How's it going? Hope you're all well and good...if a tad warm!
Tonight we have the pleasure of having a new kid on the raw denim block, in ULLAC ✌️ Chris (Designer) gives us a bit of an insight into their process and how they got started whilst showing off a few of their wares. Hopefully all that helps cool you down a bit, although, these boys wares are straight fire 🔥 Don't believe us?
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Chris Lynd
BRAND NAME: ULLAC aka @ullac_denim
ESTABLISHED: September 2017
SIZE OF TEAM: 3 and a bunch of co-conspirators
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Denim and re imagination of traditional silhouettes
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company ULLAC start out? (For people that don’t already know)
We’d been talking and dreaming about setting this up since we were kids growing up in Preston (Northern England). It had always been on the cards, we were just busy getting distracted. We’d always talked about it like it was something that was just going to happen. Then about a year and a half ago, July 2016, Gavin bought a sewing machine. This was more of a step than an actual tool, it was his way of putting his arms around us and running us off the pier, 100% confident it's water down there not rocks. We’ll let you know when we land but from here it looks indigo to me.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
I’m still trying to figure that out myself to be honest, it's in a constant state of flux. Right now it's the most fun time because we have just got a bunch of samples in and we’re trying to figure out what we want to make, and when we decide that, how to make them. We’re looking at fabrics and all that fun stuff. It’s the thing I love the most, when you can block out all noise and just make. When I’m in this mode the only thing that interrupts me is talking to new friends about our clothes. It’s such a nice feeling to know people like what you do so there is always time for that.
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Pattern 001 Straight & Pattern 002 Slims are huge sellers for us. I think this is because these pieces appeal to two different types of people. There is a large group of people that are not necessarily crazy into denim but spend the kinda money we charge for our jeans and just want cool ones. They like our story whether that's how we operate ethically or how we present the jeans in our visuals so they can see how nice they are. These people are often attracted to other garments like the painter jacket which is insanely noticeable. Then they see the jeans which they see as a staple (an excellent example of a staple) and go for them too. They are over the moon because often they haven’t experienced this quality of denim and production and certainly never at this price point. The other person they appeal to is really into denim and they instantly zoom in on the jeans and to them it's clear pretty quickly why they like them. They know what it means to be made in the area in Italy they are made in and what's nice about 16oz Candiani raw selvedge denim and of course the ethical element. In 2018 every human, animal, inanimate object and Katie Hopkins want to limit the footprint on the world. Tell a lie, I think Katie Hopkins stood in dog shit with both feet and is probably jumping up and down on the higher being’s relatively new carpet.
I reckon the TYPE 2 and Chambray shirt too. Same logic applies. The person who likes nice stuff sees these and they’re clearly well nice to look at and the denim head looks at the Type 2 made out of 16oz Candiani or our chambray shirt and see’s that its Berto troll grey chambray and knows what that means.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
I think my personal favourite is our Painter Jacket. The thing is, it looks so so different from person to person. If someone wears it more on the fitted side with a pair of jeans it’s got a dead nice, dead simple workwear vibe. There are a bunch of details that make it a little bit more special, like the lovely ecru denim, the collar stand, rounded coughs and collar, and the massive pouch pockets big enough for a weekly shop. But then someone else could wear it a bit oversized with the Painter Pants and it’s a totally different look, it’s all of a sudden really bold. Clockwork Orange vibes.
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?
Well, its easy to get cynical with the social media world we live in and there are certainly downsides so it's easy to forget all the positives. A huge positive is community, when we were growing up this didn't exist, our community was us which I’m actually really grateful for. But there was so much going on in bigger cities that we would have been all over but we didn't have it. We were so into clothes that we travelled to places for things. When everyone dresses the same in a place it's hard to do something different, as you are guaranteed to receive some sort of light bullying, obviously that still exists to some extent but I look at kids now and they are all tapped into a network of people who dress how they dress or want to dress and they can do the same. We were influenced by musicians a lot, but these kids have this from normal people rather than a God/Alien like rock star so it's more achievable. I think there is a real freedom to that, so expressing yourself is easier with this era of civilian taste makers.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
It’s defiantly an aspect. In the world of denim we’ve had a bunch of people reach out and post about us, they only do it because they love the clothes. When it comes to denim the community is really warm and welcoming, these people are so into it that we want to talk to them. If they like our stuff and want to spread the word that's amazing. I would be lying if I said it hasn’t helped us along the way. Equally we like word to be spread amongst everyone who buys our clothes. Every item we sell you get a leather patch with a note explaining that if you wear it 300 times and post each time we’ll replace that item. We want people to inspire each other and everyone to be involved in our thing, we’ve found that people our customers have been connecting through Instagram and it's so much fun to see.
