Fit Talk with HIP Store's Oliver Jackson
A conversation with Manchester's finest where we dive down the rabbit hole of great brands, sub-genres, and grail-worthy products at the iconic HIP Store
Won’t you be my pony boy 🏇
These pony hair loafers are some of the cleanest shoes you’ll find on the market right now, and the best part is paid no allegiance to the weather. Rock ‘em with linen shorts on a hot ass day or with a cardigan and some blue jeans on a blustery day when it’s colder. Check ‘em out
Down the rabbit hole, we go
Today, we welcome a special guest. Please meet Oliver Jackson, who works on Projects & Activations at HIP, a beloved menswear retailer in the United Kingdom. If you know nothing about HIP, let me put you on.
HIP has been around since 1987 and was originally known to carry the best independent and contemporary menswear brands from around the US, Europe, and Japan. They were seen as an early mover of stores to mix fashion with a changing guard of music, with styles reflecting the early rise in punk and hip-hop.
It’s one of my favorite retailers, hands down. And Oliver is part of the creative force for the company. He typically has a hand in most things, from special projects, events, brand partners, editorial strategy, collabs, and overall creative production.
Oliver is someone with very good taste and understands how brand and trend cycles work.
He’s practically a walking encyclopedia.
And because autumn is the best season, I felt it would be nice tap into his mind and share some of his thoughts on his favorite pieces, brands, and subgenres for the season ahead.
What are the best brands that HIP carries?
You can’t go wrong with Visvim or Engineered Garments—both stood the test of time. The stuff they make is so good you can’t just replicate it. Plus, their pieces get better with age and wear.
We’ve also picked up some other more recent independent brands like ROA, Auralee, Noah, and Drake’s. These ones are great because they’re all pushing boundaries, reimagining what good looks like for their respective sub-genres.
What's a fall piece you absolutely couldn't live without?
I’ve been getting a lot of wear and tear out of lightweight down puffer jackets — they’re perfect for the never-ending dark, cold weather in the UK and are easily packable for traveling/overheating in the pub. For a while, I ran my Montbell superior jacket into the ground, which is a great quality-to-price ratio.
And now I’m on to this diamond stitch-down puffer from And Wander, which is an insanely good piece.
Is that what defines your style? How do you describe your personal taste?
Sort of. I’d say it’s a blend of the subgenres below, in no particular order. The key is that they’re all a reflection of what I’m genuinely interested in…
Classic American brands
Supreme old and new
Food, travel and other random merch
Shifting gears ore contemporary brands such as Bode, Our Legacy, Aries, ROA, and Satisfy and District Vision for running.
Also love to support smaller DIY projects that come out with the freshest feeling stuff more so than big brands - for example, And After That, Fraser Croll, and allmyhatsaredead.
Last, I also run a personal project called 01706, which has a lot of the tees and caps I wear on the regular. Big shout out to Arena Embroidery and 1831 Shop for all their help over the years.
How do you go about styling looks that mix and match brands?
I usually start with shoes or outerwear first, depending on the occasion or weather. I’m comfortable mixing genres with anything in my wardrobe.
I like leaning into vintage tees often because it’s easier to put the rest of the look together when I pair it with a branded graphic tee.
Some of my favorite old tees all from the 1990s are MC Escher, a thrashed Dali, and an ultra-soft worn-in Janes Addiction tee.
What are some of HIP's most slept-on brands and products, and why?
There are a few pieces a lot of the team at HIP return to and buy in multiple colourways which I always think is a good sign - some more slept on than others
And Wander windbreakers
Needles Mohair Cardigans
Camber Crewnecks & Hoodies
South2 West8 Belted Pants & Shorts
Beams Plus 2 Pleat Chinos
Engineered Garments Fatigues
Sunray Sportswear Tees
New Balance 990v1-6s
ASICS Gel Kayano 14
Anonymous Ism Tie Dye Socks
Birkenstock Boston, Tokios, Arizona’s
Suicoke Moto VS
Looking back, what can't miss collabs have you guys done?
Our spring/summer 2022 collab with Paraboot was a perfect example of elevating a product we all enjoyed and respected in the office whilst paying respect to the original DNA of the style and not overdoing it. Here’s some of the creative from that campaign.