Saturday, 31 January 2015

Polo Shirts Redefined ... The Gentlemens by Ben Firdaus

Since the beginning of time, men has been destined — or cursed — to wear the same thing: t-shirts, shirts, trousers — essential items that one could always find in every man’s wardrobe, regardless of where they live. 

Nevertheless, as the time shifts, so are the fashion basics. Take the shirt, for instance. 

What used to be a piece of garment introduced to our soil by the Portuguese explorers via the first European contact in Malacca has undergone a series of evolution. 

As the world entered the 20th century, the shirt welcomed a new evolution - the polo shirt. Although it was named after the polo sport, the truth is, polo shirt was initially worn by tennis players after it was introduced by legendary French tennis player named Rene Lacoste. The tennis player of Basque descent created the world’s first polo shirt after finding that the shirt worn by tennis players at the time was stiff, too cumbersome and uncomfortable to his liking. 

It was after his retirement in the 1930s, Lacoste and partner Andre Gillier began to mass-marketing his creation around Europe and North America under his brand Lacoste. 

The shirt then became to be known as Polo shirt after prominent American fashion designer and high end lifestyle goods purveyor Ralph Lauren began to include the tennis shirt into his POLO by Ralph Lauren collection in 1972; he christened it as the Polo shirt. 

These days, almost all men own at least one Polo shirt in his wardrobe. Just like t-shirts and the conventional button down shirts, Polo shirts can be considered as a fashion staple that to an extent, some fashionistas would claim that they could not live without a single Polo shirt! 

Backed by a profound interest in fashion and the urge to provide Malaysian men with a unique interpretation of style, Malaysian interior designer cum fashion designer Ben Firdaus has taken a step further by introducing The Gentlemens. 

Juxtaposing clean and smartly structured approach with pricing that won’t bust the wallet seams of local fashionistas, The Gentlemens’ debuted its first collection of six uniquely styled Polo shirts for men. While the competition is certainly inevitable and stiff, especially with established international brands, The Gentlemens certainly has its own edge that sets itself apart. 

“The Gentlemens complements every individual styles with the must have fashion item — a Polo shirt,” says designer and brand founder Ben Firdaus, who graduated from UiTM with a degree in Interior Design. “There are certain styles that are made for formal occasions while the others are mean to be worn casually. However, our shirts are suitable for almost all events and it is up to wearers themselves to style the shirts according to their own preferences.” 

Doused in joyous working palette of yellow, blue, black and purple, the shirts are made using a mixture of cotton and polyester materials. 

The juxtaposition of bright hues and breathable material allows wearers to indulge in style without forsaking comfort, especially when being in hot and humid climate. On the other hand, the relaxed silhouette of the shirts allows easy movement to men who live on hectic day-to-day schedule.  

Each of The Gentlemens polo shirt is uniquely emblazoned with 3812 - a unique four-digit number with huge significance to the designer himself. 

According to Ben, the numbers represent the last digits of his mobile number that has been the sole witness to every success he had achieved and to every failure he had encountered ever since he began his career in the interior design world. 

Polo shirts aside, The Gentlemens also offer a collection of sweat pants made from soft baby terry fabric in working palette of black, dark blue and white. 

Be it for working out or lounging, the sweat pants is another versatile piece that can be worn with anything, be it a t-shirt or a simple tank top. 

Retailing at RM70.00 a piece for the Polo shirt and RM75.00 for sweat pants, The Gentlemens collection is exclusively available at The Gentlemens Soho store in Shah Alam. Customers who wish to visit the store and make their purchases can contact the designer directly at 012-230 3812.  

*Photos courtesy of The Gentlemens 

The Gentlemens - 10-26, 10th Floor, Plaza Azalea, Seksyen 14, Shah Alam, Selangor. 

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