So I feel like my introduction to Feldton was serendipitous almost every step of the way. The first time I heard their name was through the CC Show at the end of May in Yokohama which I couldn't attend (it clashed with Denim by PV, oh the joys) but I persuaded my good friend Sadia to shoot for WGSN.
I looked through the photos and I really liked the look of the product and wrote a few words on the brand, but that was it. Another day, another denim name to look out for, I didn't think much more of it. I couldn't have been more ill-informed and that is precisely why as a denim writer, forecaster, designer or enthusiast, you have to see the product in person every time.
Fast forward a couple of months and the guys (AKA f-u-dudes, AKA David and Andrew) came to my Denim Dudes launch party and immediately I was blown away by their style. Pretty shallow I know but these guys looks seriously well dressed!
Andrew invited me to their showroom in the garment district of New York the next day and I was intrigued. I had a few appointments that day but something told me to go and see what they were doing and I'm so glad I listened to that 'something' cos this shit is ligit!
Ok, first off let me introduce you to these dudes because I really feel that they are what make the brand what it is: they live the look, they embody the vibe, they are Feldton.
This is David. He's the designer behind the brand and has worked in the industry for many years, primarily as an outerwear designer for many high-end labels but also in the creative director role. Only last year he wanted to try something new and was able to launch Feldton with the support of Leeward International Inc.
I had the opportunity to create a new menswear line that I also dreamed of. I’ve been wanting to create a brand that I could closely associate myself with, and be able to proudly wear each piece -David Song
I think that statement above sums up the success story for any brand: when you are true to yourself, design with utmost passion (and of course are super talented) it just works. But its harder to work on solo projects and its great to have a partner in crime, someone to sound-out ideas with. David and Andrew seem to have the special ingredient that comes with solid partnerships and its obvious these guys really dig each other's company, opinions and taste level.
I was looking for the right person and image for this brand, so my friend introduced Andrew to me. We’ve been close ever since. - David Song
This is Andrew. Andrew is a kick-ass stylish guy, that much is clear! Where David seems to have the steady, meticulous, workwear driven eye, Andrew adds his more bohemian flourish to create the perfect balance. Andrew used to buy for Brooks Brothers but then owned a store in Washington DC for a while where he specialized in denim and vintage clothing and mid-century furniture.
David and I have mutual friends in the industry, we were connected through these mutual friends when David was looking for the right representative for this brand. Through this experience, David and I basically became brothers - Andrew
So thats the team: David and Andrew. You'll not find nicer, more passionate dudes in the business and what they're creating is pretty cool.
So... how to describe the look? For me it is workwear and it is heritage Americana, sure.... but seen through a slightly contemporary, artisanal eye, it has a touch of the south-western to it, but whilst remaining true to workwear-centric aspects such as wabash stripes, twisted yarn fabrics, split yoke detailing and (shirt split with selvedge) It is almost the visual interpretation of an East Coast dockside worker as he makes his way West for the Gold Rush. Imagine he stops in Santa Fe, sets up camp, befriends some true Spanish locals and kicks back for a smoke. That to me is the Feldton guy. Did I go off on a tangent?!
As a brand I really think they stand out but I was curious to know their opinion:
Most heritage brands limit themselves and focus primarily on specific looks, Feldton focuses on the overall package that men would be attracted to. We focus on the aesthetic and ingenuity of all our pieces. We combine American workwear with today’s fit for a unique overall look. Our method of presentation and how we style and wear garments with a certain attitude also attracts bloggers and editors at the shows, thus generating interest for the brand.
The label use some kick-ass fabric qualities too that are sourced from both the US and Japan. I was particularly excited by this amazing running rabbit selvedge shirting.
And check out this lovely indigo discharge print shirt with impeccable stand collar.
Fabrics seem to be pretty important for to the brand so I asked for their favorite fabrics for SS16 and why:
One of our favorite fabrics is a linen and denim blend that gives an interesting drape and comfortable feel, in a herringbone or a striped pattern.
And then of course: Fave piece in the collection:
The white denim twill suit, because of the lightness of the denim weight and New York White color- says David. All the shorter cropped pants, and the long “Andrew” Shirts (below) This is my staple wardrobe for this season- of course it is Andrew!
Its very hard not to liken the brand to something familiar and existing in the market and I would have to agree with the guys about RRL. You can definitely see that the Feldton customer would also be into the Double' and the guys reference the label as one they appreciate:
RRL by Ralph Lauren, being our favorite brand, is one that we seek inspiration from. Our other inspiration comes from various workwear pieces found at vintage stores throughout our travels.
And then of course in the apparel world there is the ever present relationship between Japan and America: the appreciation of true American workwear by the Japanese market and their amazing coverage of the US apparel market thats been making waves in recent years through magazines such as Lightning and Clutch:
We feel that the Japanese market loves American made product for their historical values, while Americans loves the Japanese market for innovated techniques with fabrics. Therefore, we mashed the two worlds together for a happy marriage.
So for a very recently launched brand, where have they shown and where can we expect to see them?
Our first trade show experience at Las Vegas faced the usual difficulties all start up brands had to deal with. We worked out our mistakes and re-evaluated our presentation approach, seeking out the proper trade shows we fit in. Capsule Paris was how we connected with our market, and the recognition started flowing in. During our Paris show, we’ve received the news that Barneys’ New York picked up our Fall 2015 collection. This is also when we’ve met Mr. Atsushi Matshushima (Clutch Japan Magazine), Mr. Takashi Okabe (Clutch/Men’s File Magazine) and Mr. Nick Clements (Men’s File Magazine). They approached the brand and thought that the it would fit in with their first CC show in Japan. We received a lot of of press and recognition of the brand, and people have been reaching out and following us through our journey. We would also like to thank Sadia Rafique for connecting us with WGSN and hence, connecting us to you!
Where and when can we expect your clothes to hit stores?
It’s in Barneys New York right now! And various boutiques in the US, Europe, and Asia. We would like to thanks Barneys and these boutiques for believing in the brand and us.
I'd like to thank both David and Andrew for inviting me over to their Feldton 'den' and I'll see you both in a few days in Las Vegas! (stay tuned on instagram and on here for my denim adventures)