Howdy guys & gals
Well it’s Thursday Morning, yup I’m knocking this up in the AM for once, instead of the evening.
So no beers just yet, but instead, I’m enjoying a breakfast tea sat inside Sheffield’s own @steamyard who’s co-owner, by the way, is bang into his denim and an avid admirer of all things quality. It’s a fucking good breakfast cuppa too! Cheers @nickpears_steamyard ✌️
Anyways, tonight I’ve managed to convince my bro @clobbercalm.cal to take the mantle. It’s been a few months coming but there always seems to be something else that needs to get done…finally, we got around to it.
It’s also a great week to feature a core team member after our announcement that we will be opening our first denim store earlier this week. In the steel city of Sheffield, we will be going full pelt to ensure our denim brothers worldwide patina needs are serviced to the best of our ability. Well, Callum has the responsibility of designing, building and sending live the e-commerce site.
Judge, jury and executioner, Cal, you’ll boss it brother! Back me up won’t he lads?
MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Cal Smith aka @clobbercalm.cal
LOCATION: Sheffield, UK
OCCUPATION: Graphic Designer
1. So Why Instagram?
Instagram is slowly adhering to the other social media platforms but when I started, initially with an account for my design work, to use IG instead of other channels it was because it felt purer.
I’m a visual person anyway, kinda helps with my job, but with IG being all about imagery/photos less is lost in translation. A status on Facebook is open to interpretation but an image borders the multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-educational divide perfectly which means more people have access to your content on IG.
Instagram is slowly losing it’s focus, which is a shame, and that means I’ve lost the urge to post to an extent BUT, when I do, I love the reach a simple photo of me in my gear can garner…THAT is “Why Instagram?”!
2. Why Denim, Boots, Workwear, Ruggedness?
I’ve always been into my clobber from an early age (see below) and, when funds have allowed, I’ve always been an advocate of ‘buying less, better quality’. If I see a garment that I MUST have in my wardrobe, I want it to still be hanging in there when I reminisce in future years…even being able to hand down?
Denim, boots and yet to be ruggedness are pretty new ideas to the sartorial side of my brain tbh. Obviously a lot of influence on that goes to my pal Ben aka @clobbercalm, who, when sharing his vision for clobbercalm on a journey to play football one night, inadvertently ignited the idea of Raw Denim & Red Wings into my psyche!
I thank Ben, my bank balance doesn’t.
3. What are your thoughts on the rise in popularity of “Instafashion” and the community it is creating?
I don’t think it’s a rise at the moment, I believe it’s plateaued due to IG messing with the algorithm for some strange reason. If it’s not broke, why fix it?!
You still get a sense of community that is great and it’s a really welcoming community too, with your “regulars”, new likes et al. Obviously, being part of @clobbercalm allows me time with a whole range of the community’s gate keepers, so-to-speak, and what a lovely bunch they all are!
“Instafashion” to me, is inspiration. You have brands displaying their toils sat right next to the guys adorning them and you only have to ask what someone is wearing and they engage. Instagram makes up 70% of my lookbook. I just wish the powers-that-be would leave it well alone!
4. Top 3 brands to shop and why?
I could wax lyrical about Red Wing, Levi’s, Converse, Lee 101, American Trench etc here but I believe that there are folks way more educated in those brands that would lyricise far sweeter! So I thought I’d mention three brands that haven’t been mentioned on the 10@10 before that are in my upper echelon…
1). Norse Projects – I’m a big believer in the Scandi way of doing things and their simplistic style, echoed in collection after collection from Norse Projects, is key to MY style. It says a lot, I think, that every item I own from NP, I own three different colour variants. *Fan boy alert*
2). Outstanding Co./Boozehound – I’m cheating slightly here but I don’t think anyone has mentioned a Korean brand on here before? I thought I’d name two seeing as how these two were both introduced to me recently by a store I list below. I have since passed on the baton and introduced garments from these two brands into my wardrobe as the quality of their pieces at their price point is extraordinary! Be it the weight of their tees, the triple stitching on their sweats to the finer details on their shirts that are barely visible BUT you know are there. So, so good!
3). Form&Thread – No offence to Beams Plus, Democratique, American Trench etc but THE best socks I own. Receiving a box of three pairs from this brand always feels special no matter how many pairs you already own, which I think speaks volumes?! I have also heard that their foray into basics and shirting has been very successful so can’t see it being long until I take a delve myself.
