30 November 2011
I recently had a sneak peak at the final proof of the forthcoming Dressers book, this is a book which ties in every aspect of the casual scene from Motherwell's Saturday Service point of view. Whilst many clubs have released books about what they did, who they did, how many people they battered, how many bodies they left lying in the street to the point where you've read one you may aswell have read them all, it gets tiresome and repetitive. This one, like just a few of the others, looks different.
Refreshing and unflinching, backed up by a mine of great photos spanning thirty years, cuttings, memories and personal belongings this tells the tales that should be told, the days out, the music, the drugs, the trips and all the gear by the small Scottish club who made a real impact on this much chastised and often understood British working class subculture. Motherwell's 80's mob with their Burberry checks and backperms were one of the original point of reference for me, the dressing up, then the dressing down, not just word of mouth and sozzled recollections, real memories thankfully captured on old cameras, my old squire Kerso with more trainers than God, who seemed to have kept his own personal museum of designer labels too an authority on the scene if ever there was one.
Whether you're an older head who was there, saw it and got the t-shirt, or a young pup in it for the right reasons, carrying on the tradition, not because you saw a couple of films and now think you're Bex Bissell mk II, you'll know what it means or meant to be part of that special thing football brought us. The buzz, the camaraderie, the belonging, the discovery of new things first, or at least in your own mind, taking risks, the thrill, the chase, the highs and the lows, excitement, nervousness and panic, giving chase or giving legs, getting all dolled up to go to places like fucking Doncaster and Hartlepool because on that day that's all that mattered. Only if you've been there will that last statement not sound in any way ridiculous.
Scheduled for a Dec 12 release pre-order it here, there's a cool trailer here, Kerso's clobber. Saturday Service, One Step Beyond.
Posted by One-up at 18:02
29 November 2011
25 November 2011
As featured a while back, a bit of a plug for localish store Shed, now into it's third year of trading, this is a smart store situated in Ashton-Under-Line with a decent well selected product range from classic British labels like Barbour and Folk to Universal Works, Heritage Research and brands from further afield such as Carhartt, Obey and Lacoste. Shed has now launched it's online home too, with some nice artwork from our pal illustrator Peter O'Toole, check it out: The Shed Community.
Posted by One-up at 18:58
22 November 2011
18 November 2011
Another first look, I like the look of this, Gatley's finest Dominic Stansfield's next creation is UVU Extreme Craftsmanship. Designed in conjunction with the KTC factory in China, who have been making premium outerwear and technical sportswear for three decades. With a collection at the forefront of garment technology this is one to look out for. UVU.
Posted by One-up at 12:35
16 November 2011
Rohan's a cool brand, there's plenty of their stores in towns and cities up and down the country and it's one of the old reliable go-to-guys for all your outdoorsy needs, whether you're a full on hiker, camper or just trying to stay dry on an outing to Sincil Bank or Vale Park. Perhaps even overlooked as anything at all trendy or hip, Rohan's just that though, I like Rohan. I've had a few of their coats pass through here over the years, the Pampas being a personal fave and a bit of a classic amongst a select few. They also did a spot-on proper mountaineer jacket some years back, reversible, down jacket on one side bright orange on the other, something you'd happily nip off to the arctic in and know you'd be sound, the Tundra? or something.
Founded in 1972, Rohan has been there seen it done it, makes great gear and avoids fashion and all the blingy nonsense of the modern day, their ethos, not my words. It's good old school functional wear at it's best, it's a proper British hiking brand to be proud of.
Whilst some of these old brochures and catalogue shoots are pretty damn striking even to this day, other bits look straight out of an eighties porno mag, you'd be forgiven for thinking one or two of the below pictures would see that couple at it in the next spread, guffaw! That's if you can still turn the pages, lols. Ok, enough already. Hiking, biking, sportswear, boots and nice jumpers are all the things we steal from and adopt and adapt, Rohan has it in abundance. Look out for a collaboration collection with 6876 in early 2012.
