It’s the start of a new week and it’s going to be another one filled with blogs, clobber-casts and much, much more!
To start as we mean to go on we have a crackerjack of a first act as Steve from Simmons Bilt gets comfy in the 10@10 hot-seat and answers our trusty ten. We had the pleasure of meeting Steve when we were recently at Selvedge Run, in Berlin, and seeing the product in person was a real highlight of the whole show. We will be posting our face-to-face interview from SR in the coming days so stay tuned for that but in the meantime…
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Steve Toohey
BRAND NAME: Simmons Bilt Clothing Company
LOCATION: Moffat, Scotland
SIZE OF TEAM: 10
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Quality and ethical clothing
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Simmons Bilt Clothing Company start out? (For people that don’t already know)
This is a long story but in a nutshell Simmons Bilt was born out of a passion for vintage inspired outerwear, constructed from the best materials available and designed to last for generations.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
Usually start in the office – catch up on emails – contact suppliers, any admin that needs my attention before I move onto production – this may involve producing samples, working on new designs or helping out the team working on orders. Typical work day Starts about 8.00am and finishes around 10pm…sometimes later depending on project deadlines or back log of emails!
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Simmons Bilt sheepskin jackets are very popular, and all year round too. There are only a handful of manufacturers that can produce these jackets to a high standard. It takes many years of hands on experience to develop an understanding of how to construct not only sheepskin jackets but the leather jackets we and a small number of worldwide manufacturers produce. Our Roadster and Racer jackets are also a wardrobe staple for most of our customers.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
I love the A2, probably the most famous WWII flight jacket. Also the Tailgunner, a jacket we designed, taking elements from our Roadster and Café Racer resulting in a crossover style that is great for both the bike rider or the guy that just wants to wear it down the pub.
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?
I think any media that provides a platform for people to communicate and share their passions in a positive way can only be a good thing and it’s great for brands to have the opportunity to share their news instantly too. The downside of course is it attracts the basement keyboard warrior peddling their negative energy, these guys are not worth a second thought but I can see how frustrating it could be for some. That aside it’s all good though and I’m all for it!
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
Of course, and in a positive way. It gives all businesses a direct communication link to their customers.
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?
Where do I start! I like to see where all our friends, partners/associates are travelling to and their experiences and also anyone with interesting posts.
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?
Being a relatively new business there hasn’t been much time for relaxing over the last 5 years but I like to try and keep in shape with gym sessions most days, as sad as it sounds right now it is my sanctuary. My boxer Jack keeps me chilled with walks in the countryside, a brief escape from all the madness.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
We are passionate about what we do and that’s why we do it but its also about the people we interact with during our daily business, be it suppliers, our retail or collaborative partners, media, its such a positive vibe from everyone we interact with, helping each other regardless of product type we produce and continually trying to evolve and improve what we do.
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.
Leather Jacket – Let me think…
Jeans – I have quite a few brands in my wardrobe!
T-shirt – Merz b Schwanen, Indigofera
Hat – Stetson, probably beanie if it’s a cold – Pork pie or baseball if hot.
The drink is a tough call, partial to a Tanquery and Bulleit but not in the same glass.
Cheers Steve. You’ve been really generous with your time and we really appreciate it as it means we get to post pics of your smashing product. I really implore you guys to see/feel/wear/own a Simmons Bilt piece at some point as the photos can’t quite do the product justice. Super good 🙌
Obviously, keep jumping back into the blogs this week and keep your eyes peeled into the @clobbercalm feed as there may be some exciting news regards the website, by the weekend!