&Work Apparel May Actually Make You More ManlyBy admin • Aug 1st, 2013 • Category: Features, Latest, Random
Our friend and Airblaster’s Sales Manager Eric Wallis is crying right now. You see, Airblaster lost in some silly internet popularity contest, and that can make even the manliest of men feel some sort of emotion. As for us, we feel sort of bad, because we didn’t vote (it wouldn’t be very journalistic of us to choose sides) and so we’re hoping to cheer him up. What better way to do that than with some Internet fame? In addition to Airblaster, Eric also started and runs &Work, a clothing brand specializing in urban lumberjack fashion for the man who wants to look, well, manly. He was able to dry his tears long enough to tell us more.
What is the story behind &Work?
I wanted to improve upon classic men’s clothing styles, add style, utility, function, and durability of the construction. Clothes that you could wrench in, but still fit good and wore well.
Is the ampersand a hipster statement, or are you just too lazy to type out all three letters?
Ha, yes “just put an Ampersand on it,” our “put a bird on it.” No, we wanted a symbol that could stand on it’s own and work with the written logo, had strong design elements, and was recognizable. Also, the logo played on your relationship with your work or trade, work comes after the “and,” Life and work, you know, work you ass off to support your life and interests, not the other way around. Also, we wanted to be first on any lists, so the Ampersand is a symbol and an starts with A, comes up first on any brand lists.
Who are you, what is your background and what are you doing now?
I grew up in Lake Tahoe and have been back and forth between Tahoe and SF for over 10 years. Growing up and through college I always worked in the trades, construction, electrical, and all of my friends were skateboarders, snowboards, and surfers, that all worked as craftsman. I had a rep agency in Northern California for years, selling skate, snowboard, and outdoor stuff, I knew I could create a brand a get support from some creative friends and great stores. And I always enjoyed working with my hands and helping to create quality products, so the premise was to create a brand rooted in substance, product, quality, and not just hype. I recently just moved to Portland to work full time with Airblaster, who I have been a rep for since the beginning of the brand.
Will wearing &Work clothing make you more manly? Has this been tested in the wild?
Ha, Manliness comes from within, your actions make you manly, not your clothing. Our goal with our fabrics was to walk the fine line between heavy/rugged fabrics, and fabrics that drape well and fit well for riding bikes, motorcycles, skating, or working. Some of our fabrics like the Strife 2 and Vocation 2 are heavier, with a waxed cotton feel, but we also have lighter weight fabrics in the Chester long sleeve, which is a great summer long sleeve, but still has durable construction. We also have mid weight fabrics in the Hombre Chino Short and Pant. The “Non Fleece Vest” has been our best seller, with a lot of snowboarders wearing it to layer on the hill. It has wax cotton shoulders, a hidden drop pocket and audio pocket.
Now that you’re busy with Airblaster is this the end for &Work?
Airblaster is my main focus, we have our hands full it’s really fun team and brand, with a lot of potential right now. When I can find time, I have still been doing some leather work and design concepting for limited US made goods, I recently made some leather straps for bikes. Not sure what the near or far future holds for &Work, but whatever happens, I want to make more of our products in the US.
So now that you know, you should also know that &Work is having a Back To School sale on its website, with Eternal and Solstice Supply, with discounts of 30%-40%, and any purchase over $50 gets a free roll up beanie. Check out more at andworkapparel.com