OF all the businesses set up in Yorkshire’s back bedrooms, living rooms or sheds, few can have had as tangled or as emotional a history as Rohan Design. In the nearly 40 years since it was founded by a young couple around a kitchen table in Skipton, it has seen moments of marital happiness, commercial innovation and rapid growth as well as separation and tragedy. Throughout it all Sarah Howcroft, who set up the business with her husband, Paul, has been there and her love for the Rohan remains undimmed. Together the couple developed a new look in outdoor clothing, with the heavy tweed and wool breeches worn by walkers a thing of the past.
Rohan’s lightweight and waterproof designs becoming the essential gear for everyone, from the Sunday stroller to the extreme climber, and their jackets were worn by mountaineer Peter Habeler when he made the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1978. Throughout this up-and-down history, Mrs Howcroft’s attachment has remained constant, despite the fact she and Paul were forced to sell the business, after Black Monday wiped out plans for a flotation in 1987. The banks got cold feet and the couple opted for an outright sale to Clarks. Since then it has changed hands again, and for a period was backed by venture capital and private equity, before chairman Colin Fisher took control in 2007.
After improving the product range, simplifying its management set-up, restructuring its balance sheet and converting £4.3m of loans into equity, today’s owners have been credited with preserving its identity. Rohan’s difficulties did not immediately vanish, however. Like many other retailers it was hit by the recession and it made a £400,000 operating loss in 2007.
Now it is growing again. Mr Fisher, today the executive chairman, steered it to a £384,000 operating profit last year and took turnover to £17.9m, up from £15.7m in 2009. It expects to turn over £28m this year on the back of like-for-like growth, store openings and increased internet sales. Rohan is no longer based in Yorkshire but is still has a presence here with stores in Leeds, Harrogate, York, Beverley, Shipley and Long Preston. It has 61 nationwide and plans to take this to 81. Today Sarah Howcroft is more than just an interested spectator. She runs Rohantime, a website dedicated to the brand which allows customers to exchange views as well as carrying news of branch openings, outdoor events and a flashback to garments past.
"We are harnessing all those old emotions and the real values of the company and what the customers feel about the company," she said.
They had moved to Skipton in the 1970s after meeting in Scotland. They chose the market town because it was close to the textile industry in West Yorkshire, the cotton mills of Manchester and the hills of North Yorkshire and the Lake District. Both were in their early twenties and Mr Howcroft had given up his job as a research chemist so he could play a part in the enterprise. The couple only had capital of £70 but it was enough to give them a start, even if it meant living hand-to-mouth. "There was no loan capital in those days for start-ups," Mrs Howcroft, said.
"In the early years we ate cheese rolls and very little else. We had no money at all but our enthusiasm and passion flooded it."
They found a small house which they were able to buy for £1,000 and set about bringing modern designs and materials into their field. Nylon began to be used more widely and brought in a series of then radical ideas, such as stretchy climbing breeches in blue and green with black knee patches.
Some of the firm’s designs caused a stir in the traditional world of walking and climbing but, in 1980, Sarah explained her approach to the Yorkshire Post, saying: "Just because the clothes look good doesn’t mean to say they are not practical."
Article by Peter Edwards originally posted on Yorkshire Post. Catalogue and archive images via Compass.
Posted by One-up at 20:11
11 November 2011
Spare a thought, hold that thought, don't use it for political gain, don't use if for blinded bigotry, just remember how it was and how it might have been. Remember the sacrifice, remember the horror. Remember all the Sons, Brothers, Fathers, Uncles, Grandads and Great Grandads who never made it. Remember...
Posted by One-up at 09:00
10 November 2011
An exclusive first look at the Clarks Wallabee for Manchester's Oi Polloi, available 2012, I won't bang on about how cool Clarks are and how they've always been there for me, especially this model, but they are just that and these two natty new colours - light tan and pale green, are something I need in my life. OK, I don't need them, but I sure as hell want them.
Posted by One-up at 01:26