5. Where’s your favourite place to shop these brands?
My go-to for a peruse + chin wag is All Blues Co. in Leeds. Faz and Mano are top, top guys that really know their stuff so I strongly advise a visit if you’re ever in the North of England. Their shop was a major influence for the ‘Denim Map’ idea that we launched a few months back as it’s a testament to the denim/work wear community. Any shop where you feel comfortable and want to part with your money rather than feeling pressured is key in my book. I sometimes just nip in for a coffee BUT with brands such as Outstanding Co., Boozehound, Lee 101, Red Wing etc you can imagine that it’s sometimes a rather expensive coffee?? 😉
Obviously, exciting news the other day from Ben regards CLOBBERCALM SUPPLY CO. and I’m sure, with it being a stones throw away from me, that it’ll be a regular haunt of mine too.
6. When did you decide to voice and share your love for your threads on social media?
I started January this year. Mainly to introduce me, out of the shadows, as part of team clobbercalm and also to start contributing and engaging with the community. I also use it as a retrospective when struggling for an outfit to wear…
7. What’s the secret behind your great images; Who takes them? When are they taken? How do you capture the magic your followers enjoy so much?
I take all my own images using my iPhone, so nothing special there. I DO like my IG grid to work in threes though either by matching colours, layouts or poses. This does mean that, even though my photos are taken with “Insta” in mind, I tend to take my time thinking about how my next set of three will work.
I am lucky though to have a close mate who’s a really talented photographer, @jamzcore. He’s taken a few shots of me in the past and seeing as how we’ll soon be moving in together you may be seeing more professional shots on my feed.
8. What feeds do you like to follow and check in on? Who should we check out?
I obviously like to keep up with what the other guys associated with clobbercalm are up to, starting with Ben @clobbercalm and stopping off with messrs @scwaudby_33, @denimhound, @swissjeansfreak, @bothrops1, @drmmathias, @sel.vage, @johanmalik80 and Ms. Murray @aegishandcraft. Each one different, each one ace! I also like to check in on some other accounts, such as…
@craftedparis – The inspiration behind my notion of wanting my grid to be aesthetically pleasing. Clément spreads his day’s outfit over three photos; full body, close-up, boots and it just looks mega!
@pinkployd – So cool! Every photo has so much personality, so does the styling and the nods to Americana (from the signage to the vistas) just add a proverbial cherry on top.
@theurbanhippieswe – I just hope I look as cool as Svante when I’m in my 60’s.
@mamnick – Cracking menswear brand from my neck of the woods, Sheffield, whose Instagram Stories are the highlight of most of my days. So, so funny! Doesn’t hurt that the clobber is tip-top either.
@polarskateco – I’m a big fan of skate culture, try to add subtle nods to my style here and there and Polar is one of my faves.
@jacobstory_ – A friend of mine who I regular used to bounce sartorial ideas off when he was based in Sheffield. Has a great, simple style and you should all go check out his blog, www.overdiluted.net.
9. What tips would you give new starters on Instagram to help them get there feed off the ground and successful?
Just be yourself really and try to do something different. The second thing is a lot harder to do than the first as uniqueness on such a wide platform is obviously going to be hard BUT I think it leads you to have more ownership.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island, you can take 1 outfit (4 items) and 1 drink ONLY with you.
What would they be? Who made them? Why are you taking them?
Rains Waterproof Jacket – I know that some folks have tried being clever/practical with certain garments they’ve chosen to take, so here’s my take. This jacket is BRIGHT yellow so will be good for visibility and when the rain does pour it would either come in handy as jacket or funnel?
Amor Lux Long Sleeve Mariniere Heritage Tee – Taking this nautical breton stripe tee as wishful thinking…my mind would associate the nautical nature with being on a boat and one would magically appear right?!
Heavy Denim – I would take some heavy denim to break in on the island as it would keep me occupied I reckon? Imagine the fades too!
Birkenstock Arizona Sandals – Again, I’m thinking of the long game and if rescued I want people to believe my story. What better way to do this than the prototypical “English sandal tan”??
Old Grand-Dad (Bot. 1960s) Bourbon – This aged Old Grand-Dad bourbon is renowned for it’s easy drinking and at £350 a bottle I reckon my dormant tight Yorkshireman side would rear it’s head and I’d make it last. Maybe 😀
Cheers Cal bro. Not much more needed from me on this note but just wanted to take the opportunity to publicly thank you for all the support you have shown, both myself and the denim community, over the past 2 years and long may the journey continue, eh bro?!
P.S. Cal – Keep the beard bro. I know you’re considering dropping it. Don’t do it!
Ok, well we still need to know what brands you want us to stock moving forward so please do reach out to me over at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can do my best to serve you all well!
Stay close people, much love.