Brixton is smiling in the dark
Words by Ali Klinkenberg | Photos by Tom Carey Authenticity is the golden concept in this age of throwaway consumerism. If you’re fleeing the ties of office life for a weekend in the blue, then you wanna be draped in something tough, something that feels like it belongs on the bitumen. Brixton’s aesthetic goes hand […]
Words by Ali Klinkenberg | Photos by Tom Carey
Authenticity is the golden concept in this age of throwaway consumerism. If you’re fleeing the ties of office life for a weekend in the blue, then you wanna be draped in something tough, something that feels like it belongs on the bitumen. Brixton’s aesthetic goes hand in hand with the old American concept of the Road, and, boy, there’s nothing quite like the promise of well-worn tarmac.
Creating good business is kinda like starting a band. When David Stoddard (the front man), the brains behind Brixton’s concept, went about kick-starting proceedings he brought in two practical pals, to balance out his left-field tendencies. A band with three lead singers fighting for the spotlight clearly doesn’t work. Thus: Jason Young on logistical sales (Rhythm guitar), and Mike Chaplin on finances (drums).
Oli is certainly a man of the world. Although, Baja isn’t too off the beaten track… When there’s lips like this to belt, it’s all to tempting sometimes.
Now there weren’t many companies that started in the early 2000’s and managed to grow steadily, and in retail no less, usually the first thing to go in times of economic downturn. Brixton weathered the financial storm by playing to their strengths (hats) and not expanding too quickly. The slowly, slowly, catchy monkey business model. Brixton started their full apparel line in 2008 and by 2011 they were globally distributed in 32 countries. Stoddard states that the key elements to good apparel biz is a “good production Manager” and “making it simple for buyers.”
Stoddard explains the venture into jackets and eventually denim with a beautifully simple narrative. “When you walk into a pub you take off your hat and coat and hang it on the mirror rack,” says Stoddard, “That story fit perfectly with Brixton’s vision. It was a natural progression.”
The slob, when performed well, is hardly slovenly. A Mex sunset brings much to the party, too.
Later in 2014 Brixton partnered with Altamont Capital, a private investment firm that also fronts the cash for Huf, Dakine and Fox, and a host of non-surf companies. The press release nailed Brixton’s winning strategy in typically modest fashion. “We’re lucky that we have a set of core customers who can really identify with the brand and love the product.” That set of ‘core customers’ is far more judgement than luck and has been developed meticulously from the days in Stoddard’s garage.
Not confining yourself to any one sport or demographic is a smart ploy on Brixton’s part. You won’t catch skaters, or classic car dudes rocking around with surf logos, but Brixton’s managed to sneak into consciousness without making fam feel like they’re being sold some contrived dream.
Brixton’s tough and eternally wearable. If you’re a man who likes to fix things, or a man who likes to look like he knows how to fix things, then you can’t go past the classics. Fads come and go, but quality and durability doesn’t go out of fashion.
Backhand banger down in Baja.
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