Life Skills

What we liked in January, that you can actually buy now – Permanent Style

  • Oct 21, 2023
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What we liked in January, that you can actually buy now – Permanent Style

When I walk around Pitti each season, interviewing makers and researching articles, it can be easy to feel lost in a flood of Italian cashmere and trainers that look like each other. 

For that reason there are a handful of brands I return to every time, almost like coming up for air. They remind you how exquisite menswear can be, how beautiful and original. Japanese brand Coherence is one of those. 

Coherence has evolved quite a bit since we first covered them six years ago. Back then the brand was in a small, end-of-the line booth, and the collection was entirely outerwear inspired by artists and musicians. 

Today Coherence is in the better pavilion, in a lovely quiet corner, and the stand is both bigger and better. It has expanded into trousers, shorts and chore coats, there is a sub-brand called Orbium (made in Italy rather than Japan). It’s a place you can hang out and chat, and usually get into a conversation about fabrics. 

When I visited Coherence back in January, I had the idea of not covering the collection then, but waiting eight months, until now, so that the clothes would be in the shops. 

When you see clothes at Pitti you don’t know which wholesalers will buy them, if any do. So if it’s a brand like Coherence that doesn’t have full e-commerce, you have no idea whether the clothes will ever be available. By waiting a few months and doing it this way, we do. 

Here, therefore, are some of the few things we liked back in January, and where they’re available.

Above is the ‘Birks-FLB’. This a field-type jacket made in an exclusive gabardine. (Cloth development is probably the thing that’s actually most impressive about Coherence.)

It has a wool lining, a football-style leather button tab closure, and corduroy trimming. It looks so simple, like something you’ve seen before – but better. The work is clean, there are details everywhere: that wool lining is loose but secured to the bottom with little tabs. The button they developed themselves, and is the only one I’ve ever liked. 

I think it’s the kind of thing Hermes should be doing – and used to do. Also that Loro Piana used to do – the Icer, the Roadster – but hasn’t for a while: menswear staples taken to the nth degree. Not by adding fur or cashmere or super-200s wool, but by working out what the perfect zip would be, and then paying to make it. 

That doesn’t mean that the jacket is your style, of course. It isn’t mine. The design is a little too simple, perhaps too classic. But I hugely respect it. 

The Birks-FLB was bought by the following stores. Clutch and Beige are receiving their stock soon, the others have it already:

Clutch and Unipair are also carrying the jacket in the green ‘rain camo’ material shown at the bottom of this article. 

Anyone that clicked on one of those links and saw the Coherence selection will realise how expensive it is. That’s the main reason I don’t own much (only the Marc raincoat). 

But with Coherence it’s very clear what that money goes on – on the exclusive cloths, hardware, production. You can see that as soon as you pick up a piece and try it. You don’t know what the difference is, often, until someone explains that the coat, although unstructured, was made like a suit jacket with pressing on 3D moulds. 

This doesn’t make it any more affordable, but I know PS readers will like to know that the money goes into the product, rather than elsewhere. And it’s worth remembering what it then means for the usually small retailers to risk that money on stock. 

Quality is particularly relevant with my second selection above, the Jackson chore jacket and trousers, because they are seemingly so simple. Just a chore with various pockets, and either buttoned (Jackson) or drawstring (Alain) trousers. 

This is a piece I would buy though, and it’s what my chore suit should have been. The fabric is perfect: hardy enough to feel like workwear but still high quality and drapes well. The details are also there if you look, from angled cuffs to neat tack stitches. 

My issue with these jackets is that they are usually too short on me, if the chest is right. And that’s the case here: the 48 is great on the chest but I’d want at least a 50 for length. It’s the same with the Orbium tailoring, unfortunately. 

The Jackson chore is available at:

Finally the Gianni, which is like an elevated harrington with a fly front, raglan shoulder and coin (originally, watch) pocket. 

The make of this shows off the Coherence finishing, with that coin pocket transforming neatly into a welt – with the same precision as top tailoring. In fact you could see this as the closest a harrington jacket will ever get to tailoring, including the dark-navy twill used in the version shown above. 

Clutch had this in green and some stripes this summer, and I never quite got into it. But this navy wool feels much more wearable. 

The Coherence founder, Kentaro Nakagomi (below) always has a nice way of putting things. He told me in January that he sees people want more casual clothing, but often the clothing is quite sloppy, using cheap fabrics. The Coherence pieces feel, in his words, more respectful, more polite – not to other people, but to the wearer themselves. 

Coherence is a luxury brand, but only in the sense of accessibility. The clothes always feel elevated but not luxe. As a designer put it to me later that day: “It’s a bit too clean for me, but I’m still jealous of it. It’s intimidating, so perfect, so polished. There’s nothing here like it.” 

The Gianni is available at:

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