So, rewind a couple of months and featured on this blog was a new brand called Gentleman Arthur that were creating quality handcrafted and hand printed ties produced by wood block printing, creating unique and inspired ties, showcasing a level of craftsmanship that is pretty much unseen in the tie market. A couple of months on, Gentleman Arthur have also started producing hand crafted pocket squares aswell. So, I thought it would be worthwhile showcasing some of current ties on offer along with the new pocket squares.
Currently, I keep harping on about my infatuation with true craftsmanship and I have always felt that this brand embody a level of craftsmanship very rarely seen, therefore with this I wanted to get a better understanding of the Gentleman Arthur brand. So what follows is a nice little interview with the co-founder and designer Samuel Wagner, which delves into the design process, the brand itself and what the word ‘craftsmanship’ means to Gentleman Arthur, this interview is intertwined with images from the current offering along with some EXCLUSIVE content just for ‘The Bespoke Gentleman’ blog. Samuel has let me showcase images of the new pocket squares that will be available on the Gentleman Arthur website soon…Enjoy!
So, ‘Gentleman Arthur’ is the name, how did you finalise this as the name for your brand?
Well, honestly, we have tried to let our audience choose how we refer to ourselves. Our original idea was simply to call our brand Arthur, and have our domain name be Gentleman Arthur. As we released the brand into the world people took to Gentleman Arthur, and we’ve let it grow. I also like the idea of being able to be talked about as Arthur, G. A., Gent Arthur, cause the more derivatives the more memorable. McDonald’s, Micky D’s, etc.
Can you explain to ‘The Bespoke Gentleman’ readers what is so unique about the brand Gentleman Arthur?
There are several things that make Arthur unique. Gentleman Arthur designs are all inspired by a story. Whether conceived from our family, or from our artistic interests, there is a sense of where our efforts are coming form. We want to create a dialogue with our visitors and patrons, making an experience that is more than simply spending money. On top of that our printing process is one that you’ll rarely if ever see used for this purpose. We hand carve and print our designs from woodblocks. That process gives our products an aesthetic that we think is akin to the painted adverts you see on the side of brick buildings. The natural wear and integration of materials makes it feel like it was meant to be, organic. Other processes are very clean and mechanical, ours is messy, personal, and the prints are very rarely identical. And when all of that is said and done, we sit down and sew up your tie. No one but Arthur touches Arthur. In many ways it’s like getting a personally made gift, the care is visible.
The Bespoke Gentleman blog really appreciates brands that have ‘craftsmanship’ at its core…you don’t see that many accessories brands that put this much effort into creating timeless creations, what are your feelings on this?
There are a lot of different views on craftsmanship, and I can only speak for Arthur’s perspective, but we think that there is a misconception of what is craftsmanship. At Arthur we think that craftsmanship is about being able to see the hand of the creator. When you receive our work it looks human, it has waves in the seams, and that’s not a fault, its part of making things artfully. You don’t see that at many other companies because they want to create continuity in their product, the first will be exactly the same as the last. Gentleman Arthur is always learning, refining our craft, yet preserving the individuality, which is what you really want when you’re creating your personal image.
So since I last wrote a piece about your brand on my blog, you have introduced a couple of pocket squares, what was the reason behind this?
I think that the idea of ties and pocket squares being purely formal attire is a misconception. I really want to rethink the pocket square as a fun causal piece you can add to any outfit that has a pocket to place it in. Men don’t have enough options in spicing up simple classic looks, but the pocket square is a great option. Over the next few weeks Arthur will be offering more of a look book to better communicate our full vision of what our styles can do.
Are you currently working on anything exciting at the moment?
We are really excited about the look book, but we are also going to be re-imagining our website. Plus, a fun commemoration to the great work of painter, Josef Albers. All in all, we have learned so much, and with continued support our designs are only going to be getting more ambitious.
As such a new brand, what ambitions have you got for the brand in the future?
We simply want to learn, grow, and create great products. We do what we do because we love it, and believe in it. I think going forward we want to focus on making more designs, and cutting back on the size of the run. So, in the future you’ll have to really jump on our designs before they’re gone.
I love the simplicity with which your website is designed; can you tell me what was the thought process behind this?
Arthur is about keeping it simple and classic. I think the design speaks to our process and our general aesthetic well. Perhaps, in the future we will get more adventurous but never more complicated. The designs basic principle is symmetry. The human face is seen as beautiful if symmetrical, why not a website?
In terms of the design process, what inspires your creations, for example – The ‘Emma Beryl’ pattern is amazing and unique…have you got any other exciting ones that you are currently creating?
I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m really excited about this multiple color, multiple block print that’s inspired by bees. Also, down the road a ways, we are going to do a Sherlock Holmes inspired print with a little mystery involved.
That wood block puzzle that Bruce has created looks fantastic as just a piece of art never mind a puzzle, how long did it take him to make that?Bruce, my father, is a self-taught wood worker. He spent most of his working life collecting and reading up on exactly how to make furniture, and once he retired he delved into it head first. His skill is really remarkable, and his attention to detail is pretty mind blowing. He started making these puzzles as a little personal fun, but he got quite good at it. I think if he was in a pinch he could make you a puzzle, start to finish in about 3 or 4 hours.
With one sentence how would you sum up what Gentleman Arthur embodies?
Gentleman Arthur is the story of fun and class for the constantly evolving modern male.
I really enjoyed Samuel’s answers to my questions, I hope you the reader did too. I wish Samuel and everyone involved with Gentleman Arthur the best of luck for the future, they are a brand that I find really inspiring. For more information or to go and buy yourself a Gentleman Arthur tie/pocket square visit there aesthetically pleasing website at: www.gentlemanarthur.com