If you were a secret agent, possibly one called James Bond, tasked by her majesty (or Judi Dench) to infiltrate a murky Eastern Bloc hacking farm, or take down a shady Norwegian oil consortium, or chase a huge sweaty man with golden teeth through a Düsseldorf-bound train, or host a terse meeting with a chilly and corrupt Government official in the glinting lobby of a Parisian hotel in deepest November, then Sunspel’s new capsule of dark and smart knitwear and tailoring, made with Ian Fleming’s estate, is what you might choose to wear.
Bond and Sunspel have a long-standing relationship, making it well positioned to tap into a new kind of 007 look. In 2006 the costume designer Lindey Hemming visited the brand’s Long Eaton factory on the hunt for clothes to suit MI6's latest rogue charge, a meeting that resulted in an updated Riviera Polo shirt specifically designed for Daniel Craig’s bulkier physique (no offence, Pierce).
While the Riviera polo is more of a Bond in the Bahamas piece, the Fleming collaboration is designed with a frostier climate in mind, taking details from the author’s books and his own propensity for luxury fabrics (Sea Island cotton was a favoured material when he was writing Goldeneye in Jamaica). The result is a muted take on a winter capsule wardrobe. An Italian wool and cashmere-blend flannel suit comes with a modern fit (yes, the trousers have a drawstring), and a Harris tweed Crombie coat that is made in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, hand woven by islanders in their own homes and finished in the famous Carloway Mill, one of only three working Harris tweed mills in the whole world.
Then there’s a chunky cardigan, a cotton-cashmere transitional knit that’s perfect for a between seasons mission (or weather in October that can't make its mind up) and, of course, a Sea Island cotton shirt, worn by Bond in Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This one is made from a fancy poplin, perfect the abstract notion of an office.
With a palette of charcoal, steel, black and navy, the focus here is on fabrication and a modern, simple silhouette; a Bond wardrobe at its most minimalist, one with a Scandinavian accent (Jakob Bönd?) and not a safari jacket in sight.
The Ian Fleming Collection is available now from sunspel.com
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox
Need some positivity right now? Subscribe to Esquire now for a hit of style, fitness, culture and advice from the experts
You Might Also Like