Tornado Mart have been teasing us with pictures of the new Autumn collection for the past week now and I must say that my use of the word “new” is tenuous at best. This is the Tornado Mart we are well versed in and that is not a bad thing – you have some very flattering bell-bottomed jeans, tribal embroidering and animal print fabrics that Tornado Mart just quite simply does better than anyone else around. Don’t get me wrong TM can always be relied on to bring out some amazing pieces every year, it is just that their basics offer only slight variation year on year.
So instead of writing a shopping list, I thought I would eke out a point that has been bothering me for a while now.
As I have said before Tornado Mart clearly has a bit of a split personality. Sometimes they put out a pair of jeans that blows my proverbial socks of and sometimes I just yawn. You only have to go to what a OIOI stockists keeps and what they have in their Harajuku flagship to see that the former plays it safe for the mainstream and the latter caters for those who want to stop traffic. As a brand they clearly enjoy the image of an edgy fashion forward rock-star and use this to add cool to their duller items. As in the picture above they are a brand torn between a market who will only wear Tornado Mart when they have cast off their suits for the weekend and the crowd who lives the lifestyle.
I don’t wish to say that the well crafted, nicely tailored but simple Tornado Mart collections are not entirely to my taste – they still out-class 90 percent of their contemporaries. I just think the ever expanding TM might like to consider the possibility of splitting the brand along this all ready very evident division. A Tornado Mart Deluxe line if you will (any name suggestions anyone?).
I just think that branding disparate clothing lines as the same devalues the relationship that people want to have with a brand. Either that or you might just end up like me and always shop at the Omotesando store that still carries the one-offs, more daring colours variations and even at times obscene designs.
Still at the end of the day this is a very minor point that only occurs to me as a big fan of the brand. For the TM virgins out there the simpler designs are all the more wearable and less intimidating, but you can be sure that you will end up addicted to the hard stuff eventually…
Lest we forget what Tornado Mart should be about: