Monday, August 15, 2011

People You Should Know: Denim Geek

If you have noticed I have not been doing much posting as of late as I have been up to my neck in way to much goings on, from trying to get a new brand off the ground for the 9-5 to family travels and summertime adventures. Well, I have said it before, and will more than likely say it again; this intro-net thing is pretty darn neat. Anything and everything is right at your fingertips … and instantly. But more than that is the amazing opportunity to connect with like-minded folks that are oceans way from where you currently call home…   I Recently had the opportunity take advantage of such wonders and sit down with the ‘ol wi-fi and spend a few moments over a couple of days doing a little back and forth via the Email and have a chat with the fine folks that run the show over at, Andrew & Liam…. What? You are not aware of Denim Geek?.... Oh you already are a fan of their blog and shop but want to know more about the minds that power this thing, well aether way you’re in luck. Sit back and enjoy a little Q&A…. and don't forget to click on what makes blogs and the intro-net so darn awesome, all the links ;-)

Who are you and what do you do?
Andrew : Liam Winn and Andrew Booth, we both run the blog and store at Denim Geek.

Where did you grow up?
Liam : We are both from Sunderland, in the North East of England.

When did you start "Geeking" out on apparel and Denim? Or better yet, why?
A:  I’ve worked in fashion since 2000 so through the years my interest and curiosity has evolved with the trends.  With such easy access I’ve always ended up spending most of my wages on clothes.
L: I’ve always had a keen interest in all forms of design including fashion.  I tend to like things that have a back story and enjoy understanding how things are made, so heritage denim brands are perfect.

What is it about denim that you love so much?
A: Denim has always appealed to me, because unlike any other item of clothing they actually get better with age and wear.
L: I guess I fell in love the moment I bought my first pair of raw denim.  The build quality, handle and atheistic all blew me away.  The individual aspect also appeals to me; two pairs of the same jeans owned by two people can look completely different after a few months of wear.

Who is your favourite brand?
Andrew: For me, Edwin is a brand I have always went back to and more recently Naked & Famous, as I find their innovative approach very refreshing.
L: If I made a list it would probably include a mix of both Japanese and European brands.  From past experience I’d go for Dry Bones, 3sixteen & A.P.C.

Any new brand, or brands that you are really excited about?
L: We’re always keeping an eye on magazines and blogs, trying to discover new brands.  The Unbranded Brand is a fairly young one that was introduced to us by the guys from Naked & Famous and they seem to have hit on a great concept with it.

How many pairs of Denim do you own personally?
A: I think I own about 18 pairs, not all of them fit of course and some of them are well on their last legs, I just simply can’t bring myself to throw them away!
L: I’ve got far too many to list but I’m the same as Andrew in the way that I never want to throw them out.  There are probably around 40 pairs in my wardrobe including rare collaborations and standard 501s.

Do you rotate your denim or wear the same pair for a long time?
A: I’m currently alternating between 3 or 4 pairs including pair of A.P.C New Cure, Edwin ED-71, Levi’s 201s and Flat Head Frontiers...... the expansion my waistband dictates which pair I get to work on and how long I get to wear them in!
L: I’m currently wearing in my latest pair of Edwin ED-47s.  I’ve had a few over the last few years and love the fit.  My new pair of 3sixteen SL-100x will be the next project.

What is it sparked a desire for you to start a blog and how long have you been blogging?
L: It really began as a hobby in early 2009.  I wanted to share some experiences and know-how about things such as washing and care and it quickly seemed a popular read for quite a few people.  Andrew came on board in early 2010 to help me out and the rest is history.

How important is the internet and social media to you?
L: Without the internet we wouldn’t have had the chance to start a store.  It gives smaller companies like ourselves the chance to share their products with a much bigger audience and start up costs are minimal.  With the introduction of social networking, the whole idea of the world being more ‘open’ means that people can quickly share thoughts and ideas in a more visual and social way.

How did the shop come about?
A: The store came about after a few little chats and it was always a possibility for us.  If we could write about and discuss the products we love, why couldn’t we offer them for sale to other denim heads?  We like the fact that we are a small operation and we can deal with our customers on a personal level.

In your little description found on the bottom of your home page for the shop it says "All of our brands focus on quality over quantity and are specialists in both craftsmanship and production. No product is added to the inventory unless it meets our criteria." What is an example of those criteria?
L: The store is based around a heritage/workwear aesthetic, true to the roots of denim and we’re trying and carry brands that have a history to them.  The quality of a lot of the products speaks for itself and we still discuss construction and production techniques on the blog.  A lot of our customers want jeans that look great and fit well but are also hardwearing and sturdily constructed.

Do you approach brands specifically to carry their product or do they find you?
A: To start with we had a small list of brands in mind and got in touch with them directly.  Feedback on the idea was great and people were really interested in working with us.  It’s starting to turn round a little now and brands are approaching us with enquiries.

What is it that you look for in new product? Or what gets you really excited about select items?
A:  First and foremost something has to catch our eye, it goes without saying aesthetics and the overall look is very important, as is the quality of the denim itself. This aside we look for a blend of respected and established brands that have stood the test of time mixed with newcomers whom we feel have bags of potential.

How relevant do you think the craft of handmade or small production runs are?
L: For as long as I’ve been into denim I’ve tried to keep up with a few individuals with a passion for quality goods.  Corter Leather was always a handmade brand that I wanted to add to the store.  I first heard about Eric on Superfuture around 2 years ago and was so impressed with his work.  A lot more people are interested in his pieces now and that’s great.

Top five daily blog checks?
A: We visit the larger blogs on a daily basis such as Hypebeast and Selectism but like looking through more personal blogs as well.  You can find a lot of honest opinions and content on them which is invaluable.  Favorites include Linage of Influence, Individualism and Another Something.

Top five books that are worth the read?
1. ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss
2. ‘The Facebook Effect’ by David Kirkpatrick
3. ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall
4. ‘Cosa Nostra’ by John Dickie
5. ‘The Damned United’ by David Pearce

Two things you could not live without?
L: For me it’s me iPhone.  My girlfriend goes crazy, as I never put it down.
A: I’d be eternally bored without my sketchpad, scanner and Adobe Photoshop.

What is coming down the pipe for the folks at Denim Geek that we should be looking forward to?
L: We’re busy looking into more brands for the next few seasons and want to expand the product range into other clothing such as outerwear and shirting.  There has been quite a bit of demand for wardrobe staples such as Ralph Lauren and Fred Perry, but we’re planning to add a few more hard to find/niche brands to the mix as well.  We want to try and cater for as many people as possible.
A big thanks to Andrew & Liam for reaching out to me a while back and giving of some of their time to answer my enquiries into their work and goings on in their neck of the woods. 
Now go and support these blokes by going over to their online shop and pick up some goods. Here
Also check out their very detailed and thought out Denim Glossary.

"Remember the Golden Rule"

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