Brutus-a manly brand named after the owner’s passion for a certain mens’ aftershave, took menswear by storm back in the day. Focusing on quality design, and taking cue from the fair British Isles, Brutus was the true champion of fashion for real men!
The 60’s and 70’s marked a new age in menswear; a time when the clothes you wore were an outward expression of personality, and a rebellion against convention. As youth culture exploded from hotspots such as London’s Carnaby Street, new groups began to form, all needing a fresh, new wardrobe, and it was Brutus clothing that firmly captured their imagination. The iconic Brutus Trimfit shirt quickly became a wardrobe essential for Skinheads and Suedeheads. The roots of this British classic have a curious background and are actually much more international than you might think!
At a time when Far East manufacturing was just in its infancy, and to a backdrop of the Vietnamese War, Brutus founder, Keith Freedman, took the bold move to travel to Hong Kong in the hope of expanding his business production. At the time this was by no means an easy journey (his own father had tried to dissuade him) but his tenacity paid off and the company never looked back.
In fact, Hong Kong has been a constant source of inspiration for the company. It was on Kowloon’s Nathan Road that Freedman first spotted shirts designed for the off-duty American soldier; a kind previously unseen in Britain. Not content with reproduction, Freedman used the shirt as a base, and added many of the Brutus Trimfit features that are admired today, such as the 3-finger roll collar, the 2-button half-sleeve, and the symmetrical darts either side of the main pleat. Add to that a quintessentially British tartan print, spied at a Parisian Flea Market, and the Brutus Trimfit was born!
With such a fantastic design archive and heritage, a resurgence in the Brutus Clothing brand was inevitable, and it was re-launched in 2009, with Freedman’s son Jonathan now at the helm. All the designs produced today are painstakingly remade from the archives to exact specification, with production in the original factories in Hong Kong! The current shirt range features original checks and tartans, plus for tr the first time a new range of plain white shirts, all cut with meticulous precision, to ensure a perfect fit.
As lovers of Modern Heritage and British classics, Brutus was an obvious choice to add to our collection at Indi, where the famous Brutus Trimfit Shirt can be found in a vast array of prints and colours for your own distinctive style.
By Philip Tunstall