Hope you’re all hanging stellar and welcome to the Monday night edition of the 10@10.
As it’s brand night, this evenings’ feature focuses on a company that specialises in the colour indigo. More importantly, the traditional way of utilising the colour indigo in their heritage inspired garments.
It’s a must read for anybody that enjoys all things blue so sit back folks, relax, crack open a beer and enjoy the thoughts of the @bluesville Creative Director Direz as he answers the @clobbercalm 10@10.
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
POSITION: Creative Director, Co-founder
LOCATION: Jakarta, Indonesia
SIZE OF TEAM: Total of 14 (9 office team, 5 workshop team)
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Menswear made with traditional garment technique focusing on natural indigo dyeing and Indonesian hand drawn batik.
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Bluesville start out?
I was going back to Indonesia from Amsterdam back in the end of 2010 and had a dream to build my own company. I met my 2 other partners Dana and Osi after and agreed to make something out of our interest of denim and indigo. Dana is actually the one who started to come up with the right formula for indigo dyeing and from then on we’ve focused on making quality menswear clothing with close relation to indigo and blue.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
Not all of them. At the start we somewhat focused on handweaving our own fabric with our partners back in 2012 and planned to make a streamlined production of handwoven fabrics to be always incorporated in the design, but along the way we found out that doing this thing actually hurts our operation and slowed down our growth, then we decided to take it slow with the handwoven thing and focus more on what we do best, indigo dyeing.
The process is basically taking any carefully selected PFD or white fabrics from our supplier and take it directly to our indigo dyeing workshop which we own and run independently. Those fabrics then go to be rinsed to take off all the starch and dirt so the indigo will penetrates nicely into the fabric. Next step is then to make indigo vat from the indigo paste which we source locally in Indonesia, from Sumatera, Java or Sumba. Making the indigo vat is the most important thing in our workshop since the quality of the resulting fabrics will be down to how good the vat is. With the right amount of indigo and the catalyst then we can make a good quality vat for several use.
If we’re going to make a natural indigo dyed batik fabric, then we first do the hand drawn batik on the fabric before we dip it to the vat. Batik is a traditional resist dye print technique originated from Indonesia and probably the most treasured heritage in this country. To do a batik we basically need a wax we source from Borneo, the wax will then be drawn into the fabric to create different patterns, as we like. The original and traditional batik mostly comes in intricate and complex patterns, while Bluesville offer more modern and simple patterns for everyday use. The wax will resist the dye resulting in white patterns on the fabric.
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? Why do you think this is?
Probably first is our Sakara, our take on a traditional Indonesian farmers cloth, which resembles a cardigan without buttons, making it an easy to wear throw off jacket style. Next is our basic Dyer’s Sleeve Shirt, a shirt inspired by our indigo dyer’s shirt which has a sleeve panel made of indigo and batik patterns. The third is our signature t-shirt, be it indigo dyed or our standard graphic t-shirt. We go along the way to create our own slub t-shirt fabric with 20s thread to make it thicker than the average t-shirt available.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
I gotta say our Sakara from back in 2013. We made a Sakara from a japanese selvage waffle fabric which firstly is in stiff condition but after washing the fabric will turn soft like a knitted fabric. And I like our recent release of the Sakara which is made from different indigo dyed fabrics, a slub fabric for the body and a handwoven dobby fabrics for the sleeve.
5. What are your thoughts on the rise of Instagram fashion and the chaps that post their clothing on there to help spread the word of their fave brands?
It helps us a lot in terms of marketing and obviously helped on our sales as well. I think it’s good for an undiscovered independent label like Bluesville to embrace what the power of the internet offers through Instagram and similar channels. The downside of all this internet viral thing is that everything will start to feel the same and become more saturated over time. I think most people are just being too lazy or being too inspired by what other people post and they are all becoming the same over time. I think this leads to a less originality each day.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
Yes of course, good and bad. The good is yes we gain a lot more attention and gaining more traction to our sales and business. The bad thing is sometimes people are trying to do what we have done but with no originality.
7. Is there any feeds on IG that you particularly like to check-in on regular. What brands are you fond of on there? What menswear feeds to you like to peruse?
I recently found the @pusspussmag feed, they look at cats on the internet differently. I don’t really check menswear feeds regular.
8. A quick one about you. Other than the business, what passions do you have in life? What flicks your switch and helps you relax?
Cats, they rule the internet. I also like to eat and cook.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
Best thing is I didn’t feel like I’m working when doing this business, it’s a cliche motivational thing but it’s real.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) only with you. And 1 choice of drink.
What would they be? And Why?
1. Bluesville’s Sakara – to keep me warm
2. Bluesville’s T-shirt – to keep me cool in warm weather
3. McCoy’s fatigue pants – I like big comfy durable pants
4. Nike huarache light with black horween cordovan leather – the best Nike shoes + the best leather will keep my feet dry
Incredible stuff Direz! It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you answer the 10@10 and I hope we speak again soon! Also, you’re the first chap to take some Nike gear onto the island. Awesome!
Moving on, this Thursday sees Bert aka @bvo_66 spill the beans on his love for raw denim and Redwings. This feed, which you should check out if you haven’t already, is crystal clear and packed with great images. Not only that, Bert is a top bloke who, as it turns out, looks incredibly young for his age! 😉 His 10@10 goes live on Thursday at 10pm GMT.
Next Monday sees us dive head-first back into the world of raw denim as the 10@10 series gets a dose of RAW from Jannis and Johan co-owners of SOSO Clothing aka @sosobrothers. They give a great insight into their business that allows you to build your own custom raw denim via their website. When I came across their site I had to give it a go and, within 10 minutes, I found myself ordering the 13.75oz straight Jeremy jeans which fit perfectly (currently a week into fading these badboys). If denim is your thing it’s well worth the read. Live from next Monday (17th Oct) at 10pm GMT.
Have a cracking week folks and hopefully we will catch you Thursday!