For those who've known us a while now, you'll know that when we first opened our doors over three years ago there was a certain brand that was on our list of must haves. It was a brand firmly rooted in Denim and Work Wear, based in California and famous amongst the growing number of 'denim followers' for it's in-house production, dedication to quality and pursuit of vintage style. This brand was the brain child of one Mike Hodis and it's name was 'Rising Sun Jeans'.
Having emigrated to the USA from Eastern Europe with his family in 1982, Mike's journey into clothing production grew from an early interest in all things American. This fascination, along with an interest in industrial revolution era machinery (a growing collection of vintage black head sewing machines!), led him to follow his instinct and start Rising Sun Manufacturing over 10 years ago.
Fast forward to 2014 and it was time for a change. When Rising Sun started making jeans, the denim market was mainly commercial with long standing large companies making up the majority and a few select Japanese brands filling the boutique spaces in between. A decade later and it was getting tough to stand out amongst the explosion of 'heritage' denim brands popping up left, right and centre. Don't get us wrong, we love denim and workwear, well made classic style is what we're about, but there is a whole lot more to timeless menswear than a five pocket jean!
After cutting ties with Rising Sun two years ago, dissatisfied with the repetitive nature of the industry, Mike took some time off to reflect and lend a hand to long time industry friend Atsu Tagaya from Stevenson Overalls Co., consulting on design and helping out with fabrics here and there to keep his hand. We'd spoken to Mike a few times about what was coming next, and all he could tell us was..... "You're going to like it!" He wasn't wrong!
Runabout Goods was launched this month globally and has so far garnered excellent reviews; the list of stockists is a who's who of quality clothing stores across the world and we're honoured to be among them. This says as much about Mike's personality, and his relationships with his previous Rising Sun stockists, as it does about his reputation for producing excellent designs with outstanding quality.
The concept is a simple one, and for us it makes perfect sense. In terms of progression within our arena of vintage style and well made goods, the move from pre-war denim and workwear, to the classic outdoor American styles of the 1950's and 1960's, was the perfect move. The need for rugged hard wearing quality is the same, yet the colour palette and range of design concepts is far more broad ranging in our opinion. Even our love of vintage vehicles has been satisfactorily catered for. The hot rods and pick up truck have given way to an early Land Rover Defender, a car very close to our hearts and an icon of style in itself....
This first collection for AW16 is based around Autumnal colours and practical styles. Items like the Rag-Top are perfect for the Melbourne Spring, whilst the tube-knit T-Shirts are quality basics with classic vintage fits that will see you through many a Summer. Our next drop, coming in a matter of days, also contains the Shelter Anorak in Tobacco British Millerain wax, which should fend off the Summer rains a treat!
All in all we're impressed, and we're glad we stuck by Mike until things were ready with Runabout. The world of classic style is vast, and we'd all do best to remember that it's more than just a good pair of jeans....
Runabout Goods. In store and Online Now!