like it a lot.

    RKW on January 18, 2013 11:24 PM:

    I have to say, a lot of the stuff I see shown on here looks a little too “fashionista” to me, but this stuff is great. I would wear any of this stuff. Well, I would if I lost about 25 lbs.

    HP on January 19, 2013 11:18 AM:

    I like almost every piece and would wear it. Thanks.

    David Royce on January 19, 2013 2:30 PM:

    Looks like a million other collections…it’s very basic, classic, but has little originality or interesting details. I don’t understand why brands like this and Band of Outsiders get hyped up when they are selling Gap/Banana Republic type clothes for two or three times the price. It’s a mystery. Please clarify. Is it because you just really click with the brand owners?

    Thomas on January 19, 2013 11:01 PM:

    @David Royce,

    I’ll agree with you that this collection is very basic, and lacks originality/details but that works to the brands’ advantage with this collection being extremely easy to wear. However, comparing them to Gap/BR is a bit naive because that requires one to overlook the quality of the materials + construction and no doubt the durability that goes along with those two qualities. Also, you can grow older with classically styled clothes such as these meaning they’ll be in style today, tomorrow, and years down the road if well designed.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Jc on January 20, 2013 12:59 AM:

    I’ve not worn these clothes, but they look great. My intuition is they also feel great when wearing them. The materials and the construction make a big difference. I’m pretty sure they feel a lot different than Gap or Bannana, which don’t feel special. You’ve go to try things on to really appreciate them. We can’t completely understand something just from pictures on the internets, IMO. I’m heading to Unionmade.

    Mark Paigen on January 21, 2013 10:54 AM:

    We all seek to differentiate ourselves in one way or another. Some men do so with clothing brands that resonate with their sensibilities and values. These guys don’t feel represented by Gap or Banana Republic. They appreciate subtle details that others might miss, and prefer to buy brands that are not oriented to the masses.

    David Royce on January 22, 2013 5:22 AM:

    Yes, but the point he made was that it “was the best new thing.” Really ?? Out of all of Pitti a derivative collection of basics was the “best new thing” ? It beggers believe. Even if the quality and construction were vastly to superior to anything else one one be hard pressed to call this boring/basic/classic collection the “best new thing” at Pitti. I suspect he is friends with the owner and this is a plug for a friend.

    Michael Williams on January 22, 2013 5:52 AM:

    @David Royce — Pitti doesn’t really change season to season. There are a lot of great brands that show there, but very rarely are there any *new* brands that are interesting and good. Officine Generale was the best new brand there by far. Over the past two seasons the only other brand that I saw and thought was new and good was Hancock outerwear. And simple is often harder to make than anything else — and I appreciate the simplicity of Officine Generale’s collection regardless if you don’t. I guess that’s where our style differs. I posted about the brand because I like what they are doing and I think the world needs more well-made simple clothes. I didn’t write about it because they are my friends (they aren’t) or for any other reason.

    David Royce on January 22, 2013 9:50 AM:

    This isn’t about having different tastes.The point is that there are at least 20 (at least) other brands at Pitti doing virtually the same thing as Officine Generale. I’m just trying to understand how a clone brand having the same styles and cloth as so many other brands at Pitti could be the “new” or stand out brand of the show. What is it about this brand — and I could show you literally 10 other brands doing exactly the same thing — that makes them special, “the best new thing” or as you also say, “…an unexpected discovery.” The blouson is the same as the one Valstar has been making since the 50s. The blazer, the coats — we’ve seen this all before and even at the same show by so many other brands. How is this “unexpected” or the “best new thing.” This is not about taste differences, this is purely a factual question. It just really raises questions.

    Michael Williams on January 22, 2013 9:56 AM:

    So tell us, what was the best new thing at Pitti this year? It sounds like you work for a brand that no one cares about and you are bitter about it.

    David Royce on January 22, 2013 11:05 AM:

    I honestly do not know what the best “new thing” was at Pitti this year. I do not work for a brand.

    Doug Fisher on January 22, 2013 1:32 PM:

    Hey Mike, I love how if someone does not agree with what you wrote or has valid points you assume the people making a comment work for a brand are are not what they seem.

    Just settle the fuck down. If you can say shit is the best, people have full right to say its not. It doesn’t mean they work for another company or whatever you decide to try and throw at them in assumptions.

