What. A. Weekend. I’m pretty spent after a fun-filled, sun-soaked weekend in the capital!
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at Kentish Forum on Thursday, Guns N’ Roses at London Stadium on Friday and two days with the fam’ means I’m a tired lad to start the week. Although seeing one of my favourite bands in an intimate setting before they surely blast off into the stratosphere…if you haven’t listened to King Gizzard, you need to! Trust me. Then being able to say that I’ve seen G N’ R (w/ Slash) rocking ‘Paradise City’ in a sun-drenched stadium is definitely worth the bleary eyes. All that was missing was the bleached denim jacket…on Axl, not me! Definitely can’t pull that look off.
Onto this evening’s ‘The Brand…’ feature, which focuses on a company with one of our tried and tested formulas; selvedge denim + custom made jeans + two friends|one work = top product!
UoF are a pretty new company so it’s another nice, slight deviation from some of our recent 10@10s, on the brands side. You can feel the enthusiasm in each one of the answers, which you can in the brands with years-and-years on them too, which is really refreshing to know that the guys we are buying the clobber from keep that flame alight from start to finish!
We have got the pleasure of having, Co-Founder, Vladislav Lukin in the 10@10 seat tonight to chat about friendship, devotion, commitment and custom made selvedge jeans…among other things! It’s a cracking read so I’ll hand the mic over to Mr. Lukin.
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Vladislav Lukin
BRAND: Union Of Friends
LOCATION: Kiev, Ukraine
SIZE OF TEAM: 2 (me and my friend Bogdan)
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Custom made jeans from selvedge denim
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Union Of Friends start out? (For people that don’t already know)
We have been friends for 5 years. The core values of our brand are friendship, devotion, and commitment. We can not imagine our project without these beliefs.
We always wanted to create something special and unique. Eventually, we decided to make dreams come true. A year ago, we run the brand that embodied our thoughts and feelings. Union of Friends is a bond that unites us and inspires to work hard.
We are interested in fashion and tailoring, especially in denim jeans. We believe that this type of clothes is always the case. We bought our first sewing machine and started to work…
It seemed to be a new experience for us. Since we were pioneers in tailoring, we had to learn everything by ourselves: from the repair and adjustment of the sewing machine, finishing with the cutting and sewing materials. When we finished the first custom pair of jeans, we realized that it was a turning point in our life.
Why custom made jeans? This approach allows customizing and adding any details to the pair of jeans. Individual rates are made for the comfort fit. Hence, we can design a unique pair of jeans that our customer wants to see and wear.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
We start our working day with a good strong cup of coffee, hearty breakfast, and checking the mailbox.
Our workshop is located in the old factory that was built in 1937. We work in the workshop for 10-12 hours every day. Sometimes, we spend over 20 hours there. Our working day continues when we come home. Management, marketing, communication with customers is our responsibility. Yes, it sounds tough, but you won’t believe this – we like it!
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Honestly, it is difficult for me to answer this question. We love all our items because we put our heart and soul into them. However, we can feature the most popular custom design. It is a pair of jeans with split waistband, cinch back “fish tail” and suspenders buttons. A lot of customers want and prefer this design.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
We are always making new and interesting products. But it is worth to mention. It was made from a 17-ounce selvedge denim. The design made us say “oh yeah.” cinch back under the back yokes, rear pockets with rivets, patches on the front pockets, buttons for suspenders. All these details are made thanks to @jeromeweijers from Denmark!
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?
Oh yeah! It is wonderful. It would be difficult for us to tell about our product and brand without Instagram. Our customers found us on Instagram. Of course, we have accounts in other social media. But Instagram has a leading position, as it provides more opportunities for lively communication. We are thankful to the guys who can publish their clothes in their profiles – they are amazing. We can not get enough of their exciting photos of very cool things. We appreciate and respect their work.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
We often receive messages like this: “I saw your jeans on this guy, and I want to get this one”. So I think that every brand is acknowledged about this feature and actively manages its account on Instagram.
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?
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?
We spend our free time with our loved ones, and they always support us. They shared the hardest time with us and we are thankful to them. We are also passionate about music. I played bass-guitar and Bogdan was on drums. In the past, we had a group called Buffalo Hugs. You can find us on YouTube. We also love coffee. We worked in a coffee house in the center of Kiev before we started the project. V60, chemex and aeropress have changed our lives.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
The best thing about our business is communication with the client and the process of making a custom pair. It is the most emotional and intense part. It is difficult to express this excitement in words. It is a matter of compassion and dedication.
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?
I would take my shorts out of canvas, US Navy A-3 cap, white t-shirt, and my favorite Asics Kayano.
From drinks, I would take a cold bottle of cold brew from the coffee-house “White Whale” in Odessa.
Top read Vladislav, THAT detail! So good man. Love it and thanks again for your time, hopefully stay in touch buddy.
Moving onto Thursday which is another double-up that features @selvedgewings, the Ronseal of IG handles as it is “…exactly what it says on the tin”, and @weftside66, who has a IG popping with top fading and wears. Hope to see you all there!
Also, this weekend is a busy one! Another reason to tune in, on Thursday, as the weekend has caught up with me and I’m going to leave the write-up there…
Have a top week folks! Stay close.