It’s Thursday, it's sunny and it's the World Cup ⚽️ All things that make me a happy chappy! As if I couldn't get any happier, tonight we have another episode of 'The Men Behind The Menswear'...
...in a few weeks we will be hosting Red Wing in store at the supply co. and tonight's guy has a feed adorned with Wings so we thought he'd be perfect to highlight tonight.
MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Markus aka @fort_box_
LOCATION: Berlin, Germany
OCCUPATION: Product Owner in Software Development
1. So Why Instagram?
Ever since university is a thing of the past and I’m working full-time, I find myself dropping out of a lot of creative outlets I had time for back then, like making music or generally being out and about taking photos of things. Instagram is a lightweight solution for a someone like me who has an hour in the morning to drink coffee and forget breakfast, so I started using that time to do something I like that has nothing to do with my work and is independent of how much time other people have. Honestly, IMO in terms of social networks Instagram is still the purest as it focuses on the picture first, and there’s not a super complicated account / page / whatever system like on Facebook. That being said, I’m looking forward to a more chronological algorithm because I’m missing a lot of stuff I deliberately subscribed to seeing. It makes no sense to me that you would have to go look actively for content you follow anyway.
2. Why Denim, Boots, Workwear, Ruggedness?
About eight or so years ago, when I was living on canned soup and struggling with a social sciences degree I already assumed back then would be more of “a thing I did” and less of “a thing that defined my career” a few years down the line, I stepped in the relatively new Red Wing store in Berlin and tried on a pair of boots. They were amazingly stiff and painful, but looked like they could last forever, at least if my feet survived the first few weeks. I looked at the price tag and thought “well this is my monthly money” and quickly forgot about buying them, but it kind of stuck with me. As for the denim, I’d been wearing standard Levis 501s forever and when they gradually became more expensive and somehow less durable at the same time, I started looking for alternatives. I can’t point to a reason for the “ruggedness”, I guess it’s just the way I’m wired. I prefer wearing things that feel durable as opposed to having to watch what I do with clothes. I’m just not a suit guy I think. I’ve also since stopped buying into the myth that stuff needs to hurt before it gets comfortable, but I still love my Red Wings.
3. What are your thoughts on the rise in popularity of “Instafashion” and the community it is creating?
It’s great! I’ve been on Instagram for a year now and there’s so many new connections I’ve made and people I’ve met that maybe share the same passion for good garment quality but are also fantastic people I enjoy talking to about other things and I’d meet up with in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. I really think Instagram itself is about good pictures that speak to people, but the conversations that start from this shared interest is what it’s about.
4. Top 3 brands to shop and why?
This is a tough question, even condensing it down to 3 seems really exclusive, and sometimes brands I love certain items from will release things in some seasonal drop or another that don’t do anything for me. Also my body on occasion rejects a lot of fits if it wants to be a dick to me, so I’ll try finding 3 brands where I can trust that the fit will be great on me even if I order without trying on.
- Red Wing – I’m putting these up out of the comfortable bliss of ignorance of other boot brands. I’ve never tried Vibergs or Trumans. I’m sure they are amazing and when the time comes I’m certain I will pull the hefty trigger on a pair. For now, I’m absolutely amazed by the quality and value Red Wing brings to the table in terms of GYW construction. I’m glad I’m past the admittedly painful break-in period on the pairs I own, but I’m also told my feet are not optimally shaped for smooth break-in.
- Rogue Territory – I’m biased towards RGT due to their SK fit which is out-of-the-box perfect for my leg shape. Also Leslie and Karl seem like really nice people who put a lot of thought and energy into their clothes. The ISC work shirt is still at the top of my grail list but luckily I can ignore the investment right now due to the warm temperatures.
- 3sixteen – Shirting and jackets are simply amazing to me because again their fits are just flattering for my physique and I love their patterns / designs.
5. Where’s your favorite place to shop these brands?
In store: Burg & Schild in Berlin - These guys know their stuff and have an excellent selection and customer service.
On the internet: Cultizm - Great selection, great customer service and sizing help especially for denim.
6. When did you decide to voice and share your love for your threads on social media?
January of 2017 I was stuck in the most boring job of my life, so I started taking pictures of myself sitting down in the smoker’s corner and sharing them. I’ve since deleted some of that stuff since the area was too depressing. It’s not visible in any of the pictures, but on the wall behind that chair in this terribly enclosed fully transparent cubicle was a poem about the misery of human existence. No joke.
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?
I mostly use a camera on a tripod and an IR remote, which can lead to funny hand gestures if I don’t manage to pocket it early enough before the picture happens. Some of the images are also taken by my girlfriend, mostly the outdoors shots when I actually manage to go out and explore on the weekends, but it’s usually me sitting in my living room having a morning coffee.
8. What feeds do you like to follow and check in on? Who should we check out?
There are so many that I now have to give the usual disclaimer about this not being an exhaustive list and by no means am I leaving anyone out on purpose, it’s just that I have the brain of a squirrel and sometimes forget names of people I’ve known for years multiple times throughout the day.
Beyond the usual suspects and biger accounts the likes of @sel.vage / @jaesungxlee / @bvo_66 or @robindenim to name only a few, there are some very entertaining and engaging people out there curating excellent feeds for people interested in all this workwear stuff, for instance @bigdudeindenim, @beerindigo, @david.probably, @calgeary, @scwaudby_33, @ende_denim, @duewelsblog to name only a fraction of the many nice people you can come across. Some of these people are photographers, some aren’t, but they all share the same passion, and I think that’s nice.
9. What tips would you give new starters on Instagram to help them get their feed off the ground, and successful?
Just post pictures you like haha. I don’t know how to get successful, getting followers just seems to happen. I don’t understand the Instagram algorithm and I don’t want to consume precious life time and headache pills trying to game it, and neither should anyone else. It’s not made for humans to get or particularly coherent anyway, just post a photo if and when you feel like it, and interact with the people who react to it. The worst mistake I think would be to not post certain stuff because the same style of photo didn’t ‘attract’ the number of likes you would have wanted for it previously. People will come back for more if they see that your feed looks engaging and fun.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) Only and 1 x drink with you. What would they be? Who made them? And Why?
I have the German tendency of complaining about the weather a lot (no matter which weather), so the term "desert" already threw me into a flop sweat.
- Nonetheless, my first item of choice would be my new pair of Iron Heart IH-666S-21 just because for every hot day in the desert, there is a cold night, and I think it’s heavy enough that after some weeks of consistent wear and sweat it might be solid enough to use as a float and escape.
- My trusty pair of Red Wing 875 classic mocs, they’re so comfortable by now I could also use them as beach sandals and wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
- I have what my parents call a receding hair line (also known as complete and utter baldness in the rest of the world), so I’ll take my Rogue Territory 5-panel indigo selvedge canvas hat just to keep the old noodle from turning into a stop sign.
- My last item is my 3sixteen Shadow Selvedge Type3s. You need shadow in the sun. This is logic.
- For a drink I’ll go for a few bottles of Berliner Berg Pale Ale, as a light buzz is the only way I’m going to cope with the fact I’m alone on a stupid island, and the bottles are slim enough to fit the Type3’s inside pockets for strolls around the presumably really dangerous palm tree forest.
Cheers for that Markus! One of my personal favourite feeds as your pics are always on point my friend. Always have appreciation for the watch cap and 3sixteen Type 3s too aka my daily uniform aha ✌️
If anybody reading fancies taking a shot at the 10@10 then just fire me over an email at email@example.com. AND that's me out, take it easy guys and have a great weekend ✌️
Peace and love