Evening brothers and sisters.
Ben here. A tell you what, it’s been ages since I dropped an introduction onto the 10@10.
Cal does such a good job with these features I’ve become an avid reader these days, whilst I concentrate on other parts of our clobber-calm mission.
But today I’m here so I will make up for it! I’m sat in the Co., it’s Sean’s day off (although he’s still coming in later as we don’t really ever get a day) and I’m surrounded by a shit tonne of denim, an old gym rope and a half-eaten ham, cheese & pickle sandwich. The sarnie was a steal by the way as it goes out of date today! Yup, I’m a Tesco markdown bitch! Gotta save the pennies for denim and beer, see…it’s all about prioritisation!
It’s great that it’s dropped on me today actually as we are spinning another “Women Behind the Menswear” this evening and it’s with my new mate Leslie Rogue.
The better half of Karl Thoennessen of the denim brand Rogue Territory and also half of the brand Rogue Territory, herself.
Now, why is tonight important? It’s important because whilst arranging the up and coming podcast for this Monday, with Karl, he requested Leslie join the chat as she is his most trusted adviser on design and the RGT brand. She is THE BRAND.
We have mentioned in the past that it’s important to us here at clobber land to highlight the hard work the ladies of the industry put in to “keep the trade alive”.
Let’s face it lads, we do need them involved. They are good at shit that we really aren’t good at. They are organised, tidy, focused and a shitload better at multi-tasking. FACT!
AND…if we’re honest, look a damn sight better in a pair of raws than we do.
There are many tip-top lasses out there that help to keep this so called menswear world propped up and Leslie is one of these lovely ladies, of course. So before Monday’s chat I wanted to get her on the 10@10 and she was more than accommodating with the time to make sure we hit tonight’s deadline. Cheers L!
MEET THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
1. So Why Instagram?
Because Vero turned out to be a trap, and apparently the founder of it is a huge piece of shit. Just kidding, but what else is there other than Instagram?!
I was an early adopter of Instagram (when I joined there were only ~100,000 users) and it’s actually been a trip to watch the evolution (or de-evolution?) of the platform. Despite my hang-ups with all the changes to their algorithm, I honestly believe it is THE social media platform of our generation – the one that single-handedly changed the way people connect, shop, consume news & media, etc. For RGT, Instagram changed everything, and played a huge role in growing our brand and the #RGTFAM community.
2. Why Denim, Boots, Workwear, Ruggedness?
It’s funny, over the years and as I’ve come into a new life stage (ie. #MOMLIFE), my style and everyday staples have obviously changed a lot. Denim will always be a staple – no matter what life stage you’re in, which is what makes denim so amazing. You will literally wear denim for the rest of your life. I only wear washed denim now, because I have completely embraced full-on mom vibes. And nobody is tryin’ to wipe baby snot off their hands onto raw denim. With 2 young kids under the age of 5 AND the business, I feel like we’re barely making it through the days – if I’m being completely honest with you! As far as boots, I’m not wearing them much these days, especially with Southern California weather. I find myself slidin’ into slip-on Vans or Birks on most days. Not gonna lie, I have a pretty killer Birks tan on my feet.
3. What are your thoughts on the rise in popularity of “Instafashion” and the community it is creating?
It is the natural evolution of fashion meets social media. Instagram is perfectly propped up for the rise of the “social influencer”. It’s been especially interesting to see the more recent rise of the MALE “instafashion” accounts. Women’s fashion has been doing this since the birth of Instagram, but I’d say it wasn’t really until the last few years that we’ve seen this explosion of men converting their profiles to focus 100% exclusively on their daily kits. I think it’s really cool to see men come into their own, to feel confident in sharing their style with other dudes, and to really see how supportive they each are of one another. I’m all for it. But just don’t go broke doing it. Real talk – I just read an article on how a 26-year-old put herself into $10,000 of debt trying to become fashion-famous on Instagram.
4. Top 3 brands to shop and why?
Currently my style is all over the place, but this is what is in heavy rotation at the moment:
Ace & Jig – a completely women-owned brand based in Brooklyn, who makes unbelievable textiles in India. Their textiles are so unique and have an amazing hand-feel to them. There really isn’t anything else like this on the market, and just the amount of time and energy that goes into developing textiles like this, in a very authentic way, is something to be appreciated. Not all of their styles or designs are exactly my vibe, but I do have a genuine appreciation for their craft of textile making. Also, they have an unbelievably loyal and avid Instagram community, which reminds me of our #RGTFAM (love y’all!)
