Can you believe that December is upon us, a full year nearly gone once again!
The older I get the quicker the months fly by…they do say that time goes faster when you’re having fun! For me, this just reiterates the fact that life’s too short so we need to make sure we love what we do each and every day. There’s too many distractions and expectations these days that take their toll and blur the lines between what matters and what REALLY matters. We all need an escape, something to enjoy, a hobby, an interest, a passion! I think it’s super cool that so many of us choose our passion for menswear as this very escape.
There is something about being proud of wears/fades/patina that seems to bring us all together. We’re a small collective in comparison to how many dudes there are out there in the world yet somehow through the power of social media we are finding each other each and everyday. Strange seeing as my guess is that a very small percentage of us bother to update our Facebook status or document our interests on any other platform other than IG. There is just something about denim, leather, quality and utilitarianism that’s well…got us hooked!
This year has seen the @clobbercalm IG feed evolve from a personal documentation of my threads into a website that’s all about the dudes and companies I have had the pleasure of getting to, virtually, know. We have even managed to pull together a small e-commerce page where we can actively sell and help promote the products of small independent businesses that are fighting against the tidal wave that is fast fashion and producing some of the best quality handmade garments available to “our type of dude”.
Now, it’s been lots of fun but 2017 need to fetch a little extra. Don’t get me wrong, more items will be added to the store (as and when is appropriate) and there are a few other irons in the fire but one cool project needs to mentioned right now…
2017 will see the introduction of ‘Project Threads and Fades’.
This Project will see us follow 5 different guys from 5 different places in the world that all live 5 completely different lives. This venture we have teamed up with true denim detail and design experts @shockoe_atelier who will provide 5 pairs of jeans to the project.
These jeans (so far all from their Kojima range) will be worn by our 5 guys as much as possible throughout 2017. Each month we will sport a feature with documentation pics and a little info on the life they have have been living! The reason we are doing this is just because it sounds like a really cool thing to do…simple.
One thing I need to mention though…we only have 4 guys at the minute and the reason we only have 4 guys IS because we need you guys to help us find the 5th? If you think you know somebody that would give a perfect home to the 5th pair of Kojimas just drop us a comment below with an IG link or email address and we will chase the lead up!
Ok so now all that’s out the way it’s time to introduce you to tonights’ ‘Brand Behind The Menswear’ and, guess what, surprise, surprise it’s the tip-top @shockoe_atelier guys Anthony Lupesco & Matt Rho. Images of their incredibly well constructed threads are starting to litter the denim and boot feeds all over IG. These guys are pushing all the right buttons and it’s time for us all to find out why.
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Anthony Lupesco & Matt Rho
POSITION: Anthony is our Designer and Creative Director, Matt oversees the business side of things.
COMPANY: Shockoe Atelier
ESTABLISHED: October 2012
LOCATION: Richmond, VA
SIZE OF TEAM: 9 people
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Men’s denim and denim-inspired tailored goods.
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Shockoe Atelier start out?
Anthony: My family has been in the menswear business for decades, and when I came out of design school, I wanted to honor that tradition, but in my own way. So I started working with denim, because that was the fabric that most spoke to me. We started out just figuring out how to make jeans…that took us a while. Eventually, we got to the point where we were making a jean that we felt really good about. But it was very gradual…jean by jean.
2. Tell us. What does a day at Shockoe Atelier look like?
Anthony: It’s a bit hectic…on any given day, I’m juggling design for the next season, creating graphics for our website and emails, coordinating photography, etc.
Matt: My day’s not nearly as exciting as Anthony’s…I look after customer service, so I spend a lot of time responding to emails and answering customer questions. When I’m not doing that, I’m keeping up with our social channels (mostly Instagram). I also pay the bills, keep the books, you know, all the glamorous bits, haha.
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? Why do you think this is?
Our best-selling jean right now is the Slim Kojima. This is a 14.5oz slub selvedge from Japan (Collect). It kind of just took off after a few Instagram guys started posting about it, each wearing the jean in his own way, which has been really cool to see.
We’ve also sold a lot of our new Military Trouser in the last few months. It’s made out of a 12.5 oz Italian selvedge denim with great fade qualities, and is cut quite a bit wider in the leg. I think a lot of guys dig this piece because it’s something different to have in the rotation.
The other really popular piece for us right now is the Rinsed Denim Field Shirt. Super easy layering piece that’s perfect for fall transition weather. It just looks awesome on everybody who tries it on.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
Anthony: For me, it’s the Denim Blouson. I just know and appreciate how much work goes into this garment.
Matt: I really love a good vest, and I’ve been wearing the hell out of our Quilted Indigo Vest this season. Literally…every day.
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?
We love the IG denim community…how supportive everyone is of each other. There are also some really terrific photographers in the community too, and we love seeing how different guys style things differently.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
It’s had a huge impact on our business. For a small brand like us, it’s really been an amazing way to find like-minded people and get the word out about what we’re doing.
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?
There are so many great ones, and we follow a ton of the brands and stores, so we get their regular updates. We’ll go out of our way to check in on some of the guys with very specific feeds, like @srithreads (antique and vintage Japanese textiles) and @denim_repair (denim repair techniques), @darnanddusted (hand repairs) and @tomgruat (European antique garments).
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?
Matt enjoys a good bowl of ramen and Anthony is a connoisseur of kebabs.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
We get to take something that’s just an idea, create it, put something out into the world that we’re excited about, and share that experience with switched-on, engaged people. We’re incredibly lucky and grateful to be able to do this every day.
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?
Tough one…stranded on a desert island, so probably just taking swim trunks (Aloha Sunday and Orlebar Brown make great ones by the way), a straw hat, and the biggest container of water that counts as “1 drink”.
Very chilled lads. Top feature. Thank you very much for taking the time to educate us and can’t wait to get stuck into next year’s ‘Threads and Fades’ project! Also, I will be sure to check out those shorts, they will come in handy for the 3 week summer we get here in the north of England 😉
So, today has been a little longer than usual so let’s move onto Thursday’s ‘Man Behind The Menswear’, this week we visit Jens aka @sel.vage. A true denim-head and boot enthusiast, as always, Jens sports a feed that is fast gathering momentum with clean, crisp images and the attention to detail required to gather (and keep interested) a mass following. It’s perfect he sits on this week’s feature as he is one of the ‘Project Threads and Fades’ guys mentioned above so it’s about time we got to know him a little better 😀
Have a tip-top week folks and I’m looking forward to speaking to you all again on Thursday.