All images by Urban Industry
Established back in 1947, Japanese denim specialist Edwin is a brand that has become synonymous with craftsmanship and innovation. Drawing inspiration from some of the greatest styles in American work wear and combining it with meticulous Japanese design, Edwin are responsible for some of the highest quality denim available today. Renowned for their heavyweight ring-spun selvedge denim and their revolutionary washing methods, Edwin have created a unique, easily identifiable aesthetic that has seen them become one of the worlds top authentic denim brands.
In celebration of Edwin’s dedication towards craftsmanship and quality, we have introduced a new feature to our Journal page that looks to those with the same ideals and follow similar practises through their work and everyday life. To start things off we spent the day with Paul, the founder of leather goods brand Born & Bred at his Brighton based workshop/store to talk through its history, his work ethic and why he wears Edwin’s in the work space…
Hey Paul, could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Paul De Nagy, I am originally from Brazil but have lived in the UK since 1987. My lifestyle mostly consists of surfing old school heavy longboards and riding my vintage Royal Enfield Bobber, and these pastimes heavily influenced my work in the early days. I used to shape and glass my own surfboards and i rebuilt my motorcycle over a period of time, I have always been into aesthetics and hand built or made articles.
I am also the founder and designer at Born and Bred England – we make leather goods from small wallets to large carry goods like weekend bags. All of our goods are handmade and hand stitched.
How did you get started with Born & Bred?
Having owned a hat shop for some years, myself and two friends opened an agency to represent brands in the UK, and during that time we came across a leather worker who made articles for large fashion houses. From the moment i stepped into his workshop i was hooked – I started to research and learn different leather working techniques from the likes of Hermes and other smaller, lesser known brands and then slowly started to teach myself how to produce small leather items…after some disasters I suddenly turned a corner with it all. I had a lot of biker friends who were keen for me to make them wallets, and from that the brand was then ‘Born’. We originally used the Sprocket logo because of the biker heritage although we now appeal to a much larger audience.
Why did you choose to work with leather?
Leather is a very unique materiel. Used for centuries, leather has a certain soul about it, it comes in various finishes, thickness’s and from various animals. It lasts forever and the beauty of a finished leather piece is simply un-deniable.
Talk us through the shop layout. Why do you have the workbench on show?
Our shop has two rooms, the front sales showroom where all of our pieces are on show and can be purchased, and then we have the back workbench area which is open and on display. We did this because we like to have a personal interaction with our customers, people can see our pieces being made on-site and meet the people making them. This gives the customer a more personal experience almost like they are an integral part of the brand itself. We feel this is important to the way in which we run our brand. We are always happy to take time to discuss a customers needs over a coffee.
What inspires you and the brand?
We are heavily influenced and inspired by great design, aesthetics and functionality, and every piece we make is designed with these 3 elements in mind. Heritage is a word that is floated about very loosely these days, but we hope that one day Born and Bred England can be known for its rich heritage; being a brand that has kept true to its past and that is still innovative enough to move with the times.
Whats next for Born and Bred?
We are planning various capsule collections which will include some bespoke pieces of furniture and an increase in our carry goods range. We hope to continue to grow. For this we will look to seek out key retail partners, but it is important to us that we cater for and maintain direct consumer interaction.
Why do you wear Edwin?
Edwin are known for their quality denim and great designs, my Edwin’s are a staple in the workshop. I can trust the quality, work in complete comfort and enjoy looking good all at the same time. It’s hard to find quality denim that fits well and are comfortable from the outset. We all love the idea of breaking in a pair of jeans, but in reality if they don’t feel comfortable in the beginning, then wearing them in is going to be somewhat of a chore….not only can i wear a new pair of Edwin’s and be comfortable in them, but i can also enjoy the process of wearing them in. Talk of Heritage, we aspire to have the same reputation for quality.