Hope you’re feeling wicked as hell and have one eye on a tasty beer that I’m going to insist you open very shorty!
Right, tonight is “brand night” and there is shit loads to go through so the last thing we need is, a slightly pissed, me battering your ear drums so I’ll keep it simple.
A few weeks back I was contacted by a lovely lady call Emma from Pier Marketing who informed me of a raw selvedge denim sneaker collab from, high-top experts, Bata Bullets and, cult Oz-based barbershop + raw denim dabbler, Uncle Rocco’s. Now, somehow in some way over at somewhere these guys have designed, manufactured and made a raw selvedge denim high-top available to us everyday “real bloke” consumers. Some of which, have beards and others don’t…both is cool, (at least) some stubble is better though!
*Quick Paraphrase* In a nutshell, Heritage US sneaker brand, Bata Bullets has teamed up with cult barbershop and denim brand Uncle Rocco’s in Port Melbourne (Australia) to launch a limited edition collection of Japanese, selvedge denim high-top sneakers. The collection features Red Line Japanese 13.5-ounce selvedge denim with a right-hand 3 x 1 twill. 300 pairs are being released on 12th June 2017 with international shipping available.
Now, time to hear from the sneaker-scientists and dude-shearers themselves so sit back, relax, crack open that beer we mentioned earlier and enjoy the thoughts of Team @bataheritage and Team @uncleroccos as both sets of blue bloods answer the @clobbercalm 10@10.
MEET THE BRANDS BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Michael Wyatt
POSITION: Company Manger / MD – Australia & New Zealand
BRAND: The Bata Shoe Company
LOCATION: Founded in Zlin, Czech Republic. Australian office based in Melbourne, currently a global company.
SIZE OF TEAM: Australia 61, however the global business employs around 30,000 people today.
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Footwear, retail, manufacturing and brands.
NAME: Fab and Paul
POSITION: Product developers, salesmen and cleaners.
BRAND: Uncle Rocco’s Barbershop Denim
LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia
SIZE OF TEAM: 2
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Where possible, Australian-made denim products, using Japanese Denim.
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your companies start out? (For people that don’t already know)
Bata: We will need to go back 120 years and start at the beginning.
The T. & A. Baťa Shoe Company was founded by Tomas Bata on the 24th of August 1894 in Zlín, Czech Republic. The modern company operates in approximately 90 countries, has 5000 retail stores and manufactures footwear in 27 Bata factories through Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
Wanting to celebrate such a rich history the Bata Heritage division was established which is headed up by Charles Pignal. I first met Charles in 2014 whilst in India, we were both working independently towards re-releasing Bata Bullets as one of the original heritage sporting brands manufactured in the Bata Belcamp factory, Maryland, USA around 1970.
Uncle Rocco’s: Fab was working 7 days a week building his Uncle Rocco’s Barbershop Empire and Paul was doing the same developing denim product. We both needed something to do in our spare time and a denim brand was the obvious solution.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
Bata: Coffee, e-mail, then the office. We joke that each day bring’s a new surprise and that is generally is how it goes. Majority of one’s time is spent negotiating with staff, trying to convincing people to move in a certain direction, planning, strategising and hopefully helping staff achieve the goals we have set out. I would like to believe it is not an authoritative business, we are all in it together so I try to be as collaborative a possible and make sure everyone believes in what we are doing.
Uncle Rocco’s: Cutting hair, cutting patterns, developing ideas and products as well as meeting denim suppliers and garment makers to help us on the journey.
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Bata: Bata Heritage has three key projects currently, Bata Bullets originally from the USA, Bata Tennis an historic vulcanised sneaker out of India and a desert boot called Bata Safari made in Kenya.
Uncle Rocco’s: Currently various men’s selvedge denim jeans and soon to be followed by our Bata x UR selvedge denim sneaker. We like to think it’s due to this product being genuine, the real deal.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
Bata: Bata Bullet’s have been a passion project for us and in particuler the BB x UR collaboration. It has been great to work on something quite rare and exclusive. You basically have have a 4th generation footwear company, a third generation barber shop and a traditional Japanese denim manufacturer collaborating together to make 300 pairs of shoes. A project like this is not about profit, we doing it for the love of vulcanised sneakers and denim.
Uncle Rocco’s: 13.5oz Kaihara selvedge denim, slim straight with signature doughnut button fly.
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?
Bata: Instagram has been huge for brands and the ‘fashion’ business, I would be most exited and supportive towards the exposure it has give to smaller independent labels and how it has helped create awareness and knowledge around what were previously quite niche areas. It has been very encouraging to see customers investing in young entrepreneurs businesses, quality, value, independent and consciously produced products. We live on a planet with many finite resources, disposable fast fashion is not sustainable.
Uncle Rocco’s: Bring it on! It’s great to see what creative people are doing all around the world while you’re waiting for a coffee.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
Bata: I believe there are other performance indicators that modern businesses need to be mindful of. A unique project like this requires a different mindset to what success is as it delivers a unique impact to the business and staff involved.
Uncle Rocco’s: Yes.
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?
Bata: My feed is pretty much made up of boots, denim, automotive and horology. On the denim side of thing’s I have of course been following the guys at Uncle Rocco’s (@uncleroccos) since arriving in Australia. Amy Leverton (@denimdudes), Ruedi Karrer (@swissjeansfreak), Brave Star Selvage (@bravestarselvage) and Jess Murray (@aegishandcraft) are always worth checking out. I love the Cool Vintage (@coolnvintage) and Alloy And Grit (@alloyandgrit) page’s for my automotive fix.
Uncle Rocco’s: Best Made Co is one of my favourites at the moment, it’s a great American camping/camping accessories brand that are stocking some really cool products!
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?
Bata: Dog, bikes, cars. Pretty much if it has four leg’s or an engine I’m down.
Uncle Rocco’s: Getting out of the city and heading down the coast for a surf! It really helps me switch off.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
Bata: Genuine history and heritage, we have something modern brands have to manufacture.
Uncle Rocco’s: We like to think that our denim products are made in the same way as a great haircut; customer first, respect for the past, attention to detail and always with a smile.
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?
Bata: If you had just said ‘Island’ it would have been easier. But ‘Desert island’ means we’re pretty much stuffed already so style goes out the window. I reckon something super ugly and practical, like those hideous zip off short/trousers that guy’s wear and water.
Uncle Rocco’s: We call this the Andy G suit, others know it as the Canadian Tuxedo. Denim Jkt, denim jeans, a comb and a tin of Uncle Rocco’s Francesco Super Shine hair product!!
To drink? We’ll have whatever you’re having’…
Now these are very limited edition so no doubt they will be gone in a flash! However, if you’re still unsure whether you want to pull the trigger we will be helping you make up your mind this week as our resident product expert Greg Tamura aka @denimhound will be reviewing a pair for us. We can then give the you the real lowdown on these bad boys…I will say, though, that I expect nothing but a solid report on these so don’t wait on our behalf!
Have a tip-top week people and thanks for reading as always. See the calendar below for our future clobber related endeavours and what we have lined up.
Stay close people and do come forward if you want a piece of the @clobbercalm pie! I’m truly all ears…