Men’s file and Clutch are coming as a double edition for the first time, how did this connection happen?
“I have known the publisher of Clutch for some time and we have often communicated at events such as Bread & Butter and Inspiration LA. It was obvious we had a lot in common. Heritage style really is a truly experimental and cutting-edge phenomenon and the groundbreaking idea of joining two magazines from different continents was bound to happen within the heritage context. It just so happens that Men’s File and Clutch were the first.
The cross-over is a simple one: Europeans and Americans want to know what’s going on in Japan and the Japanese wants to know what’s going on in Europe and America. This also emphasises the international dimension of heritage and vintage markets.”
So whilst we’re on the subject, one of the features in Men’s File is on European denim. In your opinion, what makes European denim brands stand out from the Japanese or American brands doing heritage clothing – any defining points?
“This is perhaps the most exciting development of all: denim studios. The first denim studio I knew was a one man operation by Simon McLean – who now works at the Vintage Showroom. He was making bespoke jeans with selvage denim back in the early 1990s.
After that things went very quiet in Europe and the USA, but recently a bunch of enthusiastic individuals such as Dawson Denim, Backyard Denim, Blue Blanket, Pike Brothers, Cathcart, Maple Jeans, W.H. Ranch, Jack/Knife, Roy Denim, Eat Dust and Blue Highway – to name but a few – have created a fascinating patchwork of blue-cloth workshop right across the western side of the globe. Japan is another story – for another day.”
Another feature in this issue of Men’s File is on the Dodge Charger 770 used in Moonrunners and Dukes of Hazzard - the dream car of every child of the 70s. What was the inspiration?
“The shoot was originally for the Men’s File Archive book Vintage Girls” – which will be out in January 2014 – “and it featured two true revivalists, and was much inspired by American car advertising for the early 1970s. The muscle car was often associated with a successful male (usually dressed in Ivy League type clothing) and a good-looking female – this was American ideal at the time.
In that shoot we took a pristine Charger (actually made in Australia) and an East Coast setting and effectively recreated the style of photography and dress from the auto-advertising of that period. Much of the clothing was actually supplied by the oldest jeans maker in Italy – Roy Rogers.”
In the video you made recently to publicize the double edition we can see you are featuring the Henry J car, but we can also see some modernist architecture where are you on this shoot?
“In the feature on Henry J car – a 1950s compact sedan – we also feature the modernist architecture of postwar Los Angeles in the form of a single, elegant ranch-style home. Men’s File loves this period of building design and we are constantly looking for new examples to profile.”
On January 9, 2014, the magazines were launched with a party at London’s Son of a Stag – sponsored by Sailor Jerry.