Gentlemen’s Reserve by Free / Man – A Pop-Up Market

Fashion
I’m in Vancouver BC at Darian Hocking’s Gentlemen’s Reserve pop-up market. I walk in and see that Darian drew in several great makers like Tony from Tellason denimBarret Alley from Dallas, and Erik Powell from Bridge & Burn. The event is the physical extension of Darian’s Free / Man online publication. It’s a showcase of men’s clothing, accessories, and grooming products.

Darian shows me the aqua dead stock selvedge pocket squares and ties made exclusively for the event by The Hill-Side. The items are numbered and have the new Free / Man logo stamped on them:

“The image is actually my girlfriend Alison’s late grandfather, Walter Bane, who was a gamekeeper in Norfolk England. We took it from the original 1939 photograph of him standing in a marsh with a shotgun over his arm. After going through some old family photos a long time ago, I thought he was the perfect image of our brand.”

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Two months before this event Darian released a promotional video as an alternate way of advertising the event. The video captured day-to-day moments in a man’s life as he roams the city, and reminds me of Jake Davis’s test shots.

“When we did the film for Gentlemen’s Reserve, some people asked how this was related, it was simply meant to be a day in the life of a gentleman. I was really inspired by the film that Michael Andersen made for the Woodlands, because you want to see these pieces in real life, you don’t want to see them shot on a model who looks like their 12 years old.”

“So we filmed in Victoria, and the model was Guy Ferguson who is the buyer and shop manager for Four Horsemen in Victoria.”

Photographed below is Darian’s personal pocket square made by The Hill-Side. There is only one piece that has so many blue stamps, but you can find a similar hankerchief with a single “GR” stamp on his online shop, or ask him about it at info@freemanbrand.com.

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A few months ago the Free / Man website switched over from a blog-style website in which one long column was populated by a row of posts, to a magazine template through Squarespace.

“For the new website we worked on a layout but let Stuart Hobday take over, who I would recommend because he builds such clean sites. He is able to take a print publication and build it online. We needed to launch a new site, because we would work for hours writing an article, only to have it move off the first page so quickly, we wanted these features to have a proper platform.The old website was using Blogger and is now on Squarespace.”

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Darian spent 10 years in corporate retail management, and as a reaction he has spent countlesshours making Free / Man a place where dialogue happens. “I like to write and be helpful. I enjoy creating a sense of community and approachability, while providing a conversation I sometimes find missing in men’s style. I don’t have a writing background. Free / Man started quite literally as a dialogue between myself and a friend and a lot of other people have contributed their writing as well.”

“We will host Gentlemen’s Reserve again next year, near the end of May. Currently, we are talking about potentially producing a local Pop-Up Market in November before Christmas.”

See also:

Portland Street StyleTanner Goods Portland Ore.Reveille Portland

The Coava KoneThe Able One-Cup

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