Almost every day I’m guilty of multiple acts of insincerity. An insincerity spree as it were. I tell people I like things, firmly shake their hands and pretend to enjoy being in their company. Whether it’s work-related, during a commute or feigning nice-guy on a social basis to prove that I’m not some self-harming misanthrope, I’m prone to it. I’ve said nice things to get free things or laden paragraphs with superlatives to keep people happy. Like I said, I’m prone to insincerity.
This blog however, is—unless I’ve become so pathetically self-serving and false that I’ve forgotten how my true self actually feels about anything—something a little more honest. I’m not ashamed of my vacuous, phony antics as I generally surround myself with people I genuinely like. So if I see something I like and chuck it up here, it’s not just because it was flowed my way—it’s because I genuinely like it.
I have stacks of booklets, pamphlets, fold-outs, USB sticks and lookbooks clogging up my living space that, as a hoarder, I can’t dispose of. Much of it never got beyond a blank glance on the train when I was fishing through a goodie bag to see if there were foodstuffs or promo-cigarette papers in there (all goodie bags should have cigarette papers somewhere in the mix…plus matches). If you’re one of the few who follows these updates, not only do I love you for that (I really mean it) you may have gathered that there’s a preoccupation with workwear and basics round these parts. I love Ben Davis, I love Carhartt and I love Dickies. Nobody had to flow me product to say that.
Still, I’ve always wanted more archive Dickies information—it’s always seemed a little tougher to obtain than the details of Hamilton Carhartt’s hardwearing empire. During the recent Crooked Tongues BBQ, Juergen at Dickies was—in what’s arguably the era of the bullshitter—the most efficient, friendly and professional individual we’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with. The same goes for all Dickies team and affiliates operating in Europe. Keen to elevate the brand, Juergen handed over a startling level of creative freedom to my old agency haunt (and spiritual home), U-Dox to create a brand bible. Truth be told, on hearing about the project, I anticipated something solid, readable, but along the lines of Carhartt Europe’s excellent promo book series, following that well-worn trail of history and product preview.
On seeing some untreated snapshots and art director Jay Hess hard at work during a preview of the Hideout capsule collection—and in the knowledge that gentleman and scholar Jason Jules was editor and creative director—I’d clearly grossly underestimated the scale of this project. ‘Love Your Work’ is inspirationally good. Busy without being over designed, there’s an air of ‘Sang Bleu’ (If you don’t know by now, you’re never going to know) to the look and playful use of paper stocks. Stocks, finishes, fold-outs, inserted factoids about key Dickies designs and bonus interview applications, foil printing, pop out colour-coded circles…for a simpleton like me who enjoys the tactile side of the reading experience, it’s a joy. Jason’s even such a gent that he thanked me in the NYC hip-hop map section, despite a contribution that bordered on fuck-all. Bar the wack shoes on most of the ladies in the group shot, it’s consistent too.
I see familiar faces throughout, but this isn’t a biscuit wank on paper. Employing the minds at Astro Man to create revisionist ads in an early 20th century style was a great move too. Deeply impressed by the work here and looking forward to the next installment, I’m also deeply jealous that I never got more involved. Launched on monday at an enjoyable exhibition with a neat “takeaway” gimmick, it also allowed me to meet a personal hero, Kevin Rowland, very briefly (“Nice to meet you Kevin. I ‘m a big fan of your work.” “Thank you very much.”). This entire project elevates my appreciation of Dickies as a brand, and I think that’s a job well done.
It’s free too. I hope all involved love the work they’ve created.
The usual vitriol will resume this weekend…