The Makers Provides A Place For Micro Artisans To Evolve Their Growing Brands
UK-based online denim retailers NoKipple, run by Gavin Smith and Jonathan Joseph, are ready to take their shop to the next phase. With The Makers platform, they are offering a retail space for short run collaborative pieces, and a place for buyers, designers and NoKipple to co-create apparel and accessories.
Born From A Collab
The seed for The Makers was planted by the excellent experience they’ve have had (and continue to have) working with Zach Brown of ZeeBee Leathers on their made-to-order collaborative belt.
The visceral and intimate process of co-design and the opportunity for the customer to have direct contact with the designer to add their own subtle requests, tweaks, and measurements encapsulates The Makers concept.
“So far, it feels like we are breaking some new ground, or at the very least adding another wrinkle to the market,” says Jonathan.
Driven By the Search For the Little-Known Brands
The Makers was conceived by several drivers. It’s a way for Gavin and Jon to channel their continuous search for up-coming brands and the pleasure of working with new brands or artisans into something productive.
“We’ve started working with Toby; he makes clothing and accessories out of the most interesting denim he can find. We broke bread and shared coffee with Martin, a designer and manufacturer of traditional, vintage inspired rucksacks – both of these guys are right in the heart of London,” the NoKipple guys explain.
In Europe, they are working with a German shirt maker who has a gimlet eye for design; they’ve started discussions with a certain jeans maker from Catalonia whose skills and craft rival anyone else’s in the studio denim space; and of course from San Diego they will continue to work with ZeeBee Leather on bespoke leather gear.
What Does the Future of The Makers Look Like?
The Makers is an ongoing project and two denimheads will continue to look for clever people, smart concepts and beautiful products to bring to the community. The platform will not only focus on showcasing the new “secret” brands but also make the experience of the purchase total and engaging for all involved.
“The Makers feels right for us. When we launched NoKipple back in 2013, we had a very definite concept of what we wanted NoKipple to achieve: we wanted to add a small wrinkle to the online retail norm; we wanted to demonstrate that there are some interesting choices, brands and personalities to be found outside the mainstream,” Gavin and Jonathan reflect.
For a while now, they have been feeling that their initial concept warrants some additional refinement – some evolution – to make the experience for the customer, themselves, and the brands they work with even more intimate and pure.
“The Makers is slow food; an organic growth of a platform for niche artisans who are time poor but creatively rich,” Jonathan says.
Visit NoKipple’s website for updates about when The Makers launches.