Free & Easy – an LA-based brand with a super chill, laid-back vibe. Their stuff just makes me happy ☺
Vintage – I’m always searching eBay for vintage garments, whether it be vintage denim, vintage Japanese indigo-dyed garments, or vintage sweatshirts & tees. I have a soft spot for anything vintage Mickey Mouse or Snoopy!
5. Where’s your favourite place to shop these brands?
I pretty much shop exclusively online these days. With the biz+kidz, I literally can’t remember the last time I actually went shopping. I mean, I’m pretty sure I haven’t showered in 2 (maybe 2.5?) days.
6. When did you decide to voice and share your love for your threads on social media?
I used to be a lot more engaged on Instagram in the early days, which is somewhat related to how Instagram’s algorithm was vs. how it operates today. Nowadays I post mostly through Stories, which I find much more engaging and fun. It’s funny how social media kind of comes full circle. In the beginning, people were much more about “iPhone pics only” – which was the original intent of Instagram. Then it evolved into a channel to post very edited, stylized photos. Then Snapchat changed the game, and everything went back to this sort of “lo-fi”, gritty, real-life feel.
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?
Haha I think this question pertains more to “Instafashion” people. My images aren’t great – they’re real. Of our customers who follow me, I think many of them are OG followers from the early days, customers who have a sense of connection to myself and Karl as people, not just as a clothing brand. To be honest, I’m not sure how relevant my posts are now, it’s mostly kids, food, kids, food. But what’s cool is that a lot of our customers have entered the same life stage, so they relate to a lot of the challenges Karl and I face. Basically, we’re just trying to survive most days!
8. What feeds do you like to follow and check in on? Who should we check out?
Okay since you know the Future is Female™ and all, I’m gonna shoutout some cool-ass females:
@t_o_o_g_o_o_d – Faye Toogood is a London-based designer, having done a lot of furniture and objects. She also makes unisex clothing, and is actually using the only selvedge denim mill in Britain, and sewing her garments exclusively in Britain. They choose some pretty rad, diverse models, such as older models, to style their line. It’s just refreshing to see, and I think their take on unisex clothing is really interesting, yet wearable.
@mamboayumi – no explanation needed, her style is fly AF.
@margaret_zhang – I have a total girl crush on her. For me, she represents this younger generation of women who are changing the fashion world. She’s more than a pretty face. She is super intelligent and understands the intersection of fashion, business, content, strategy – a “Jane of all trades”. At the ripe age of 24, she’s an accomplished photographer, stylist, writer, brand consultant, director, and classically trained pianist to boot.
9. what’s is like being Lady in what could be seen as a men’s world? After all you rock the Blue better than most of the blokes!!
I wouldn’t consider myself really “IN” the denim scene, definitely behind-the-scenes, which is where I want to be. Karl will always lead design and aesthetic vision, but my unique perspective as not only a female in this industry, but as a brand-owner, not a consumer, helps Karl to edit. With both of our perspectives together, it allows us to guide the brand in the direction we want to go.
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?
Okay, if I answer this question from the perspective of “What are my 4 favorite items?”, the answer would be my 4 favorite pairs of sweatpants because I work mostly from home (our youngest is only 1.5), and let’s be honest, you would wear sweatpants all day at home too if you could. But if I answer this question from the perspective of “What are my 4 favorite items that are actually realistic for surviving the elements of a deserted island?”, then my answer would be:
My custom RGT Chelsea boots
My RGT Drake Camo canvas work shirt – gotta blend in 😉
My Levi’s 501 White Oak selvedge skinnys
My vintage hunting jacket so I can store all the game I’m gonna hunt on the island
Drink of choice: Quad shot latte from @2kidscoffee because without this daily life juice, I literally don’t think I’d be alive right now, haha.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!! That was great Leslie. Thank you!
So good to hear Leslie’s thoughts on the whole IG, life, business and family balancing act. It’s a true story, no matter where you are we’re all in the same boat in our own kinda ways! There’s no rest for the wicked as they say! Not that Leslie is wicked, of course, but you get my point?!
Anyways, be sure to keep an eye out next week for when we release the RGT podcast, got loads of good questions for Mr and Mrs RGT but if you guys want me to ask anything in particular just swing me a line and I will look to get it fired their way!
Have a tip-top evening blue bloods.
Beers & Cheers
(oh yeah the clobbercast IS NOW AVAILABLE ON ITUNES AND ITS FREE TO DOWNLOAD) SO follow this link HERE