How's it going folks? Hopefully all good...
So, back in January me and Ben had the pleasure of visiting Selvedge Run, in Berlin. I think you've all heard, by now, that we had an awesome time and that wasn't just down to the parties, bratwurst and beer (maybe a tad down to that 😬). No, it was the mega brands + people that we met along the way. Most of which we shared a beer with, anyways, love to multitask, me and Woodsy!
Tonight is the last of the interviews we conducted whilst there and features @ironheartdenim & @thunderslove. We are going to be posting all of the interviews every day this week, up to Sunday, before Shane aka Mr. Selvedge Run takes a seat at the clobber-cast table next week. So, read on people and enjoy!
So, what's your name, your role within Iron Heart and what does a normal day look like for you?
I'm Alex, the General Manager of Iron Heart UK. We represent the brand outside of Japan, so we sell worldwide, into Europe, into the USA and into Southeast Asia.
On a day-to-day basis; we've got 4 to 5 members of staff and we're looking to get to 8 by the end of the year. So, it's a lot of customer service, lots of emails from USA and Asia so we deal with that, we like to try and have a personal touch, to contact directly so we don't do automated emails which is quite labour-intensive. Mainly I manage the guys doing that and helping pack and ship the orders. Other than that it's leasing with all our retailers. Also, managing the forum and posting on the forum plus planning what we need to do to keep agile. Make sure all the photos get done on time and check the website work. It's quite busy on a busy day and quite relaxed on a quiet day.
Out of all the Iron Heart clothing, what's your personal favourite item?
The flannels, I really like the oversized pockets. My favourite CPO is the dark charcoal, it's really plain. On the website it looks like just a dark grey shirt but when you get it in your hands the texture is amazing, the additional pockets on a flannel shirt is just a nice touch. It looks great with the big, copper oversized snaps.
So, do you enjoy the trade shows? What do you get from them and what do you hope to achieve?
I mean SR has been brilliant, it's been great to show the collection to more retailers to what we normally do. We normally only show in Japan so that limits certain smaller retailers from seeing us. It's really good to show more people than usual and get their reactions. Plus the passing trade and great to see other brands that I know and go for a beer at the end of the day.
What's in store for Iron Heart in Autumn/Winter?
So, all the creation is done in Japan by Hirakisan. His concept for the whole of 2018, both Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter, is to revisit things that we've done and see if he can tweak or make better. Like making the 14oz denim we do feel more substantial, improving the deck garment designs and just sticking to the quality that we aim for.
Finally mate, you're trapped on a desert island and you can take 4 items of clothing and 1 drink, what're you taking with you?
It'd have to be some sort of shoe, like a deck shoe otherwise you'd burn your feet on the sand. Maybe a kaftan...
You're the first person to take a kaftan, Alex
...well I wouldn't be wearing Iron Heart on a desert island ahah...
You wouldn't believe how many people do
That's a bit too hardcore for me! In Europe, not on a desert island. Some decent sunscreen and a bottle of whiskey. One more item of clothing would be some swim shorts. Nothing too tight!
So, what does a normal day look like for Thunders Love?
We start really early, 6 o'clock in the morning, there is no close time so we know when the day will begin but never know when it will finish.
What do you have to do in a day? Are you mainly designing, packaging, sales etc?
My part is the communication between providers, suppliers, sales. My partner is an architect and she runs the design part, she is passionate, she likes the traditional way of making the socks. She looks at antique Japanese books with patterns and finds a lot of inspiration to make the socks. Everything in the company is about this spirit, very slow and things that are well done, well made. They proof the models until they find the perfect model, the perfect design, the perfect quality, perfect material. Our main interest is to develop a product of quality.
Out of all the items you create, what's your favourite?
The latest model, the colours on the inside are brighter so it’s really original and people really like this one. This collection is made with organic thread, we play with the disposition of the treads and it is a specific technique that gives us the bold colour on the inside and lighter on the outside. It took a lot of time and we are really happy with the result.
Do you do many trade shows, has it been good for you? When you come somewhere like this what do you aim to achieve?
The satisfaction of the customer is a good experience and we can make sure the customer is going to be happy and they are happy. Happy with the quality, the packaging, everything. We make the product with love to it's good to make sure the customer feels that.
What you get from them? Do you get new customers? Is it beneficial?
Because I’m a newcomer, I need new customers, more visitors and I really like it here because everything is handmade and the client understands that it’s handmade and they come because they would like to have something special.
Finally, you're trapped on a desert island and you can take 4 items of clothing and 1 drink, what're you taking with you?
Oh, this is very important. Well, a hat, a fisherman’s hat. A light shirt with a open neck, good flip flops and of course some socks so I don’t get cold in the night.
And what drink?
A beer...of course.
I’d go with you to the island but I'm a bit worried that you haven't got any trousers.
Thanks guys. Was great to meet you at the Run and hopefully see you both again, in July?
That's that on the @selvedgerun Chronicles but we'll be there in July so we hope you look out for the Summer editions and all the other stuff we'll be doing whilst there? I'm sure it'll involve beer and bratwurst but there'll be indigo goodness sprinkled in as well. Also, stay tuned for the Selvedge Run clobber-cast that Ben & Glen will be conducting this week...