POWER; What Men Need Nowadays

By Jo Phillips

No matter if we are sick, in a bad mood, or happy and well, wearing bright colours always make us feel healthy and gives us radiance. In our modern world, women have a lot of choices when it comes to colours. But what about men? While looking in the streets or the shops, we always see sober colours, a lot of brown, black and navy blue but not a lot of bright colours. MG Rivers, a British menswear brand wanted to reverse it, and they do it perfectly. The sustainable and ethical brand creates really soft and colourful knit merino V-neck jumpers that can be worn everywhere, from work to the pubs during the weekends. Inspired by the British iconic cricket jumper and the colours of the 70s, MG Rivers creates beautiful jumpers that can be worn by everyone and that were made to suit any skin tones and body shapes.

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MG Rivers photoshoot in Bermondsey, London

We met the person behind MG Rivers, Juliette Sherwood and asked her about her innovative and beautiful brand. Here is what you need to know about MG Rivers.

How did you decide to make a jumper collection?

I love warm clothes but have found whilst the women’s sector has plenty to offer for all seasons and occasions, men’s tended to offer either chunky itchy jumpers or fine knits which looked like dull office or school jumpers. I wanted to create something different – a super soft non-itchy alternative, that can be worn with nothing underneath with a strong injection of style and colour. We hope it becomes A must-have item and wardrobe staple that, once you put on, you want it in every colourway and that you never want to take off. It is adaptable enough to be teamed with a suit in the boardroom and worn out and about at the pub or the club with jeans, chinos or sportswear.

The yarn is sustainable – can you explain more about this, please?

Our chosen mill utilises highly sophisticated tools and machinery that optimise water and energy consumption. The water at the end of a colour and washing production cycle is totally purified in an internal purification plant before being returned to the river so that no humans, animals or plant-life is affected and the mill even reuses the heat generated in the yarn dyeing process for heating the production areas. The wool comes from happy sheep and the knitting factory workforce are happy too – 95% are female and paid above the minimum wage.

Our jumpers are 100% natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre. We hope to help fashion make a difference.

You only use one yarn, why? And how does this work seasonably?

Rather than only one yarn, we only use one yarn supplier. We researched this aspect painstakingly and eventually settled on one particular mill after nearly a year’s research. They are the very best we could find, hence they are now supplying us with various types of yarn including Extrafine merino and Extrafine merino silk blend.

What was your curative process generally when starting, did you have a fashion or knitwear background?

Fashion is my first love and I initially studied Footwear Fashion Design at De Montfort University before going on to take a Law & Marketing degree at Lancaster University. This was followed by some years spent in the media and then a few years running an interior design consultancy, before finally returning to my first love – fashion. When I started MG Rivers, I asked my friend Natasha Whitelock to join forces and she left her position at Holland Cooper to come and work with me.

Let’s talk colours – there are some lovely strong colours in the collection, why and what is important for you about colour and also what does each colour used mean to you?

I love colour – it is either under-used or often used in a garish manner. Men’s styling generally steers (for obvious reasons) to the traditional colours. I wanted to inject a small splash of colours in the way ladies can add a handbag, colourful scarves, and jewellery, but in a way that didn’t necessarily make too much of a style overstatement.

Colours tell stories, they can help create moods and make you look healthier …

Each colourway we have chosen has a story to tell and is wearable.

On all the jumpers, the cuff and collar detailing features British traditional heritage colours taking inspiration from military medals mixed with a few brighter shades

We have our more sober colour staples of Olive Green, Grey & Navy (both soon to be introduced) and Black for those who would rather play it “classic”.

Our Olive Green is extremely flattering – it suits every skin tone and is a stunning colour that can be paired with absolutely everything in your wardrobe! The warmth in the Olive Green tone is echoed with the coupling of Cote d’Azur sea blue, rich primrose purple and subtle gold mustard on the cuffs and collar strips.

We wear black as a simple, easy and strong default and black is, of course, the most loved colour in fashion, representing strength, seriousness, power, and authority and it never, ever dates. Wearing black can look formal and elegant, evoking a sense of discipline, mystery, and prestige. It is a classic sexy colour and our Obsidian Black jumper is complimented with a soft rose pink, an olive green, denim blue and military cherry red on the cuffs and collar brands.

Our bolder colours are perfect for those wishing to experiment with colour and have a bit more fun – piquant Mustard, stunning Prussian Blue, and the Millennial favourite, Fuchsia Pink, coupled with heritage colours running across each jumper’s cuffs and collar to hone them down and ensure they are never garish. Mustard is hot piquant & tangy and tremendously adaptable: a pinch lends both depth and deliciousness and we think that’s why it is having its “now” moment. It gives an edgy, devil-may-care look, slightly rocky, yet not too outrageous, somewhat out there but super-easy to wear.

Do women buy into the smaller sizes? Will you do a women’s offering in time or was there a reason you only have men’s?

We wanted to create a strong, super soft range of jumpers for men as we felt men they did not have the same offerings women have. We have no intention of creating a women’s jumper range right now but have found that to our surprise, and delight, the jumpers look amazing on women and are being bought (and worn) by sassy ladies as well. We have created a perfect ‘boyfriend’ jumper. I personally love wearing the jumpers and almost haven’t taken it off.

What’s next for the brand?

We are experimenting with more colours and will be introducing a larger product range to include a crew neck, an amazing tank top, and knitted number jacket. We are also creating some ancillary products, all with the same super soft feel – fingerless gloves, snood, (so you can wear the jumpers skiing) and a scarf. We are embarking on a tactical PR campaign to generate awareness and get our knitwear being worn by a cross-section of interesting, creative people. We would love our jumpers to take place in every stylish man’s wardrobe and being stolen by their other halves!

If you are interested by this wonderful brand and would love to know more about it, or if would like to purchase one of their gorgeous jumpers, here is the link to MG Rivers’ website: https://www.mgrivers.com/

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