    David was not making assumptions about you, he asked a question unlike a whinny baby.

    Michael Williams on January 22, 2013 2:13 PM:

    Doug – are you just trying to be provocative? If David is going to talk shit not having actuallly been to the event in which I am talking about I don’t think it is out of the question for me to challenge his statement. If you don’t like it I’m sorry. Please don’t feel like you need to read or comment on ACL anymore. And I still think he works for a brand and is just bitter.

    Timmy on January 23, 2013 9:28 AM:

    What kind of shoes are those?

    Joseph on January 23, 2013 3:45 PM:

    Styling is DULL, Campaign is DULL!

    Even Banana Republic has better styling in their campaigns.

    Bottom line, its uninspiring as a whole!

    David Royce on January 24, 2013 12:19 PM:

    I did actually attend Pitti. What makes you think I did not? My point still holds and it’s quite clear. The brand you’ve referenced as “the best new thing” and an “unexpected discovery” is little more than a clone brand — their range is similar or the same as loads of other brands showing at Pitti and elsewhere. My statement is based on fact that can proven empirically.
    I wish I had the time to send you photo references, but I don’t. You are welcome to think there is something unique about a brand that looks just like many other brands in the key design/style elements, but you are only fooling yourself. Actually, I think you know better and that your post simply wasn’t very well thought out — you just liked that brand and over hyped it. I can appreciate that would happen in the excitement of the moment. But if you want to bet, say, $10,000, I will pull the photos from a minimum of 10 other bands and prove it to you. If I show you that this brand is a clone you will pay me the sum of 10k. If my images do not show this (in the most reasonable general sense), I will pay you 10k.

    Pierre on January 24, 2013 3:40 PM:

    Hello David ,

    I am Pierre from Officine Generale , this is a interresting discussion , but i think it is really sade to talk about something you don’t know . I kindly invite you ( if you are not a competitor , as it sounds ) to visit me when you are in Paris , to go through the line with me , you will see by yourself that qualities i am using have nothing to compare with brands you are refering . If by chance you can have in your hand double face camel hair coat from England , or a hand woven 100% yak from Tibet , you will maybe understand it , beacuse i am sure you can make the difference beetween wool and polyester and a true fabric , right ?
    If you serach a little bit on the brand ( tweeter or Insta ) you will see that some other person who i am not friend with ( same as Mr Williams ) like Mr Jim Moore from GQ ( please check Pitti report ) , or Mr Bruce Pask from New York Times T , speak highly about the brand . And i have to tell you as well that the best stores and department stores in the world are making beautiful selection at the moment .
    It sounds like they are something you don’t get in the brand , material , quality grade and authenticity and rareness of material , wich is fine .
    This will be my first and last comment , from Paris with respect .

    David Royce on January 26, 2013 12:30 PM:

    Sir – If you read my comments carefully you will see that I am not denigrating your brand. I have made no negative statements of comments as to the quality of your brand. What I am saying is your brand looks just like many other brands. I am saying that your brand from a design and stylistic point-of-view is not particularly original. Am I wrong? It would not be diffiult to send you photos of at least 10-20 other brands with the same styles/design.

    Again, the above statements have nothing to do with the quality of your product which I’m sure is very high and I applaud you for using high quality cloth, etc. But this is a another issue.

    Mr. Williams wasn’t focussing in your quality of manufacure nor the quality of your materials.

    I hope this clarifies matters.

    Wilachio on January 26, 2013 3:30 PM:

    These clothes (for me) exude sophistication and they are understated, elegant, timeless. I love to have a sweater that looks like any other sweater, but then you touch it and it is made of the softest cashmere. Like a nice wool coat, or a great pair of pants. Luxurious simplicity.

    The photographs of this Collection show a very classic and masculine look, of course they don’t scream trendy but that is the point! And I don’t think they look like BR or Gap, I am sorry but if you know about good stuff you can tell right away these clothes are first class. To the untrained eye it might be difficult to tell, but not if you know.

    I do not work for the brand, so I have no interest whatsoever to defend this label. I get a bit annoyed when I read comments like the ones above, that is all, I read this blog all the time. Which means I share the sensibility and point of view of Michael in some ways, otherwise I would read something else…If I don’t agree with something I read here, I am OK. I don’t mind and it doesn’t affect me at all, I don’t get defensive or aggressive.

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