For too long, fashion’s spotlight has been focused almost solely on women, leaving men with limited options to elevate their look. While most designer brands tend to put out items more related to fast fashion not designed to last more than a season, M’Essentiel focuses on helping men build a high-end sustainable wardrobe.
With an emphasis on quality craftsmanship and sustainable materials, this rising star in the fashion industry is ready to change the scene of men’s fashion, offering a range of products from leather accessories to clothes.
We recently caught up with their head of sales at their Storage King unit to find out how they’re transforming the world of fashion for the better.
Tell us a bit about M’Essentiel and your role in the business?
M’Essentiel is a men’s luxury brand specialising in leather accessories and clothes in 2022. We focus on quality craftsmanship, materials, and the longevity of our product, ensuring that all our products are sustainable. We only produce in small batches, which gives our clients exclusivity and eliminates excess waste. All of our leather is a by-product of the meat industry and vegetable-tanned, meaning it does not pollute the environment and keeps an age-old skill and tradition alive.
We are a small team at the moment, and my role in the business is head of sales. However, I wear a lot of hats and do a bit of everything, including sourcing and communicating with suppliers, meeting designers and handling contracts. I’m also involved in ideas and the design process.
Can you tell us a bit about your business journey?
Our business started in 2018. We felt that the men’s wear industry was missing something. Our founder, who is from Kashmir, thought it would be great to infuse some of his Kashmiri heritage of colour and texture with classic English design and craftsmanship. Some initial ideas lead to him commissioning some wallets to be made.
I came on board shortly afterwards. We both shared an interest in men’s apparel, and I had been helping out in an unofficial capacity for a while. However, after losing my job, it felt like the right time for me to take a chance and be part of something from the beginning that I had a passion for.
What inspired you to work in the fashion industry?
We felt that although men are well-represented in the fashion industry, it was lacking in colour, texture, and quality, especially in the luxury designer market. Our founder remembers growing up in Kashmir watching the amazing local artisan weavers, mesmerised by their skill and how long it took them to make a single rug. After moving to Britain, he noticed that most men’s fashion accessories were a bit dull and drab. Inspired by his youth, he was passionate about bringing those artisan skills and craftsmanship into men’s fashion, drawing inspiration from the rich colours and textures.
What are some of the challenges you encountered in your industry, and how did your team overcome them?
There have been many challenges, from Brexit to marketing. Luckily, most issues were solved with hard work and patience, doing a lot of research and phoning around. Don’t be afraid to change your mind or seek advice. When starting, remember to take your time in making the right contacts and be sure of your goals before you start investing too much time and money.
What are your top five tips for running a business in your industry?
That’s a difficult one because everybody’s journey is different. I’d have to say you should have a passion for your business first and foremost. Always do your research into the market and suppliers. Don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes, as there is a massive learning curve. Lastly, learn from your mistakes and be patient.
What sets M’Essentiel apart from others?
Our eye for detail and quality. All of our products are handmade by artisans using the finest materials from the best suppliers, with each product painstakingly created and checked to ensure a level of quality control that you don’t get in mass production. Also our values. Many luxury brands can be very expensive, but the materials and quality are not that great. In reality, the brand name is what the consumer is paying for.
Why did you choose Storage King as your self-storage facility and how has the store helped your business grow?
Storage King’s facility was very secure and clean, and the rates are market competitive. The staff were very helpful and friendly, showing patience and understanding as we set off on our journey. Lastly, being open 24hrs a day is a great advantage to us as we ship worldwide.
How has Covid-19 impacted your business?
Although there were many negatives from Covid, like not being able to visit our suppliers on occasions, there were also positives, such as us learning to be adaptable. Our online sales also increased, and that has been a great help.
What’s next for M’Essentiel?
Coming up, we have a line of coats, jackets and shirts coming out in 2022, which we are very excited about. They are made with gorgeous fabrics with some innovative takes on classic designs. We will also be looking at ways to expand our ethos of being as sustainable as possible.
If you’re looking for subtle ways to elevate your wardrobe, check out M’Essentiel. With a focus on innovative design and unmatched quality, this rising star is redefining luxury for men.
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