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?
There are loads and loads. I like all the usual suspects, @clobbercalm (obvs) @longjohn_denimblog, @ropedye, @robindenim, @swissjeansfreak and I’m a massive fan of the @peppinopeppinomagazine there’s so much great stuff on her account. Loads of really great silhouettes and interesting denim. There’s a tattooer called @miles_chappers I love that account, dead good clothes, tattoos and loads of cool images. I like @sanforized he’s got some amazing vintage pieces. @olicongress is really cool. There’s a bunch of brands I’m really fond of @kapitalglobal and @vizvim are ace. I particularly love how Kapital just have a bunch of fun with quite traditional reference points. Tender Stores are super interesting, I love thier stuff. There’s a Korean brand ADER ERROR. I think they’re mega. Really really fun. I like @noahclothing too. That’s a really good account, full of cultural references as well as their clothes. I’ve always been a fan of the shop @oipolloi_of_cottonopolis and @workingclassheroes_uk are very funny and have some great garments. Then not strictly clothes related but the Alex Cameron account (@alkcm) has me in stitches everyday.
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?
It all been a bit up in the air now as my first child has just arrived. The main things that used to keep my boat afloat were climbing & cold water. I used to boulder all the time and loved it, I miss it but I’ve had to park that for a while. I’m confident I’ll have at least a 5 year spell while Ezra still wants to hang out with me so I’m hoping that can be something we do together. Cold water is a bit weirder, I love swimming in cold water. It's so good for you and is like an instant switch of mental state. It's so hard at first and your skin feels like it's on fire but in a good way. I’m hoping to get the Kid on that earlier than climbing, I tried to put ice in his bath but my wife looked at me dead in the eyes and told me ‘that’s grounds for a divorce’. I mainly now watch ‘Most Haunted’ with my family which to me is a wonderful way to exist.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
It has to be what we make. The product has to be at the front always, to me and hopefully some other people what we make is very special. All the other stuff is great and important but we care about the clothes more than anything. If we didn’t they wouldn't be as nice. I’m so busy with everything that’s going on it’s rare I get a thought to myself but, I was day dreaming the other day on the bus traveling to work and a woman I’d never seen before was coming down the street walking her dog and wearing one of our painter jackets. It looked amazing and there was about half a second while my synapse was firing up that I hadn’t connected it was ours. It’s happened a couple of times before but this was the first time I couldn’t run over and chat to her. She was just a stranger skipping around her life wearing a jacket which was born in my tiny little mind. I know I’m being self indulgent here, and please forgive me I promise I’m not that dude but this was a proper moment for me and felt like a little life win and it’s what came to mind when you asked that question. I would also say the community that we’re building as well as getting to do this thing with my favourite people in the whole world. I feel very blessed.
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.
Ok, let’s get the drink out the way because that’s an easy one. Smirnoff Ice. I love Smirnoff Ice so so much. It would be on my death row meal. People turn their noses up at it but we all know that it tastes like posh lemonade. And it’s just about the most perfect thing to swig on a desert island.
So now the outfit. Is it a cop out to say something we make? We’re about to drop our new Pyjama Suit. It’s the same block as our painter suit but we’re making it in the super nice wide hickory stripe. It’s a beautiful linen cotton mix from Berto. It’s basically a PJ set, super nice and airy. There’s pants, shirt and a jacket all in the same stripe. I’m big into that look. It’ll be dead good in the day when it’s hot and I’ve got the jacket for the evening when it cools down. It’s probably still pretty warm at night, but you feel it more if it’s been hot in the day don’t you. So that’s three of my items. My last item would be my Engineered Garments bucket hat. It’s not your normal bucket hat, it’s much taller and the peak is smaller at the back then it is at the front. It’s ace and it’ll stop me getting burned. I don’t think I’d take shoes, because the sand is good for your feet. If our clothes is a cop out, just double down on Smirnoff Ice and I’ll do ‘naked and afraid’.
Thank you very much for your time Chris, mate. Always nice to get some fellow UK blue bloods on our humble blog, especially ones as talented in the indigo craft as you lads! Such a great read too, especially the Katie Hopkins shade...bet she definitely shops unethically-made stretch 👎
Have a cracking week people and speak again real soon! Peace.