7 min read
What's up people, I hope you're all having a fine week.
Welcome back to The Brute Supply Journal. It's been a few weeks since my last entry, I've been working on a few projects outside of the blog world that had to take preference. I look forward to sharing a few bits from my everyday life with you later down the line, but first...
It's been a while since I've mentioned my good friends at Concrete Matter. If it wasn't for Concrete I don't think The Brute Supply would have made it from idea to reality. Back when living in London, I always had the idea to start-up a menswear blog of some sort. I had a few pieces of clothing that I could take pictures of, write about, and then share online, yet nothing clicked for me when I got going on the writing side of things. (I guess it takes a few tries at something before it all makes sense)
I made the move from London to Amsterdam, and through some good friends that I had met in my early days of moving, an opportunity presented itself to me. My buddy Tomas (Co-founder) gave me access to Concretes archives and it all started to fall into place from there. So a massive thanks to you dude and of course Jacob too (Co-founder)
I've managed to catch up the man himself (Tomas) and get a few words from him. For people that may not know who you are it would be cool to kick things off by introducing yourself and telling our readers a bit about why you started Concrete Matter?
Tomas: Hey I'm Tomas, one half of the Concrete Matter Partnership and I'm pretty into vintage menswear and anything unusually cool. Well, what I think is cool.
Marcus: Why did you choose to work with vintage and heritage workwear?
Tomas: Well when we opened the second store in the 9 streets we only had a very small collection of Pike Brothers. Before that we never sold any clothing at all. From day one you could always find us on markets, for curiosa. At some point we saw a few really nice army jackets and thought this would also fit in really well with the shop. The same goes for workwear. Almost every piece from pike brothers is based on workwear or military. The most attractive aspect about workwear and army apparel is that functionality goes before how it looks. With this mentality you get the best quality product.
So the question why vintage workwear and heritage? We like to dive into the history of products, sell garments with the craziest repairs, learn about the history of the products and give them a new life.
Marcus: How did the name Concrete Matter come about and how does it relates to the band’s core values?
Tomas: The name Concrete Matter came actually from an old friend of Jacob (co-founder). He had a photography institute named "Institute for Concrete Matter". Jacob really liked the name and asked if he could use it for his website. When we started the adventure in 2012 it was really basic but with our own style. To name a few products we were selling: Taxidermy, old original photography, pocket knifes, stationary, school charts, globes and some other stuff. I believe the name Concrete Matter really fits to our core values. We always stick to our guts when it comes to the things that are important to us. We sell products which really matter to us, products that arent just a wear once and throw away because they are cheap and worthless. It's all about the history, quality and journey the products have been on, you may even want to pass them on to your son or daughter one day.
Marcus: What makes you tick as a brand and small team?
Tomas: What makes me tick is the enthusiasm from the people that come to our store. It gives me great joy when someone is looking around the store and tells me that he never has seen a well curated store like this. (Trying not to brag) Another thing what really gives me joy is the never-ending hunt for awesome vintage / rare pieces. For me, this is one of the best things about being an entrepenure with a niche interest. We Hunt for it, have it in the store and then give it a second life.
Marcus: Just from the way you're explaining this to me, I can truly understand it's not really a business for you. It's more of a hobby that got out-of-hand and became what it is today. I can see your heart really is at the core of the business.
Tomas: The best thing about a small team is definitely that the lines are shorter and you are just like a little family.
Marcus: What role do you see yourself playing in the menswear/vintage scene?
Tomas: I would like to see my/our role here in the Netherlands as a key influence of the curated vintage style, as well as bringing the whole repurpoused movement into the light. I beleive that it can be appreciated by a larger segment of people. At this moment a lot of people especially here in the Netherlands have a different understanding of vintage and besides that are often triggered by fast fashion. Which result in people not having there own style. We want to essential change that, we want to create a place where people can create there own style.
Marcus: I know you guys have big love for Americana style, military clobber and niche finds, yet I wanted to ask you about your most recent addition to the lineup, P.F. Flyers. (The much loved classic American sneaker)
I think I'm right by saying you're the first retailer in the Netherlands, so it's a pretty big deal that folks can only get a hold of them through yourself.
Marcus: How did the P.F Flyers partnership come about?
Tomas: I think I once saw it on Instagram, and like most other brands we really dig in to their history and deep dive into the facts. PF Flyers for us ticked all the boxes. It has a great history which goes back to the early thirties. Before Vans even existed kids would wear these shoes mostly for skateboarding. In the 1950s they were produced for the US Army and also at one point for NASA.
Marcus: What do you love most about these classic sneakers?
Tomas: I really like that these shoes are more supporting than converse and that almost nobody is wearing them here. I just like to wear things nobody else is wearing.
Marcus: Ahh that made me chuckle, I guess I better wear in these Chucks quick and switch to a pair of crisp Flyers. On the note of brand partnerships, Have you got any other special partnerships coming into the store in the near future?
Tomas: For now we want to extend our PF Flyers range and produce more of our own products. Also, there might be a few partnerships coming in for the coming Denim Days in October.
Marcus: I guess I'll have to sort you out a few beers for a vip insight into what's lined up next for you guys.
Anyhow, a massive thanks for taking the time to have a quick chat, I'm sure we'll be catching up very soon.
I hope you all enjoyed a quick read about the well known vintage emporium Concrete Matter, that's all from me.
Once again, thanks for tuning into The Brute Supply, have a cracking week