As much as it might seem hard to believe, it’s hard to come across a leather goods label featuring locally made products. Which is why discovering All The Kings Men was such a delight. With leather bags, handmade Melbourne from long-lasting materials and quality fixtures, you’ll be sure to find something to last you a lifetime. Read on to learn more about the label in our chat with founder, Simon.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your labels, All The Kings Men & Duckfeet Australia?
I was working in a mate’s workshop welding up various industrial components for a film he was working on. One of the components was an aeroplane seatbelt, I was struck by it’s beauty. At the same time my girlfriend had just bought a new laptop and we struggled to find a decent bag. With the hope of impressing her I set out to make a bag for her and put an aeroplane seatbelt on the bag as the strap, and so All the Kings Men was born. About 5 years later I saw my mate wearing Duckfeet. Again struck by the beauty, the simplicity of the design and the purity of the heritage (their Danish and still handmade in Europe), I felt they would be complimentary to All the Kings Men.
Who inspires you and your creative process?
My first thought here was Industrial Designers, they design stuff we use every day and are often taken for granted. Then I thought creatives in general, they are prepared to see things differently and back themselves to see there vision realised. Overall though, I think I am most inspired by people who are prepared to be who they are rather than who someone else expects them to be. We find that as we don’t offer mainstream products we attract people who know who they are and are prepared to seek out what makes sense to them. As a result, we have great customers.
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for All the Kings men this year.
We are really excited at the moment as we are releasing a new fabric. We will actually be launching it at AW16 Sydney Finders Keepers in Sydney. The original inception of the fabric dates back to the second WW when Switzerland was blockaded and Cotton fibre started to become scarce. In order to extend a limited amount of a Cotton fibre the Swiss developed and method of combining nettle with Cotton and spinning a new yarn. The resultant yarn was then woven into the classic Swiss Army Backpack fabric – what we now refer to as Salt & Pepper. It’s really beautiful fabric made to the original formula.
Name one resource that your label could not live without.
This is not an easy one to pin down. If you can call Fitzroy a resource then I would say that is a resource we could not live without. To walk around the streets here there is great design everywhere. Whether it is architectural, industrial, furniture or clothing, there is lots to feast your eyes on and to inspire. There is design that is both old and new and it all adds up to a rich cultural texture that becomes an essential part of the process.
Tell us about your favourite product from your collection
My favourite bag is the Overnight Duffle in Brown leather. To me it has all the ingredients of what we are about. The leather we get from New Zealand, it has a natural finish which means that it ages beautifully and develops really great character. It also has brass buckles from an old foundry in England. The zips we get from Switzerland. I love the simplicity of the design and that it be taken carry-on or checked. It all adds up to being a beautiful bag that you can take wherever and it takes on your story and becomes your bag. A bag you can love. I hope that doesn’t sound too wanky, I just really love the bag.