I’m a Belstaff Modern Explorer; My Favourite Clothing Brand
My sister lives in London, and has done for almost 15 years. Long before my blog blew up, I was visiting her in between countries. I always struggled when I came to London, everything I wanted was out of my price range. Sometimes I’d go walking around Bond Street, in the city centre, window shopping. There was always one store, and one brand, that had be longing for their gear. Belstaff. I loved all their stuff, especially their jackets.
I’m a big David Beckham fan, and as Instagram began getting bigger, I saw Becks in a Belstaff ad. Like always, looking pretty cool. Eurrgh, one day I’m going to march into that store and buy the jacket I want. One day.
My travels continued, I started making progress in my quest to visit every country in the world, to become the first person from Ireland to do so. I started getting featured in Forbes, in BBC, in Nat Geo. It seems so strange to see your name in publications like that. The business side of things too off, but I was more interested in the adventure, in traveling. Not being broke anymore was a beautiful side-note.
The weird thing about suddenly being able to afford the quality stuff I wanted was that I had no time to get it. I was bouncing from Papua New Guinea to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Years upon years of full-time travel. To make sure I truly visited every country, not just hop over a border, tick a box and move on.
After a crazy journey where I smuggled myself into Socotra, Yemen after 4 days on a cargo boat, and I finally finished my 197th and last country, Norway. Time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of my labour? Of course not. I set about trying to become the first person to visit every country in the world, the North Pole, South Pole, and climb the Seven Summits. Alongside that, we started to grow our GiveBack GiveAway foundation, where we build schools, clinics, playgrounds in developing communities around the world, followed by a bit of adventure travel. Here’s our recent libary build in Bali.
Anyway, the point is even now, now I’m free, I still hadn’t been able to tick off my bucket list with my Belstaff gear! And sure, my Instagram reached 100k followers, I was blue-tick verified, but Belstaff are HUGE. Becks was a brand ambassador, and I am no Becks! Then the value of the brand really shone.
I was going about my daily business when someone from Belstaff reached out to me on Insta. They told me they were focusing on a ‘Modern Explorers’. They weren’t out chasing the Love Island/Kardashian crew with millions of followers, but no message outside of narcissism, just to sling some beautiful gear, they were trying to partner with people who fit their message. Shocked and impressed, and of course humbled. It wasn’t about the biggest accounts, the most famous. They want to work with people who match their ethos, their ethics, that’s more important than impressions, comments and likes. Wow. Amazing.
I chatted with them a little bit, about what they were looking for, and they said they see me as exactly that, a ‘Modern Explorer’, and that their jackets are fit for purpose. Whether I’m on a cold night in the Sahara or jumping around Tokyo. I was due to FINALLY go back to London sometime later in the year, so I brought it forward. Finally, I’d get to walk into the Belstaff store and come out with something I love.
THE BELSTAFF FLAGSHIP LONDON STORE
I met a few of the staff, including the brilliant Italian manager of the store. I told him I had LOVED Belstaff from a distance for over 10 years, and he agreed to help me find the options for me. Exactly what I needed it. We tried on countless things, all the staff were ridiculously helpful. Also, you only think you know about fashion until you speak to an expert. Wow, these guys knew their stuff! Also, the store is gorgeous. It’s hard not to remortgage your property and try to buy everything in the place.
After an hour or so, we finally decided on what I was to take. I needed something hard-wearing, due to the nature of my crazy lifestyle. But also something that looks the part for when I’m uploading social media posts, blog posts or even doing some media stuff. The pressure was on! The staff helped me decide on 2 jackets – the Gangster 2.0 button-up leather jacket and the Trailmaster Waxed Cotton jacket (great if you don’t wear leather), I was supposed to be done with two pieces, but I honestly couldn’t resist the Trailmaster boots, so I picked those up too, eeeek.
And with that, I was done. A huge success, and finally being able to lay my hands on the clothes I want. I was actually in a huge rush though, the following day I was off to Morocco to run the Marathon Des Sables, 6 marathons in 6 days in the Sahara, but this was a visit to London I’ll never forget. I’m back in London in December 2019 to see my sister and mum for Christmas, and I honestly can’t wait to get back to the store and stock up on some more quality stuff. Their jackets are the best in the business, but their jeans, sunglasses, shoes, scarves etc etc are all super cool too. Let’s see, I’ll start doing my research! Before that though, I flew back to Bangkok, Thailand en route to summit Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Indonesia and one of the Seven Summits. I stopped off quickly in the epic ‘Airplane Graveyard’ in Bangkok (check it out if you make it to Thailand) where I managed to take a couple of pics with my new gear.